TEXT: John 10: 1-29
INTRO: One of the most difficult things for Christians to deal with is our kinship with Israel. Did God desert Israel, rejecting them regardless of the promises He had made them? Did the Christians replace them as His new Chosen People? We can see what Jesus told the Jews while He was on earth. Our TEXT is found in John 10:1-29. As we look into it we will gather some information to help us know how the promises to Israel relate the people who came to follow Jesus. PRAY with me and we’ll go forward.
CONTEXT: THE EARLY PROMISES TO ISRAEL.
A. In Genesis 17:7-8, “I will keep My covenant between Me and you, and your future offspring throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant to be your God and the God of your offspring after you. And to give to you and to your offspring I will give the land where you are residing—all the land of Canaan – as an eternal possession, and I will be their God.”
B. In the days of the birth of Jesus, Israel was a mere shadow of her former self, a land invaded and occupied by the pagan Romans.
C. Jesus healed a man blind from birth and that man has borne testimony to the power and kindness of Jesus to the local religious leaders, such as the Pharisees, who did not accept the claims of Jesus. Jesus goes into this little story to help them, and us, to understand.
I. THE SHEEPFOLD OF ISRAEL.
A. THE SHEEPFOLD: In the Middle East a sheepfold was an area made up of piled stones with thorn caps. It had one way in and out and the shepherd was the door
B. In the story the sheepfold represents Israel, where the sheep all claim to know God and wait for His appearing. In vs. 16, “But I have other sheep that are not of this fold, I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.
C. Jesus says not all the sheep in the sheepfold of Israel are His children. Some are descendants of Abraham, in the flesh, but, have never received by the faith the position of true children of God.
II. THE FALSE LEADERS OF ISRAEL. READ 10:1-6
A. Three characteristics of false leaders of Israel.
- They assume they are able to open the door to God by their own power. Vs. 10, “A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Look back to the history recorded in the Old Testament.
2. Jesus says they are strangers. They have no real connection, spiritual connection, with the sheep in the fold.
3. They are also hirelings. All they care about is themselves and their profit. .
III. THE ROLE OF JESUS IN THE ALLEGORY. READ 10:7-10
A. Jesus refers to Himself in two ways.
1.) He is the door to the sheepfold2.) Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
The point is, and always has been, that it is faith, not genetics or human relationships, that put us into one camp or the other, just as it did the Jews.