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The Lord Jesus opens this Chapter with describing himself under the Character of the Good Shepherd; and his Church as his Sheep. He sweetly discourseth, and causeth a Division of Opinion thereby among the Jews. Many are brought to believe on Him.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (2) But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. (3) To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. (4) And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (5) And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. (6) This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. (7) Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (8) All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. (9) I am the door: by me if any man enter in he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture, (10) The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (11) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (12) But he that is an hireling: and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth, and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (13) The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (14) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (15) As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (16) And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
I beg the Reader, at his entrance on this most blessed Chapter, that he will not overlook the double mention of one of Christ's precious names, as Jesus opened his discourse. Verily, Verily; or Amen, Amen. There is somewhat more in the word itself, than is generally supposed. Some have said, let us set our Amen to the Lord's words, if we hope Christ will set his to our salvation. But though it may be, and no doubt it is, highly proper to be able to set to our seal that God is true; and the general acceptation of Amen is not amiss, when from the heart man believeth unto salvation: yet it is equally proper, the truly spiritual Reader should have a yet higher apprehension of the Verily, or Amen of Christ. If he will consult what the Lord Jesus hath himself said on this point, when sending his solemn message, unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans, (Revelation 3:14 .) he will there discover, that the Lord introduced the whole of his awful threatenings with the authority of this great Name. These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness. And his servant, the Prophet, commissioned by his authority, taught the Church, that whenever a child of God blessed himself in the earth, that is stood in need of blessings, and asked for them, they should be sought for in the God of truth; or, as the words may be rendered, shall bless himself in God, Amen, meaning Christ, Isaiah 65:16 ; John 14:6 ; 2 Corinthians 1:20 ; Ephesians 1:3 . So that in the two Verilys, or Amen twice uttered, by Christ himself, at his entrance on this Chapter, Verily, Verily, I say unto you! it is as if this glorious Amen, this faithful and true witness, confirmed the whole of his discourse, both with his word, and with his oath. The Apostle, speaking of God the Father, in his Personal office in the Covenant, saith, that because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself Hebrews 6:13 . In like manner, God the Son, in his Personal office God-Man-Mediator, doth the same in his doubled Verily. In the first Amen, Jesus takes his glorious name; the Amen, the faithful witness. And in the second Amen, it becomes as his word and oath, confirming, and making sure all he saith. I pray the Reader not to lose sight of this, in all the Verilys of Christ, which he meets with in the whole of his divine discourses. The Lord Jesus hath been pleased to use the word nearly fifty times, as we read in what the three former Evangelists have recorded of his ministry. And a double Verily, as in this Chapter, in more than twenty instances as recorded by John. Well therefore may it merit our close attention.
But let us now enter upon the Lord's discourse in this Chapter. The general scope of which is, under the similitude of a sheepfold, to describe his Church, which his Father had given to him, as his flock; and himself as the Shepherd, under all the endearing characters of such an office. The Reader should recollect, that the chief treasure of the East, at the time of our Lord's appearing, and for ages before, consisted chiefly in flocks, and herds, and vines, and fig-trees, and corn, and the like; and all the riches of agriculture. And as our Lord availed himself upon every occasion, to raise subjects for discourse from the objects around, and from such things as his hearers were most familiarly acquainted with: that of a sheepfold seems to have been the one chiefly used by him, and his servants. Indeed not only Jesus takes to himself this character, but God the Father called him by that name: Zechariah 13:7 . And the Church herself, catching the words from the Lord, invites the Lord Jesus to hear her as the Great Shepherd of Israel, from between the Cherubim. Psalms 80:1 . And if the Reader wishes to have a most complete view of the Lord Jesus under this blessed office, he will find a whole Chapter, directed by the Holy Ghost in the ministry of the Prophet Ezekiel, to this one subject. Ezekiel 34:0 .
It should seem, by the manner in which Christ hath introduced his discourse, of a robbery, in an entrance into the sheepfold, in an improper way, that the Lord had in view the Scribes, which sat in Moses' seat, and assumed the office of teaching the people, unauthorized of God. Matthew 23:2 ; Mark 13:37 . And it is of such the Lord again speaks in the 8th verse; of all that ever came before him were thieves and robbers: meaning all false shepherds and hirelings, who feed themselves but not the flock! Ezekiel 4:1 - Ezekiel 34:2 .
