Reveal Day 15 The Gift Of One: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) What significance is implied by the word “know” and the relationships described in verses 14-15?

2) What is the meaning of “one flock, one shepherd” in verse 16?

3) What does Jesus want us to know about the relationship He and the Father share from verses 17-18?

John 10:14-18

“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. I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 But I have other sheep that are not from this sheep pen; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

Original Intent

1) What significance is implied by the word “know” and the relationships described in verses 14-15?
The Greek word for “know” in this instance carries the idea of fully knowing. This is not simply a mental awareness of existence, this is a deep, intimate knowing. In fact, it’s so deep that this same word was used by Jews as an idiom referencing sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. This knowing is rich and full with nothing held back. Notice the progression in verse 14 where Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd; He knows exactly who He is in relation to us and in connection with God the Father (verse 15). It’s from this confidence in His identity as God the Son that He confidently asserts His full, complete knowing of His “own”.  Jesus is referring to “His Sheep”, the “people of His pasture”. Centuries before Jesus spoke these words, God the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet Ezekiel of a coming day when One shepherd, God Himself, would come and shepherd His people like sheep. “Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people. This is the declaration of the Lord God. You are my flock, the human flock of my pasture, and I am your God. This is the declaration of the Lord God.’” (Ezekiel 34:30-31) As Jesus commonly did in only a few words, He made a bold statement. He was the long-awaited Shepherd. He was the same Lord God who had called His people, Israel, out of slavery in Egypt and made them into a nation. Now, He was here with them in person. He takes it a step farther by saying His sheep, who are truly His, also know Him. Oneness defines their intimate relationship. He knows them and they know Him. Going deeper still, Jesus’ words of His sheep knowing Him are set against the backdrop He had just described a few verses prior regarding a “hired hand” who didn’t love the sheep as Jesus did. (verses 12-13) The sheep didn’t respond to the hired hand, as they knew and responded to the One True Shepherd, Jesus. As Jesus’ identity was defined by His relationship with God the Father, so are His Sheep defined by their relationship with Him, the Good Shepherd.

2) What is the meaning of “one flock, one shepherd” in verse 16?
The Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel, described in great detail Israel and her need for a Good shepherd to lead and love them. They had many “hired hands” as Jesus referenced in John 10:12 like prophets, priests, and judges, who did not always shepherd them well. They were corrupt and often chose to love themselves over loving God’s “sheep”, Israel. “Woe to the shepherds of Israel, who have been feeding themselves! Shouldn’t the shepherds feed their flock?” (Ezekiel 34:2) “You have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bandaged the injured, brought back the strays, or sought the lost. Instead, you have ruled them with violence and cruelty.” (Ezekiel 34:4) Jesus’ message in John 10 counters all of this clear “lack” in Israel’s human, corrupt shepherds and makes a clear distinction. He, Jesus Christ, God the Son, IS the Good Shepherd. He has come to be their One Shepherd, to gather all His sheep, whether Jew or Gentile, into One flock. He has come to feed His sheep, strengthen the weak, heal the sick bandage the injured, and seek the lost. (Ezekiel 34:16) Where His sheep were once ruled with violence and cruelty by self-centered gluttonous “shepherds”, He would be their Ultimate Good Shepherd. What amazing love!

3) What does Jesus want us to know about the relationship He and the Father share from verses 17-18?
Oneness. Jesus wants us to know He and the Father are One. One in power, One in purpose, One in relationship, One in omniscience (all-knowing); they are One. As Jesus lays down His life in order that we can have relationship with Him and be forgiven of our sin, He does it in accordance with the will of the Father. Together, their love is beautifully in sync; there exists no disunity between them. Moving down a few verses, Jesus speaks again of this shared unity between God the Father and God the Son. “The works that I do in my Father’s name testify about me.” (verse 25) Jesus does not act apart from the Father, they work entirely as One, because they are One. Earlier in his gospel, John wrote, “Truly I tell you, the Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son likewise does these things.” (John 5:19) It is an absurd impossibility for either Father or Son, or Spirit for that matter, to do anything at all of their own accord; only complete unity and oneness exists between the members of the godhead. To finish out with absolute clarity, John includes Jesus’ words stating, “I and the Father are One.” (John 10:30) This bedrock truth of God existing as One goes all the way back in the Old Testament, “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4) Amazingly, this familiar-to-Jewish-ears refrain was the one Jesus Himself quoted when approached by inquiring scribes as to what was the most important command. “The most important is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.’” (Mark 12:29) The emphasis on Father and Son both being equally God, moving and acting as One couldn’t be more clear!

