Jesus has been speaking to the Pharisees in the previous section, which was a result of the healing in chapter 9.
There is a great deal of division among the Jewish people regarding Jesus Christ. The rulers are generally hostile toward Him, mainly because He is not following the rules: Sabbath, submission to the rulers.
People challenge Jesus regarding His claim of being the Messiah, being One with the Father, and His claim to Deity. He continues to speak bout being the Good Shepherd, from earlier in chapter 10, and is addressing those who are opposing Him.
II. Key words, phrases, concepts
1. Sent: a key term that Jesus uses often in the writing of John. Here are some interesting details regarding the English word “sent”:
a. It is used 60 times in John, two different Greek words being translated into “sent”;
b. One word is “appostellos”, from which we derive the English word “apostle”.. Its most basic meaning is “one who is sent with a message or a commission”. We might consider missionaries to be “sent” in this way today. It is used 28 times in John: 18 times of Jesus and 4 times of the disciples;
c. The second word is “pempo”, meaning “to dispatch on an errand”. It is used 32 times in John: 25 times of Jesus, 3 times of the disciples, and 2 times regarding the Holy Spirit.
The word used in John 10:36 is “appsostello”. It is combined with the word translated “sanctified” or “consecrated”.
2. Solomon’s Porch: The temple in Jerusalem included the Court of the Gentiles. This was the area outside the temple that was allowed for non-jewish people to gather. The eastern side was known as Solomon’s Porch.
Court of the Gentiles. The outermost court was that of the Gentiles. Porticoes enclosed the court on all sides, running along the inside of the wall which surrounded the temple area. On three sides (the west, north, and east) the porticoes were 30 cubits broad and had two rows of columns. Each column was made of a single block of white marble some 25 cubits high (BJ v.5 .2 ). The portico on the east side was known as Solomon’s (John 10:23; Acts 3:11; 5:12)
(from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised edition, Copyright © 1979 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. All rights reserved.)
This is where the early church met as well, until there were too many people to fit.
III. John 10:19-30
A. Confusion regarding Jesus” person and nature
1. Varying opinions
B. People demand an answer
1. Doubt…”Plainly…” They do not want an answer, rather they are looking for a reason to condemn Him. (Often in the Gospel writings, the questions asked of Jesus are for this purpose, the questioner not honestly seeking an answer).
Consider: If Jesus is truly the Messiah, the Son of God, then the people’s way of life is going to change. No one likes change – human nature strives to maintain a regular pattern of living and believing, looking for the “path of least resistance”. Acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will force a choice regarding their way of life, beliefs, and will remove the influence of the religious rulers (as it currently exists).
2. “I told you but you do not believe”
a. Jesus has already given them a plain answer
b. The works are His witness
c. “Not of His sheep”, from verses 1-18. The rulers and people understood His words but are unwilling to believe – God has not given them full understanding.
3. Hearing and following
a. Those who truly believe show their belief by the way they follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
b. “Hearing” means to “listen intently” with a purpose of understanding and practicing.
c. “Following” means to “imitate” This is also what “disciple” means.
What does it mean, then, to hear and follow the Lord Jesus Christ? Where does He lead His people?
d. “I know them”. It isn’t that we know Him as much as that He know us. He knows those who truly believe and belong to His sheepfold, and this who do not. Compare what Jesus says in Matthew 7:21-23.
Jesus’ words and benefits are set aside for His followers. Others hear but do not receive because they have chosen not to believe. Those who are lost in sin cannot understand or receive, and are eternally doomed.
In a similar manner, those who truly believe but do not follow Jesus fully live without enjoying the spiritual benefits of being known by Jesus. Jesus leads His people, each must choose to follow consistently – a way of life, not only a part of life.
C. Eternal Life
1. Given by Jesus, no other way – He actively gives, or “commits” eternal life to those whom He will.
2. Never perish – this is a triple form of negation: “and no not” – in addition to giving eternal life, it can never be taken from them – not even by Jesus Himself.
