Day 10: Get Intellectual with Sheep
Read John chapter 10
Actually, we are going to get intellectual with a Shepherd, but I liked the idea that sheep can be intellectual too. Chapter 10 has two different sermons, but they are both about sheep. One sermon is a follow-up on chapter 9. The other is at the Feast of Dedication, what we know as Hanukkah. Two different audiences but one theme.
The first sermon, in John 10:1-21, comes on the heels of chapter 9. Jesus extends his teaching on spiritual blindness by using a “figure of speech” (verse 6). Sheep were an important part of society. We might not be able to relate to the idea of being called sheep, but his audiences should have. While sheep are not the most intelligent creatures, they are not as dumb as we often think. I read a few interesting facts on a website (www.liveexport-indefisible.com/facts/sheep.php). The first is that sheep have “developed complex physiological ways to disguise pain and discomfort” the other is that “poor handling causes sheep to become highly stressed and puts them in a state of fear.”
Jesus came to be our “Good Shepherd.” “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (verse 3). He “lays down his life for the sheep” (verse 11). “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; He has come that they may have life and have it to the full” (verse 10). Those tender verses comfort me when I, like a sheep, want to disguise my pain or become stressed and fearful.
Isaiah 53:5-6 says “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” In John chapter 10, Jesus is trying to show those listening that He is indeed the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy. Because the Shepherd willingly lays down his life for us, his sheep, we have peace and healing and life to the full.
The second sermon, in John 10:22-39, takes place a few months later. The Feast of Dedication was a celebratory time. I am sure as the Jews surrounded him, that they wanted to try to again trap him and imprison him. Referring to His sheep, twice he says, “No one can snatch them out of my hand” (verse 28 and 29). Perhaps we wanted to make it clear to the religious leaders that his followers were his own. But I love knowing that nothing can separate me “from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). Just as they attempted to stone him, Jesus “escaped their grasp” (v.39). The Shepherd that holds us tightly in his hand could not be grasped evil men.
Truth: “I give them eternal life and they shall never parish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28
All I have to say is “Bhaaaa” y’all! We are half way through! Press on, next week we are going to get intimate!