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The theme of this chapter is the character and office of the good shepherd of God’s spiritual fold, of which Christ himself is the great example. The reader should study, in connection with it, Jeremiah 23:1-6 ; and especially Ezekiel 34:1-31 .
Entereth not by the door ; the Saviour has in view men like the scribes and Pharisees, who usurp dominion over the fold of God, and rule the flock with cruelty and selfishness for their own private ends. The door is not yet directly Christ, for he too enters the fold by the door; but rather, in a more general sense, the Father, and his appointment. To enter the fold by the door, is to come in accordance with God’s will, in respect not merely to outward order, but to spirit also. None are true disciples or ministers of Christ who do not believe in him and obey his commands. All others who enter the Christian church or ministry are false and selfish. Instead of aiding, they hinder the progress of his cause.
He that entereth in by the door ; every true shepherd. Christ, the chief Shepherd, must not be excluded; for he is an example to all the under shepherds in this respect also, that he has entered the fold by the door. Compare chap John 8:42 ; John 12:49 .
The porter ; the door-keeper. As he comes by God’s authority, God’s providence prepares the way for him, and God’s Spirit sets his seal to his labors.
By name ; an allusion to the practice of eastern shepherds, who give names to their sheep.
Real Christians have spiritual discernment and relish of the great truths of the gospel. No instruction, however plausible or learned, which denies or omits the doctrine of Christ crucified, as a divine atoning Saviour, satisfies them, commends itself to their conscience, if enlightened, or meets their wants as sinners.
Strangers ; false, irreligious teachers.
Understood not ; the meaning of what he had been saying. He therefore proceeded to explain it, and in so doing he changed the figure somewhat, representing himself as the door.
I am the door ; as the Father is the door to Christ, so he himself is the door to the under-shepherds and to all the sheep. Through him alone can men enter his church or the ministry which he has appointed.
Came before me ; without entering the door. See note to verse John 10:1 .
The sheep did not hear them ; the truly pious did not receive their false doctrines, or imitate their corrupt examples.
Find pasture ; receive spiritual food, satisfying good.
The thief ; one who takes the emoluments of the sacred office without performing its spiritual duties, and seeks his own aggrandizement, not the salvation of souls.
Life ; spiritual, eternal life.
I am the good Shepherd ; in respect to the power of admission to God’s fold, Christ has declared himself to be the door; in respect to his care over those within the fold, he now, by another change of the figure, calls himself "the good Shepherd"-the Shepherd of shepherds and of the flock, and the source of good to all.
A hireling ; one whose great object in preaching is his own interest.
The wolf ; the enemy of God and his people.
I-know my sheep , and am known of mine ; the knowledge of Christ and his people is mutual, and it is a knowledge of deep love and interest. The union between Christ and his people is intimate and unfailing. It resembles, in many respects, that between the Father and the Son. It is the fruit of the Spirit, and all the persons in the Godhead are engaged to perpetuate, increase, and render it eternal.
Not of this fold ; those who as yet knew not God, especially from gentile nations. Isaiah 56:8 .
No man taketh it ; no man had power to take his life till he should voluntarily surrender himself to crucifixion and death.
This commandment have I received ; he was commissioned of God to die for the sins of men, and rise again for their justification. He had the power, disposition, and right to do these things.
Is mad ; beside himself, through the influence of an evil spirit.
Feast of the dedication ; this was a feast instituted by Judas Maccabaeus about one hundred and sixty-five years before Christ, in commemoration of the purification of the temple, and its renewed dedication to the worship of Jehovah, after it had been desecrated by idol-worship and the offering in it of swine’s flesh, by Antiochus Epiphanes king of Syria. It began on the 25th day of their month Chisleu, or the 15th of our December, and continued eight days. Josephus, Ant. b. 12, chapter 11; 1Ma 4:52-59 ; 2Ma 10:1-8 .
Solomon’s porch ; a portico on the east side of the temple.
The works ; miracles.
Bear witness ; prove me to be the Messiah.
Not of my sheep ; not my true followers. The reason why some who hear the gospel reject it and discard its fundamental truths, is, they have not the temper which the gospel inculcates, and do not perform the duties which it requires.
Is greater than all ; see note to chap John 14:28 .
I am my Father ; the Jews rightly understood him to call God his Father, and himself the Son of God, in such a sense that he was equal with God. Compare chap. John 5:18 .
Are one ; in nature, counsel, will and operation.
Makest thyself God ; claimest to be divine, equal with the Father.
Your law ; the Old Testament scriptures. Psalms 82:6 .
Unto whom the word of God came ; who were appointed and commissioned to act as his agents in ruling and administering justice in his stead among men.
Cannot be broken ; cannot be set aside as speaking improperly when it calls magistrates gods on account of their office. The term is always used in such a connection as shows that they were but men.
Sanctified ; set apart to the office of the Redeemer of lost men.
Sent into the world ; to do the work of the Messiah.
Because I said , I am the Son of God ; the argument is from the less to the greater: If mere men were called gods because the word of God came to them, how much more may he who is one with the Father, and whom the Father has set apart and sent into the world as the Saviour of men, call himself the Son of God. He goes on to show that his works justify him in taking to himself this title.
The works of my Father ; divine works-the works of God.
Believe me not ; admit not my claim to be the Son of God. Jesus Christ, by the performance of divine works, proved himself to be divine, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Saviour of men. His claiming this character, therefore, instead of being blasphemy, as the Jews asserted, was acting in accordance with truth; and lovers of truth who embrace him in this character, know that it belongs to him. They pay him divine honors, not in derogation of, but to the glory of the Father. Philippians 2:10-11 ; Hebrews 1:6 ; Revelation 5:12-13 .
Believe not me ; that is, my declaration concerning myself.
The Father is in me , and I in him ; that we are one, as I declared to you, verse John 10:30 .
They sought again to take him ; because he still claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, truly divine-because he claimed to be what John, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, at the beginning of this gospel declared him to be, God-in the language of Paul, "over all, God blessed for ever." Romans 9:5 .
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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 10". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
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