I must not indulge myself as I could wish, in entering into the several most interesting particulars, which the Lord Jesus hath here set before us under this beautiful similitude, of a Shepherd and his flock; as descriptive of himself and his Church. I must content myself with only calling upon the Reader to a few of the more prominent features of character by which Jesus hath set it forth. The Father is blessedly shewn by Christ in his Covenant-character, as the giver of this fold. Jesus delights upon every occasion to keep this in view to the Church. Thine they were, (saith Christ,) and thou gavest them me. John 17:6 . And in this Chapter, when speaking of the everlasting safety of his flock; he ascribes both the gift of his sheep, and their security in him to the Father. My Father which gave them me is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are One. Christ declares himself to be the Great Shepherd of his sheep, both by speaking of himself, under this character, as entering in by the door; and twice in the course of his description of the office, calling himself the good Shepherd. John 10:14; John 10:14 . See also Ezekiel 34:23 ; Isaiah 40:11 ; Hebrews 13:20 ; 1 Peter 5:4 . And God the Holy Ghost is in my view very blessedly represented by the Lord Jesus, as opening the door of the sheep-fold to Christ, which he doth most effectually, when that gracious Lord opens the hearts of his people to receive Jesus, as it is here said, he calleth his own sheep by name and leadeth them out. And let it not be thought unsuitable or unbecoming to make application of the office of a Porter to God the Spirit, when using similitudes. Hosea 12:10 . For if Christ calls himself, as he doth in this Chapter, the door, (John 10:9 ,) there can be nothing improper in considering God the Holy Ghost, in that precious office of his, in opening to Christ as the Porter. Reader! pause over the review of the subject, as far as we have already gone. Behold! each of the glorious Persons of the Godhead, in their Covenant-offices, as here blessedly set forth, in reference to the Sheep-fold of Christ. Here is God the Father, giving the whole to Christ. Here is the Lord Jesus Christ, calling his Sheep his own by virtue of taking them for his own, and as the gift of the Father, before all worlds. Ephesians 1:4 . And here is God the Holy Ghost, in his sweet office-work, in the same everlasting Covenant, opening to Christ for his entrance into his fold; causing the sheep to hear his voice, and to follow Jesus, that they may go in, and out, and find pasture.
Let us now observe some of the more prominent features of character, in relation to the fold. Jesus not only owns them, and calls them all by name; but hath given several strong and leading marks, by which his sheep are known and distinguished from all the goats of the world, and from every false resemblance which might appear, of goats in sheeps' cloathing.
And first, they are said to be the Sheep of Christ, given to him before the foundation of the world, when as Jesus under one of his well known office-characters or wisdom, saith, the Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way before his works of old, when I was set up from everlasting. And in the same moment that the Son of God in his Wisdom-character was set up, the Head and Husband of his Church, and the Great Shepherd of his Sheep; then must have been set up with him, and from him, and for him, his Church, his Spouse, his Sheep. For in none of those relations could he have stood; neither have had ability to have acted in the office, without the relative characters to have exercised such relations and offices towards. And hence in the same scripture, where the Son of God speaks of being thus set up from the beginning, he no less saith, that he was rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and his delights were with the sons of men. And this at a time, (or rather before time,) when as yet Jehovah, in his threefold character of Persons had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. Proverbs 8:22-31 . And I beg the Reader, before he proceeds further, to consult some at least, of those many blessed scriptures, which both confirm this precious truth, of the grace-union between Christ and his Church, before all worlds; and also of the going forth of all the Persons of the Godhead in the after acts of creation. Ephesians 1:4 ; Colossians 1:15-18 ; Ephesians 3:9-11 ; Genesis 1:26 .
Secondly. When those great leading truths are fully impressed upon the Reader's mind, I beg him to go on to notice, in relation to this Sheep-fold of Jesus, that it is a gathered fold, out of Nature's wild wilderness, chosen, fenced in, made separate, and distinct; from the everlasting love of God the Father, the apprehending union of God the Son, and the blessed grace, and anointing influence of God the Holy Ghost. For it is a point of infinite consequence to be observed, when giving to the Holy Three in One, the honor due to Jehovah's name; that as God the Father chose the Church in Christ before the foundation of the world, and God the Son betrothed the Church to himself from everlasting: Hosea 2:19 . So God the Holy Ghost, in his gracious Covenant-office, respecting Christ and his Church, did equally manifest his everlasting love in the divine appointment, by anointing the head and members as one, revealing and making known to the Church the Messiah as God's anointed, many ages before Christ was born. And as Christ was thus anointed in this office and relation character to his Church; consequently God the Holy Ghost had an eye to the Church in this gracious act, and foreviewed the Church, and loved the Church in Christ, with an everlasting love, as the Church of Christ, and with proportioned love of the body, as he loved the glorious Head. The oneness and union in the divine nature of the whole Godhead prove this. John 17:23 .
