Considering NT Wright

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
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Don  Carson

http://www.esvbible.org/search/Exodus+31/

http://www.esvbible.org/search/John+10/

http://www.esvbible.org/search/Proverbs+7/

http://www.esvbible.org/search/Galatians+6/

IN THE EXTENDED METAPHOR of the shepherd in John 10, Jesus keeps revising the dimensions and application of the metaphor as he drives home a variety of points, a few of which we may pick up.

(1) For the biblically literate, it would be difficult not to think of Ezekiel 34. There God denounces the false shepherds of Israel, and repeatedly says that a day is coming when he himself will be the shepherd of his people, feeding them, leading them, disciplining them. Jesus' insistence that, so far as shepherds go, those who came before him "were thieves and robbers" (John 10:8), would call Ezekiel 34 to mind. Then, toward the end of that Old Testament chapter, God says he will place over his flock one shepherd — his servant David. Now the Good Shepherd is here, one with God (1:1), yet from David' s line.

(2) In defining himself as the "good shepherd," Jesus says that the "good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (10:11). This pushes the metaphor to the wall. In real life, a good shepherd risks his life for his sheep, and may lose it. But he doesn't voluntarily sacrifice his life for the sheep. For a start, who would look after the other sheep? And in any case, it would be inappropriate: risking your life to save the livestock is one thing, but actually choosing to die for them would be disproportionate. A human life is worth more than a flock of sheep.

(3) Yet in case we have not yet absorbed the incongruity of Jesus' claim, he spells it out even more clearly. He is not simply risking his life. Not is he merely the pawn of vicious circumstances: no one can take his life from him. He is laying it down of his own accord (10:18). Indeed, the reason why his Father continues to love him is that the Son is perfectly obedient — and it is the Father's good mandate that this Son lay down his life (10:17; cf. Phil. 2:6-8).

(4) Jesus' sheep respond to his voice; others reject him. The implicit election is ubiquitous in the passage (e.g., 10:27-28).

(5) Jesus' mission includes not only sheep among the Israelites, but other sheep that "are not of this sheep pen" (10:16). But if they are Jesus' sheep, whether Jews or Gentiles, they "will listen to [his] voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd" (10:16). Here is the fulfillment of the promise that in Abraham' s offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed. And this is also why, in the last analysis, there can never be more than one head of the church — Jesus Christ himself.

Exodus 31; John 10; Proverbs 7; Galatians 6

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Total Forgiveness, RT Kendall +

    This was a valuable resource for me in a time of hurt from a brother in Christ. I could not Read More
  • Never Forsaken by Emily Williams +

    Easter is a celebration of certainties for Christians. We know that the resurrection of Jesus provides evidence that he can Read More
  • Letting Go of Old Hurts +

    One of the hardest things in life is to let go of old hurts. We often say, or at least Read More
  • A Searcher: Hurt by Johnny Cash +

    The struggles of living apart from Christ--searching, and breaking. I wear this crown of thorns Upon my liar's chair Full Read More
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Gems

  • Worry +

    Do we trust God to take care of each and every one of our troubles, or do we act like Read More
  • One Prayer Away: Yolanda Adams +

    Yolanda Adams effectively portrays the experiences of brokenness and longing for change I know there are times in your life,When Read More
  • The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life +

    The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life, by Hannah Whitehall Smith. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/smith_hw/secret.titlepage.html From Christian Classics website: Sometimes it just feels Read More
  • June 10 Devotional: AW Tozer +

    LET FEAR BECOME TRUST What can we do but pray for the throngs of defiant men and women who believe Read More
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