3. “Pluck” them out – cannot be “seized by force”, so Satan cannot take them away from the Lord Jesus. Those who truly believe are “in His Hand”, cannot be removed.
4. The Father is greater than all – not only are the believers in Jesus’ Hand, but in the Father’s Hand as well. The Father gave people to Jesus, Who gives eternal life. Removal is impossible.
“Eternal Security” is a doctrine taught throughout Scripture. Eternal Life, or Salvation, is given freely by God as a result of His promise, not as a result of obedience.
If obedience were the standard for eternal life, everyone would be hopeless. On the other hand, those who believe are not given free license to do anything they desire, but are under obligation to “be holy because He is holy”, 1 Peter 1:15,16. Failure to be holy does not cause one to lose eternal life, but it does result in loss of peace. Regular and unconcerned disobedience is evidence that one has not truly believed.
5. “One” – same nature, same purpose, same power. Equality with God, different in function, but never divided. This has been His repeated claim throughout John, and is why the Jewish leaders want to kill Him.
IV. John 10:31-42
A. Stone Jesus – why?
1. Punishment prescribed by the Law of Moses – Leviticus 24
2. Doesn’t matter if Jesus has done miracles or anything wrong, He is hated because of His claim of equality with God. Read ahead in John 15,16.
b. “Written in your law” – from Psalm 82. The context of Psalm 82 is important to recognize. It is about unjust judgment by the people who claim to follow God.
Here in John 10, the rulers and people would likely recognize this, and Jesus is referring to them now. The rulers understand this and it makes their anger toward Him grow. They are setting themselves up as “gods” but they are really only men and will be the ones to be judged by the Lord Jesus.
In John 10:34,35 Jesus is judging those who are condemning Him. This makes the people angry, because they agree that Scripture cannot be broken, but they didn’t see that it referred to them. They have actually fulfilled Scripture and have condemned themselves. They have misused theScriptures for their own purposes. Jesus is not calling the people”gods”, but is referring to their misuse of Scripture.
Imagine Jesus speaking to people like this today! He would be cast out and condemned now just as He was then. The religious people of today, including many who go to “church” would not accept Jesus’ use of Scripture to expose their disobedience, or to bring about real transformation.
B. Sanctified and Sent
1. Sanctified (also often translated as “holy) – this means that Jesus has been set apart, or set aside by God, called to a special purpose. He is consecrated for the Father’s purpose, not doing His own will but that of His Father.
What is the significance that the true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are also “sanctified” or “consecrated” as Jesus was?
2. Sent – commissioned with a message and mission.
a. “appostello” – Do the Will of My Father, Who sent me. Read John 20:21
b. To finish His work. Read John 5:19,20; 12:49,50; 17:1-4; Hebrews 10:7-9.
The theme of Jesus being “sent” is a major aspect for Joh as he writes. He is making it clear that Jesus knew Who He was, knew why He came, and knows those who belong to Him.
What is the significance that the true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are also “sent” as Jesus was?
3. Believe because of the clear evidence
a. Not all will believe because they choose not to
b. Following Jesus brings hatred from others. read John 16:2
4. Some do believe
a. Heard the truth
b. Convicted of sin and unbelief.
This is how everyone comes to Jesus as a believer. The Word of God exposes sin, showing the need to be reconciled to God by the Lord Jesus Christ. “Relationship” is not possible until there is reconciliation. Read Colossians 1:21,22.
V. Truths Presented
A. Jesus knows His people
1. Need to continually hear the truth to be set free.
2. Jesus wants to transform His people, not merely reform them.
B. Following Jesus will not be popular
1. Not popular among those who do not believe.
2. Not popular among many who do believe.
Unfortunately, many who are believers are not interested in true discipleship. Those who want to be 100% followers of the Lord Jesus Christ often find themselves at odds with the majority of church goers. Jesus Himself is the example of this, as were the apostles in the early church.
C. “Religious Correctness” is not of the Lord
1. Some hard choices to make
2. Discipleship is difficult
After reading John 9,10, what does the concept of being a disciple of Jesus Christ mean? How much does He require of those who would be His disciples?