Thirdly. It forms a most sweet, and precious part, in the contemplation of this subject of Christ and his Church, the Shepherd and his Sheep; that while distinguished as the fold is, by the electing love of God the Father, the redeeming love of God the Son, and the regenerating love of God the Holy Ghost; the whole Sheepfold is but one, however divided into distinct branches, whether Jew or Gentile, whether bond or free. So the Lord speaks in this very Chapter; when he saith there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd. And so he blessedly speaks elsewhere, when comforting his Church. My dove, my undefi1ed is but one; she is the only one of her mother: she is the choice one of her that bare her. Song of Solomon 6:9 . Reader! do not lose sight of this. Christ's Sheepfold can be but one. Christ, the Husband of his Church, hath but one Bride. None can be added to his Church. None taken from it. The world's goats can never pass under his hands for sheep. No! neither goats in sheep-cloathing escape his eye. Here, in this world's wilderness, they may, and too often do, break over the fence, and mingle in the pastures of Christ's sheep. Indeed too often worry the Lord's sheep, and make them, as the Lord calls his oppressed ones, the flock of slaughter. Zechariah 11:4-7 ; Romans 8:36 . But ere long, these things will forever cease. Jesus the Great Shepherd will come and cause an everlasting separation. Matthew 25:31 to the end. Pause over this lovely subject. Christ and his fold as one. Jesus calls them by every endearing name, in a way of distinction and delight. They are a little flock: but yet a numerous body, a multitude which no man can number. Compare Luke 12:32 with Revelation 7:9 . They are black in their own esteem, but comely in the eyes of Jesus. Song of Solomon 1:5 ; Ezekiel 16:14 . And elsewhere, the Lord calls them a beautiful flock. Jeremiah 13:20 . And what can the imagination form to itself more beautiful than the Church, made up of a vast multitude, as first presented to her Husband, in his eternal mind before all worlds; then recovered out of her fallen and polluted time state, in her Adam-nature , in being washed from her sins in Christ's blood, and clothed in his righteousness; and finally presented by Jesus to himself, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish before him forever. Ephesians 1:4 ; Psalms 45:9-17 ; Ephesians 5:25 to the end.
I must not swell our observations on those verses any further. But otherwise, what a subject opens to our view in the contemplation of Jesus in the extensive office of a Shepherd? It is indeed endless. The personal knowledge Christ hath of every individual of his fold. How can it be otherwise, than that he must know them, when he hath received everyone of them at his Father's hands; their names written in the book of life; they are everyone of them married to his person, united to himself; yea, part of himself: He calleth them all by name. He hath died for them, shed his blood for them, become the Surety for them, cleansed them in his blood from all their sins, hath ascended for them to glory, is gone before them to take possession of his Mediator-kingdom in their name, is everlastingly appearing in the presence of his Father for them, and he hath promised to come again, and take them home to himself, that where he is, there they shall be also! Reader! under such precious views and assurances, can it be possible that Jesus can overlook, forget, and be regardless of each, and every individual of his fold, when his own glory is concerned in the event of their present and everlasting welfare? Yea, the very charge of his office, as Mediator and Shepherd, will not be fulfilled until he hath brought the whole home, and not an hoof left behind in that great day of God, when they must all pass again under the hands of him that telleth them? Reader, do not fail, in confirmation, to turn to the perusal of some of those sweet scriptures, such as John 17:2 ; Psalms 139:16 ; Isaiah 4:3 ; Daniel 12:1 ; Luke 10:20 ; 1 Corinthians 6:17 ; 2 Corinthians 5:15 ; Hebrews 6:20 ; John 14:3 ; Exodus 10:26 ; Jeremiah 33:13 . Blessed and Almighty Shepherd of thy blood-bought flock! very sure I am of thy pastoral love and care. As the Great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, thou wilt everlastingly be in thy diocese. Thou wilt feed thy flock like a shepherd. Thou wilt cause them to lie down in wholesome pastures. And, as thou hast said, thou wilt search, and seek out thy flock in the day (this time state of our wilderness dispensations,) in which thou art among thy sheep, to bring again that which was driven away, and bind up that which was broken, and strengthen that which was sick. Yea, Lord Jesus, thou wilt seek me, even me, for I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost! But Jesus hath said, I must bring the other sheep which are not of this fold; thousands, and tens of thousands, which were not in the Jewish fold of the Old Testament, but of the Gentile fold, under both the Old and New Testament dispensation. Jesus must bring them. Why must my Lord do so? Because they are part of himself, they are the body of Christ, the Church the Father gave him, and purchased by his blood, and regenerated by the Holy Ghost. Hence Jesus must bring them all home, and they shall be for a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of my God! Isaiah 62:3 .
