Today's Devotions

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New Things to Consider

  • Solid Rock, Bob Dylan +

    The overwhelming blessing of being connected to Him! Well, I'm hanging on to a solid rock Made before the foundation Read More
  • Worry +

    Do we trust God to take care of each and every one of our troubles, or do we act like 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

  • God's Dimension

    We experience a great sense of the wonder, boldness, and overwhelming awe of God through our relationship with the Holy Read More
  • Warfare Spirituality

    The Trinity function as farmers of our souls, actively caring for God’s creation: an ongoing, radical reclamation of His creation. Read More
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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • The Christian Grows in Grace (JI Packer excerpt) +

    SANCTIFICATION THE CHRISTIAN GROWS IN GRACE Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Read More
  • The Ministry of the Spirit by JI Packer +

    The Holy Spirit is given to all Christians to transform them by his teaching, making them into God-focused thinkers and Read More
  • Introduction to The Death of Death..by JI Packer +

    INTRODUCTORY ESSAY ___ to John Owen's The Death Of Death in the Death of Christ ___ By J.I. Packer _________ Read More
  • Freedom and Authority-by JI Packer +

    "Authority" is a word that makes most people think of law and order, direction and restraint, command and control, dominance Read More
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Gems

  • What does it mean when we say the gospel is historical, by Tim Keller +

    The gospel is historical . . . The word "gospel" shows up twice [1 Peter 1:1-12, 1:22-2:12]. Gospel actually means "good news." You Read More
  • Prayer, by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Derbyshire, 1973 +

    "Oh Lord our God, how can we thank thee sufficiently for this new and living way?Oh forgive us for our Read More
  • Prayer by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Pensacola Theological Institute, 1969 +

    "O Lord our God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us especially, we pray thee again, for our folly - for our Read More
  • Mind, heart and will, by Martyn Lloyd-Jones +

    Dr. Jones teaches from his series, Spiritual Depression, about Romans 6, on how Christianity embraces the whole man, and anything Read More
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