Those That See, Sheep Hear The Shepherd's Voice

In John chapter 9, Jesus heals a man as blind from birth and tells him to wash clay from his eyes in the pool of Siloam. Not knowing where Jesus was who had given him his sight, (He sent him away to the pool) His neighbours alerted the Pharisees, who questioned the man, even sending for his parents, who assured them it was their son who had been born blind. The Pharisees accused Jesus of being a sinner - which the formerly blind man marvelled at their accusation, that Jesus was a sinner and yet God did miracles through him. The Pharisees had made known that any person affirming Jesus as Christ would be cast out of the synagogue - and when he had pointed out the discrepancy between their report and the reality of Christ, they tried to tangle his account. - Even his parents passed the buck back to him on the matter. Unable to find fault in his account, they cast him out any way in an apparent attempt to save face.

Jesus' words at the end of Chapter 9 are useful for the next chapter (ch10), which continues on from these events.

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- John ch9:v35-41
Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
Joh 9:36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
Joh 9:37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
Joh 9:38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (KJV)

John did not include the words of Christ here for simple circumstance. The blind man saw the truth of Jesus as Christ even though he had not seen him. He saw the folly in the report of Jesus by the Pharisees - that he was a sinner. (They also held no sinner could do any works of God.) That he saw their report as laughable almost, that they did not know "whence" Jesus had his miraculous powers, (what was their spiritual source?) - yet he had cured a blind man who was so from birth, which was completely unheard of through all scripture. (Beautifully identifying that Christ could be also for salvation of gentiles by dint of rejection by the Jews. - cf Paul's ministerial beginnings to gentiles in the book of acts).

The blind man without vision had seen more than they which had not received what he saw though they had looked upon Jesus saying they had seen just a man. - You can't measure God by looking at a man, even Jesus. The words, and miracles give a glimpse of God in Jesus. By not seeing all of Jesus as completely God (not having seen God) , you have seen more than they who say they have seen all there is to see of the man. The latter have locked themselves in sin. (v41).

Anyway, moving on to John ch10;

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- John ch10:v1-21
Joh 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Joh 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Joh 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
Joh 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Joh 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Joh 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Joh 10:19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.
Joh 10:20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?
Joh 10:21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? (KJV)

Now, against all concept of the sheepfold as a "place of safety" and a ultimate destination for the sheep which I have had been taught was like "the kingdom of God" - Jesus is actually the one who leads sheep out of the sheepfold, not in. The sheep are kept in the fold for two reasons: shearing and slaughter. It follows that the good shepherd leads his sheep out of the sheepfold because it is outside that they get life in greater abundance. Jesus, being the one voice to whom the door to life will open and whom the sheep will follow, is quite rightly the good shepherd who will not flee from death to keep the flock safe.

In comparison to those whom sneak in through some other way, finding a "false or counterfeit" path other than Christ's to life, stealing away those whom should be for the good shepherd. - They are thieves, robbers stealing away Christ's sheep, leading to the death of the sheep. (absence of Christ).

Is Christ referring to Moses and the prophets as thieves and murderers? I do not think so. The words of the law and prophets are divinely inspired, and are as much the words of Christ as any in the Gospels. He is saying that "None come to the Father but by me". - He is not completing the work of someone before him, (new wine new bottles etc.) but is here to fulfil the law and is mediation for a new covenant. - Any claiming salvation from sin before Christ was a liar stealing away those whose ears are toward Christ. Christ's own however, among the lost sheep of the house of Israel (The first fold above) - would not follow a foreign religion. The other folds Jesus refers to - (such as the Gentiles) are not his fold; but there are other sheep to bring into his own fold. There is one Israel, or body of Christ.

Jesus therefore gives his life for the sheep, and can take it up again. WARNING!

Do not think of a shepherd like young David, who follows the sheep around with a sling to cast stones at wolves. Here, the wolves are sneaking into the sheepfold! They are the thieves and robbers. Jesus, the good shepherd is the door of the sheep. He stands between the sheep caught in their pen awaiting slaughter, and is the only way out to everlasting life. When the gate is removed, (taken down), Jesus gives up his life. When Jesus takes his life up again, the gate is lifted up and replaced. All the sheep follow him out to life that hear his voice, and all who do not are left inside with a closed gate.

Now, how many times does this happen? Once? Every Sunday at mass? - Nope, just once. With Jesus on the cross, then resurrected. I will omit the necessary complications of space-time as we see it.

So, that those that hear Jesus and believe on him see their master (good shepherd) leading them out to everlasting life (which they don't physically see yet). But those that say they have seen no life in Christ are blind.

Lets see how the chapter carries on.

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- John ch10:v22-42
Joh 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
Joh 10:23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
Joh 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.
Joh 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
Joh 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
Joh 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
Joh 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Joh 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
Joh 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
Joh 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
Joh 10:39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,
Joh 10:40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.
Joh 10:41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.
Joh 10:42 And many believed on him there. (KJV)

Up to v30, Jesus answers their question. He told them before, he showed them before, he proved it before, now he tells them plainly. Strange that they immediately wish to stone him; especially for most likely giving them the answer they were longing to hear - just not the truth they expected. The closest account I can find in the gospels of Jesus getting his opponents to admit it themselves was;

Mat 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
Mat 22:43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
Mat 22:44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
Mat 22:45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? (KJV)

Jesus does some quick talking when the crowd are ready to stone him. He quotes from the psalms;'

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Psalms No.82:v1-8
Psa 82:1 A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
Psa 82:2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
Psa 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Psa 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
Psa 82:5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
Psa 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
Psa 82:7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Psa 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations. (KJV)

Verse 2 to 7 Are God's own words to those men he judges whilst calling them "gods". Whether as sons of God they are also counted as heirs: Or, since Jesus is God and the ultimate human yardstick whose standard we are all judged by (Christ's standard) - each according to what we have done. It is only a fair comparison that we be counted "gods" for the purpose of our own judgement. We may be true men, but we are most definitely imperfect false gods.

Jesus casts their judgement for their sin upon them by his own standard In John's account. By reminding them all that as Sons of God they have a responsibility to be just, else risking judgement on themselves. They can not by Jesus' words condemn him because of the works he did. Psalm 85 verse 5 is prophetic of their whole attitude.

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