Prior to this Scripture, Jesus has been stirring up quite a fuss among the Pharisees and now the Jews. He began this description of the sheep and shepherd relationship earlier and continues that in this portion of Scripture we are reading here.
First, the Jews want Jesus to come right out and answer their question…are You the Messiah? They want Him to be clear about it. They surround Him during a feast that the Jews had made up…one to celebrate the rededication of the temple after it has been defiled. It is noted that it was winter…probably cold and dark – like their hearts at that time.
Jesus answers their question with more than they bargained for. He has a lot to say to this.
He answers their question by continuing the sheep/shepherd relationship.
Here are some things that are noted about the sheep:
–They know their Shepherd
-They hear His voice
-They follow the Shepherd
-They are protected by the Shepherd
These are important to note. Because Jesus continues by showing them that they don’t know He is the Shepherd because they are not of His sheep.
This had to really shake them up because they have always been privileged…of the right lineage…chosen because they were Jews. He is opening doors that they weren’t really prepared to be opened.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and He and the Father are One. We know that more than the Jews heard Him and followed. The Shepherd has more sheep than just the Jews. In fact, many of the Jews are rejecting Him.
They refuse to listen. They want it their way. They don’t want to believe what He is saying. This must have been a scary thought…and must have brought much fear for them…as we see if the following verses where they sought to stone Him.
This Scripture can also be a very comforting one for those who hear and follow…
Those who hear the Shepherd follow and are protected…eternally.
No one can separate them from the Lord. Which reminds me of 2 other scriptures…
Romans 8:38-39 – NOTHING separates
But, Paul was also quick to address that this doesn’t give us a reason to act like we want and do what we want. Romans 6:1-2…Just because you have received grace doesn’t mean you sin knowing you are covered…
Remember…sheep know the Shepherd…Hear the Shepherd…Follow the Shepherd…