Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Senior Seminar Daily Submission 5

Ben Currin
Senior Seminar: Gospel of John
Dr. Dwaine Greene
Oct. 17, 2002

Jesus As Good Shepherd
(John 10:1-21)

“Information and Insights:”
D. Moody Smith, Jr. states that Chapter 10 of John presents a rich variety of themes and materials, all dealing with the subject of the character of Christ (Smith, 202).
In dealing with Jesus as shepherd, the Believer’s study Bible states: 10:3 Often several shepherds’ flocks were kept together. When a shepherd was ready to take his flock to pasture, he would call. As the sheep heard the familiar and trusted voice of their shepherd, they would go to him and follow as he went into the field.# (Criswell, John 10:3---see footnote for more information).

In Nelson’s Teaching Outline of the Bible, John Chapter 10 falls under the topics of: III. The Opposition at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem 7:1–10:21 and IV. The Opposition at the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem 10:22–42# in Part 3 of his outline (Nelson, Outline on John---see footnote for further details).

Christ as Shepherd as been foretold in Gen. 49:24, Isaiah 40:11 and Ezekiel 34:23 and 37:24, according to Nave. (Nave, 737).

Johnson notes in his study of the New Testament that John has no synoptic parables found in the Gospel of John, but rather only figures from the synoptic parables instead (Johnson, 529).

Parker shows how following the Christ as Shepherd scene in John 10:1-21 that John delves into the issue of the division of opinions about Jesus by the people whom witnessed His acts and heard His teachings [(particularly the Jews were the ones with divided opinions about Christ)] (Parker, 217).
#- W.A. Criswell, Believer’s study Bible [computer file], electronic ed. , Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1991 by the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies.
# - Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nelson’s teaching outlines of the Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1986.

In Gundry’s survey on the New Testament, John is treated as being the primary theologian of the four Gospels. On page 256 of Gundry’s survey, Gundry discusses how theological themes found throughout the Gospel of John are also interwoven into the other biblical books attributed to John, which are I-III John and the Book of Revelation (Gundry, 256).

Baker’s commentary states of the first few verses of John 10 that the function of Jesus calling us by name {(within the flock of sheep)} is to illustrate Christianity as being a personal religion or as being a personal relationship with God via in the form of Jesus Christ or via our prayers which are interceded by way of Jesus (Baker, 212).

John uses a symbiotic relationship of symbolic meaning between religious symbols and Jewish feasts and festivals. In dealing with John 10, this is particularly evident in the passage pertaining to Hanukah---which is found in John 10:22 (Johnson, 533).

A key point found in Matthew Henry’s Commentary is as follows: (John 10) Verses 1-18---It is not certain whether this discourse was at the feast of dedication in the winter (spoken of v. 22), which may be taken as the date, not only of what follows, but of what goes before (that which countenances this is, that Christ, in his discourse there, carries on the metaphor of the sheep, v. 26, 27, whence it seems that that discourse and this were at the same time); or whether this was a continuation of his parley with the Pharisees, in the close of the foregoing chapter. The Pharisees supported themselves in their opposition to Christ with this principle, that they were the pastors of the church, and that Jesus, having no commission from them, was an intruder and an impostor, and therefore the people were bound in duty to stick to then, against him. In opposition to this, Christ here describes who were the false shepherds, and who the true, leaving them to infer what they were.--- I.) Here is the parable or similitude proposed (v. 1-5); it is borrowed from the custom of that country, in the management of their sheep. Similitudes, used for the illustration of divine truths, should be taken from those things that are most familiar and common, that the things of God be not clouded by that which should clear them. The preface to this discourse is solemn: Verily, verily, I say unto you,—Amen, amen. This vehement asseveration intimates the certainty and weight of what he said; we find amen doubled in the church’s praises and prayers, Ps. 41:13; 72:19; 89:52. If we would have our amens accepted in heaven, let Christ’s amens be prevailing on earth; his repeated amens.# (Henry, John 10:1-18---see footnote for further details).

In Gundry’s book, one can also find of John 10 that Jesus shows his divine powers, particularly in the instance of raising the dead and in John 10:17 (Gundry, 266).
#- Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

On page 406 of Nestle and Marshal’s Greek New Testament, the beginning of John has two key translations of the opening words which are “truly, truly” or “verily, verily” (Nestle/Marshal, 406).

“Explorations and Implications:”
John 10:1-21is perhaps the crux of one of the creme-de la-creme of one of the many themes found throughout John’s Gospel. It’s opening paragraph which is a direct quote from Jesus is a powerful statement. The quote and verse afterward reads as follows in the NRSV: Jesus the Good Shepherd
10 “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers
.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.#
This statement shows how Jesus leads us all and it delves into the psychological mind set of the people of Israel and their misunderstanding of Jesus. Jesus functions as a good shepherd because He leads the lot of mankind while also pursuing an individual relationship with His followers. This chapter deals with the division of opinions about Jesus, so the verse about strangers and the misunderstanding of the people leads into the next section of chapter 10. This chapter of the Fourth Gospel is outstanding in it’s uniqueness and is a key element in our personal relations with Jesus. Personally, I feel that this section of John is by far the most pertinent to my understanding of Jesus. It explains the way the world works and how God is leader of all. In conclusion, this chapter of John is very important because it builds on a fundamental knowledge of Jesus’ character and helps the reader in relating more with Jesus Christ as being Lord and Savior.....not only that but the fact that He leads and guides us through all times both the good times and the times of trials and tribulations.
#- The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.

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