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. (18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself, I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Reader! make a long pause over these blessed verses, for they are most blessed. The love Jesus here speaks of cannot possibly mean the love of God the Father to God the Son, as God; for then, in this sense, no such reason as is here assigned, would be given. Neither did God the Son lay down his life as God. And, moreover, the observation of God the Father loving God the Son would have been unnecessary in Christ to have informed the disciples. For unless the Church had faculties suitable to the apprehension, (which is impossible,) we never could have the least conception what that infinite love is, which One of the divine Persons in the Godhead bears to another. But the love of the Father to Christ here spoken of by Jesus, is the love he hath to him as God-Man-Mediator. He loved him for his voluntary undertaking to become the Head and Husband of his body the Church. He loved him for all the offices connected with it, in rescuing his Spouse, his Bride, which the Father gave him before all worlds, from that dreadful state of sin and ruin into which, in the time-state of her Adam-nature, she had fallen. This, I venture to believe, was the love which the Lord Jesus here spake of, and which Jesus prized so highly. And well might all the persons of the Godhead delight in the God-Man love of Jesus to his Church. For the perfect unsinning obedience of the whole creation of God, yea, had the whole creation of God, added to that obedience, been offered up as one rich and full oblation, the whole would have been nothing in comparison to the holy life, and spotless death of Christ upon the cross, when doing away the whole penal effect of sin by the sacrifice of himself, and magnifying the law of God, and making it honorable. Reader! pause a moment longer, and then say, did God the Father thus love Christ on our account, think then how God the Father must love us. And if Jesus was so loved by the Father for us, how ought Christ to be loved by us?
I must not suffer the Reader to pass away from those sweet verses before that he hath also noticed, and with the due attention it merits, what Jesus hath said of his own sovereign power and Godhead. If no man had power to take his life from him, but as he elsewhere saith: As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself. John 5:26 . let the Reader receive from those precious words, the Lord's assurance of his nature and office as God-Man-Mediator! Oh! how infinitely great must be his nature, how full of glory and dignity his person, who thus possessed such infinite power? And how unspeakably great his love, who so loved us, as to give himself for us an offering, and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor?
There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. (20) And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? (21) Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? (22) And it was at Jerusalem, the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. (23) And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch. (24) Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. (25) Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. (26) But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
I beg the Reader to ponder what is here said. The observations made by the Jews concerning the person and office of Christ, is very striking. More than half convinced by reason and argument they frequently were, that Jesus was the Christ, but never brought into a belief of it by divine teaching. And so it is in the present hour. The carnal and the ungodly are not unfrequently alarmed in their consciences, but their apprehension of God's truths is only head knowledge; no heart-influence. Devils have this knowledge. So they said, Luke 4:41 . But devils they remained, and will eternally remain. Reader! oh! see to it, that your knowledge of the Lord Jesus is of the Lord. It is God the Father makes known the Son. Matthew 11:27 . God the Holy Ghost makes known the Son. 1 Corinthians 12:3 . And the consequence of this divine teaching produceth those blessed effects which Christ describes, John 6:45 . And the reverse of this Jesus teacheth in this chapter, and elsewhere. See John 10:26-27 . See also John 8:42-43 .
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father which gave them me, is greater than all: and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. (30) I and my Father are one.
In addition to what hath been offered in the former part of this chapter, on the subject of Christ and his Church, as a shepherd and his sheep; I would only beg the Reader to observe here, how blessedly Christ dwells upon those grand features of character. His sheep hear his voice, they know him, they follow him. They hear the voice of Jesus in his word, in his promises, in his providences. They discern the truth, because Jesus himself is the way, the truth, and the life. They are enabled, through the Spirit, to discern Christ's voice from strangers, from hirelings, from false teachers, and false preachers. What doth not tend to humble the sinner, and exalt the Savior, is not of Christ. And as Jesus knows them, calleth them all by their names, that is, speaketh in his word, and by his word, to their cases, wants, and circumstances; so they know him and follow him in the regeneration. And the eventful happy consequence of the whole is, that from their oneness with Christ, and interest in Christ, their present and everlasting welfare is secured, and both the Father and the Son are engaged in the ultimate glory of the whole. So sure, so certain, and so unalterable, are all the purposes of God in Christ. Jehovah saith himself, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my p1easure. Isaiah 46:10 .