Everyday Application

1) What significance is implied by the word “know” and the relationships described in verses 14-15?
What defines you? It’s an easy question to ask, but a challenging one to answer in real words. We like to point to other things to help describe how we define ourselves. I point to my children, and say I am a mother. I point to my husband, and say I am a wife. I point to my job, and call myself by my title. We are defined by the relationships we have and the ways we use our time. It may surprise us, but even Jesus did the same thing. Though He was, and is, co-equal with God the Father, Jesus pointed to His relationship with the Father as a means of describing Himself. Because He deeply, fully, and completely knew the Father, He deeply, fully, and completely knew His sheep as the Only possible Good Shepherd. There could be no counterfeit. Only God could know His sheep like Jesus was claiming to know them in this passage. In the span of a few words, Jesus also gave His true sheep, all those who believe in Him, the ability to also define themselves by their relationship to Him as God, the Only Good Shepherd. He knows us, we know Him, and are completely free to know Him deeply and intimately because His Holy Spirit dwells within every heart who takes Him at His word. Are you truly His? Does He know you as His own? Do you know Him? These questions reveal our true identity!

2) What is the meaning of “one flock, one shepherd” in verse 16?
While Israel was ruled by egotistical, self-serving “hired hands” who neither loved nor cared for the sheep as Jesus did, every human being is trapped within the same tragedy. By default, our ruler is Satan whose chains are sin, death, and eternal separation from the Good Shepherd. His intent, as the ultimate thief of our souls, is to steal, kill, and destroy. He cares nothing for our well-being and he certainly doesn’t love us. Jesus as God the Son, however, in an act of mind-boggling humility, came to us wretched sinners as deity wrapped in flesh, to sacrifice Himself and bring us true, abundant life. Where Satan’s aim is to forever trap us in death because of our sin, Christ came to defeat death for all eternity. (John 10:10) Because of our sin-nature, we are enslaved to sin from our first breath. We have no hope without the kind, generous love of Jesus, which He lavishly provides! “If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.” (John 10:9) Safety for eternity can be ours if we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior and our God. Only in Him, by claiming His Name and trusting in His work for us when He paid the penalty for our sin on the cross, can we be forgiven. Awash in the revelation of His love and forgiveness, we are given a new nature, Christ’s! The chains to sin and death are broken forever in Jesus! Freedom is ours if we trust in Him!

3) What does Jesus want us to know about the relationship He and the Father share from verses 17-18?
Maybe when you think about “God” and “Jesus” you have two different boxes. Maybe one is more authoritative and powerful, while one is kinder and gentler with a loving face. Perhaps they both “love you”, but one’s love is more tangible and relatable, while the other’s love feels far off and mysterious. When we approach the study of Scripture, we must come with awe and humility, ready to allow the Holy Spirit to align our understanding in accordance with truth. Where we are holding on to deceit, we are called to relinquish our beliefs, no matter how much they comfort us, or how familiar they feel to us, for the sake of truth. The Scriptures were written for us to know the Lord God, not for us to manipulate its message to fit our ideals and comfortable expectations. The Word of God is likened to a sword, swift and sharp on both sides, deftly cutting directly through every defense we may put up. (Hebrews 4:12) What misconceptions might you have about who Jesus is? Are you pressing your beliefs on top of Scripture, or are you willing to allow Scripture to entirely define your beliefs? I’ve followed Jesus since I was 8 years old, but the more I read Scripture, the more I realize how little I still know of the Lord God. Knowing Him in all of His fullness would take an eternity. Praise God that through His sacrifice, I do have the opportunity to spend an eternity knowing Him! Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end…. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:9-10, 12) I am fully known by the One God and one day, I will fully know and experience God like never before. Just as He, in all His fullness, is One God within the community of the triune godhead, so am I invited to live in oneness and unity with Him forever. There can be no greater joy!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

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. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? 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 :-))

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