The parable of the good shepherd. (1-5) Christ the Door. (6-9)
Christ the good Shepherd. (10-18) The Jews' opinion concerning
Jesus. (19-21) His discourse at the feast of dedication. (22-30)
The Jews attempt to stone Jesus. (31-38) He departs from
Here is a parable or similitude, taken from the customs of
the East, in the management of sheep. Men, as creatures
depending on their Creator, are called the sheep of his pasture.
The church of God in the world is as a sheep-fold, exposed to
deceivers and persecutors. The great Shepherd of the sheep knows
all that are his, guards them by his providence, guides them by
his Spirit and word, and goes before them, as the Eastern
shepherds went before their sheep, to set them in the way of his
steps. Ministers must serve the sheep in their spiritual
concerns. The Spirit of Christ will set before them an open
door. The sheep of Christ will observe their Shepherd, and be
cautious and shy of strangers, who would draw them from faith in
him to fancies about him.
Many who hear the word of Christ, do not understand it,
because they will not. But we shall find one scripture
expounding another, and the blessed Spirit making known the
blessed Jesus. Christ is the Door. And what greater security has
the church of God than that the Lord Jesus is between it and all
its enemies? He is a door open for passage and communication.
Here are plain directions how to come into the fold; we must
come in by Jesus Christ as the Door. By faith in him as the
great Mediator between God and man. Also, we have precious
promises to those that observe this direction. Christ has all
that care of his church, and every believer, which a good
shepherd has of his flock; and he expects the church, and every
believer, to wait on him, and to keep in his pasture.
Christ is a good Shepherd; many who were not thieves, yet
were careless in their duty, and by their neglect the flock was
much hurt. Bad principles are the root of bad practices. The
Lord Jesus knows whom he has chosen, and is sure of them; they
also know whom they have trusted, and are sure of Him. See here
the grace of Christ; since none could demand his life of him, he
laid it down of himself for our redemption. He offered himself
to be the Saviour; Lo, I come. And the necessity of our case
calling for it, he offered himself for the Sacrifice. He was
both the offerer and the offering, so that his laying down his
life was his offering up himself. From hence it is plain, that
he died in the place and stead of men; to obtain their being set
free from the punishment of sin, to obtain the pardon of their
sin; and that his death should obtain that pardon. Our Lord laid
not his life down for his doctrine, but for his sheep.
Satan ruins many, by putting them out of conceit with the
word and ordinances. Men would not be laughed out of their
necessary food, yet suffer themselves thus to be laughed out of
what is far more necessary. If our zeal and earnestness in the
cause of Christ, especially in the blessed work of bringing his
sheep into his fold, bring upon us evil names, let us not heed
it, but remember our Master was thus reproached before us.
All who have any thing to say to Christ, may find him in
the temple. Christ would make us to believe; we make ourselves
doubt. The Jews understood his meaning, but could not form his
words into a full charge against him. He described the gracious
disposition and happy state of his sheep; they heard and
believed his word, followed him as his faithful disciples, and
none of them should perish; for the Son and the Father were one.
Thus he was able to defend his sheep against all their enemies,
which proves that he claimed Divine power and perfection equally
with the Father.
Christ's works of power and mercy proclaim him to be over
all, God blessed for evermore, that all may know and believe He
is in the Father, and the Father in Him. Whom the Father sends,
he sanctifies. The holy God will reward, and therefore will
employ, none but such as he makes holy. The Father was in the
Son, so that by Divine power he wrought his miracles; the Son
was so in the Father, that he knew the whole of His mind. This
we cannot by searching find out to perfection, but we may know
and believe these declarations of Christ.
No weapon formed against our Lord Jesus shall prosper. He
escaped, not because he was afraid to suffer, but because his
hour was not come. And He who knew how to deliver himself, knows
how to deliver the godly our of their temptations, and to make a
way for them to escape. Persecutors may drive Christ and his
gospel our of their own city or country, but they cannot drive
him or it out of the world. When we know Christ by faith in our
hearts, we find all that the Scripture saith of him is true.