Digging Deeper posts are intended to help us go farther into God’s word than a simple surface reading
and are designed to help us discover new tools in the process.
Curious as to why we Dig Deeper? Here’s Why!
John 10:7-18, English Standard Version (ESV)
7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
1) Jesus seems to be talking about sheep, shepherds, and hired hands in this passage, what does that have to do with me?
2) Who are the “thieves and robbers” Jesus is talking about in this passage?
3) What does Jesus mean by “abundant” life?
4) What charge had Jesus received from the Father?
A trip to www.studylight.org is in order here.
We will get super cozy with this site as we study Scripture together!
Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom!
It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.
Want to know more about a specific word in a verse?
Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!
Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage?
Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))
The Findings for Original Intent
1) This is one example from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) of a parable. Jesus uses an analogy of earthly things to present an eternal truth. He is speaking to those who would have understood sheep and shepherd behavior so for them it would not have been a foreign analogy. A sheep farmer I am not, but I think we can understand what Christ means in this passage by thinking of each character in the story. The sheep represents the authentic true believer. The shepherd is Jesus. The hired hands are those who pretend to be the Shepherd, false prophets, or a false messiah.
2) In this analogy Jesus is specifically pointing His finger at the Pharisees and their misuse of the Law against the people and their pious stature as the religious elite. The thieves and the robbers are the Pharisees. Earlier in John 8:44, Jesus tells the Pharisees “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.”
3) In John 10:10, Jesus promises the believer “abundant” life. This word means: over and above, more than is necessary, superadded, exceeding abundantly, supremely, something further, more, much more than all, superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon, pre-eminence, more eminent, more remarkable, more excellent. This is what Jesus means by abundant. “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20.
4) At the very end of this passage, Christ says He has received a charge. If we look at the previous verse, Christ’s charge is to lay down His life. In this passage, He is very clear that the sheep who follow Him are the beneficiaries God’s charge or command.
Some Applications for Our Everyday Lives
1) Jesus used stories to teach people about who He was and what He came to do. He desperately wants the audience then and readers now to understand that He is the Good Shepherd and we are lost sheep in need of a Savior. We will know Him by the sound of His tender voice, we will know Him by his merciful touch, and we will know Him by His eternal steadfast truths.
2) There are Pharisees in every generation. Even genuine believers can rob ourselves and others of joy by imposing legalistic laws and standards. The Pharisees of today are thieves and robbers who steal our joy, desire us to stray from truth, and present us with half-truths that are contradictory to Scripture. It is our job to listen to the Good Shepherd, know His voice and His word, enter only through His gate, and rest in His eternal pastures! How are you listening to His voice and becoming more and more sensitive to Him? Ask the Spirit for ways you may be laying extra rules on others and ask Him to give you a clearer picture of the gospel!
3) Abundant life doesn’t mean a life without issue, hurt, brokenness, or pain rather it points to an un-ending fullness made possible only in relationship with the Savior. With Christ there is peace in the midst of tumult, healing in the hurt, restoration in the brokenness, and security in the pain. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” John 16:33.
4) Christ’s charge is His sacrifice, which brought about our salvation and our hope. He willingly lay down His life at the Father’s command. A plan set in motion at the beginning of time that would restore a people back to their Heavenly Father. He is the Good Shepherd who intimately and personally cares for His sheep as they enter His gate!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!
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