I detain the Reader at the last verse of this paragraph, for his distinct and separate attention. For, although the Lord Jesus adduceth this oneness between the Father and himself, by way of confirmation to what he had said before, and which to be sure becomes the most decisive testimony in proof, that ever can be given; for if Christ and the Father are One, in nature, essence, will, power, and design, nothing of creature strength, or creature policy, can counteract Jehovah's purpose; but I detain the Reader at this verse by way of requesting his closest attention to it on every other account, connected with a doctrine of so highly important a nature. And I do very earnestly beg that he will regard it with all due observation. I, and my Father, (saith Christ,) are One. And this oneness runs through all the various parts by which this union can be manifested. Distinct only in person, they are one in everything beside. First, in relation to the essence and nature of the Godhead. In Being, Attributes, Property, Dignity, Glory, and Happiness. In proof, I refer to those blessed scriptures. Deuteronomy 6:4 ; 1 John 5:7 ; Zechariah 13:7 ; Philippians 2:6 ; Romans 9:5 . Hence, is God the Father the mighty God? So is the Son, Isaiah 9:6 . Is God the Father omnipresent? So is the Son, Matthew 28:20 . Is God the Father omniscient? So is the Son, John 21:17 . Is God the Father unchangeable? So is the Son. Hebrews 13:8 . And the whole tenor of the divine word, is, that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor, the Father. John 5:23 . Secondly, This oneness in design, plan, and execution of the whole purposes relating to the Church, marks all the persons of the Godhead. If the sacred Three in One have graciously entered into covenant engagements with each other, this is, to bring about and accomplish one and the same design. Though, as distinct persons, they have been pleased to undertake distinct offices, yet the whole are directed to manifest their unity, in the promotion of their sovereign will, all harmonizing to the divine glory, and the Church's happiness in Christ. So that when Christ saith, as in this blessed scripture; I, and my Father, are One, is included everything of oneness, the distinction of persons only excepted. And, in proof of this distinction of persons, the words themselves are abundantly satisfactory and conclusive. The word are is plural to the two names, I, and my Father; which could not in common sense have been used without implying this plurality of persons. Reader! pray ponder well these things. They are always blessed to be particularly regarded, but infinitely more so in a Christ-despising generation like the present.
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. (32) Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father: for which of those works do ye stone me? (33) The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not: but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God (34) Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? (35) If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; (36) Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest: because I said, I am the Son of God? (37) If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. (38) But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him. (39) Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand; (40) And went away again beyond Jordan, into the place where John at first baptized: and there he abode. (41) And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle; but all things that John spake of this man were true. (42) And many believed on him there.
I would appeal to the common sense of mankind, whether any unprejudiced person upon earth can be found, who would say, that the Jews did not consider what Christ had just said as claiming an equality with God? And, I would demand yet further, is it not as plain as words can make it, that upon these principles, and according to their laws, they took up stones to stone him for what they supposed to be blasphemy? And I appeal, to the same common sense of mankind, whether any form of words could be used by Christ more firm, or decided, in proof of his claims to Godhead, than Jesus hath here adopted. And, under these impressions, what but the most hardened blindness, could hesitate to acknowledge him, what Jehovah had all along acknowledged him, the Man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 13:7 .
Reader! you and I here plainly discover that Christ is the good Shepherd. Both his office, relation, and character, under this sweet figure, he is chosen into by God the Father, and all his sheep given by the Father to him as his own. They were his, in this appointment, from everlasting. And now in the time-state of a wilderness, where the Lord finds them wandering, he comes to seek and save that which was lost. Have you and I known Christ under this endeared character? Have we the features Jesus hath here described, by which we alone, prove, that we are the sheep of his pasture. Nothing can be more plain than what Jesus hath here marked to discover his sheep from the world's goats. He saith, the sheep hear his voice, they know his call, they follow him. A stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of stranger's. Have we these undeniable tokens? Oh! for grace to be so distinguished! Blessed it is to lie down in his fold, to feed in his pastures, and to go in and out by those wholesome waters of comfort, beside which, the Great Shepherd of Israel feeds his flock! Reader! Jesus wilt do by all his fold as the Holy Ghost hath said. He will feed, protect, heal, strengthen, guide, and, in short, do all that pertains to the office of a shepherd; he will carry the lambs in his arms, and gently lead those that are with young. And, to crown all, he will most effectually preserve from all evil, and give them eternal life, so that none shall perish, or any pluck them out of his and his Father's hands. Hail! Almighty Shepherd of thy flock.
Reader! behold the triumphs of thy Lord over all the enemies of his Godhead, and against all the awful opposition made to his divine person and character. So was it then, so is it now, and so shall it be, until the Lord hath brought the whole under his footstool. Lord Jesus! establish thy people in their most holy faith, until that thou shalt bring them home unto the fountains of living water, where, as a Lamb in the midst of the throne, thou art feeding them, and where thou hast wiped all tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of thy people thou hast taken away from off all the earth!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on John 10". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18