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I. See in this passage, Jesus’ continuing, constant sheep mindset –
Verse twenty-two indicates a period of time between it and verse :21 -
22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. (John 10:22 NKJ)
In John 7:37 we read of the previous feast, the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths –
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37 NKJ)
What we read about from the end of John 7 right up to John 10:21 was closer time wise to the earlier Feast. In between, not included in John’s Gospel is a period of time Jesus spent with his disciples away from Jerusalem, a good two months!
When Jesus returns to Jerusalem He continues preaching, teaching, debating, fighting for the same thing – His sheep –
His focus even two months later, even while surrounded by His enemies, even when they are demanding He prove Himself, is His sheep -
you are not of My sheep (John 10:26 NKJ)
27 "My sheep hear My voice (John 10:27 NKJ)
II. See in this passage also the continued, constant mindset of Jesus’ enemies –
It is the “who are you?” “who do you think you are?” – Mindset!
53 "Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom do You make Yourself out to be?" (John 8:53 NKJ)
24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, "How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." (John 10:24 NKJ)
It is the You are not more than a man mindset –
33 The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." (John 10:33 NKJ)
Because they count Him only a man, they also count Him crazy, demonically possessed –
20 And many of them said, "He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?" (John 10:20 NKJ)
They were not counting His miracles as any kind of evidence for His words, teaching or statements about Himself –
32 Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?"
33 The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." (John 10:32-33 NKJ)
It was a stoning mindset –
59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; (John 8:59 NKJ)
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. (John 10:31 NKJ)
"Daring sinners will throw stones at Heaven, though they return upon their head."
III. Jesus’ sheep words are spoken to His and our enemies, not to His sheep –
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 "I and My Father are one." 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. (John 10:27-31 NKJ)
These wonderful words of Christ, our Good Shepherd are applied by Christians and preachers (including myself) to Christians / His sheep, but they are spoken to non-believers!
I am not saying these verses are wrongly applied to Christians, they are not, if we are His sheep they apply to us!
Yet in context they were spoken to non-believers, –
25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. (John 10:25 NKJ)
26 "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me…. (John 10:26-27 NKJ)
IV. What reasons do we have as believers (sheep), for considering Jesus’ words to non-believers (non-sheep)? –
We see how Jesus distinguishes His sheep from the non-sheep –
"But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:26-27 NKJ)
The hear His voice
They follow Him
Today we have groups like Bio-Logos who claim they believe in Jesus; yet they also believe in Darwin. Are they hearing Christ Voice when they drown out what He says about creation with the belief that we evolved from ape like creatures?
We have the man who claims he does not to join the flock, as he can worship God in nature, rather than going to church! Hebrews 10:25-31
We see Jesus proclaiming His protection of His sheep to these non-sheep, they cannot finally destroy, not in reality –
"And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 "I and My Father are one."(John 10:28-30 NKJ)
I cannot help but think Jesus had the healed blind man in mind at this point:
Jesus’ enemies had kicked him out of the synagogue –
34 They answered and said to him, "You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?" And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" (John 9:34-35 NKJ)
They, who Jesus was talking to kicked him out, but Jesus and His Father, held him tight –
"And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 "I and My Father are one." (John 10:28-30 NKJ)
This tells us that the world’s displeasure with us, kicking us out, maybe even killing us it not necessarily and not even likely an indication of God’s displeasure – John 15:19-23
They are told, the non-believers what they will be missing -
"And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish … John 10:28
"The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:35-36 NKJ)
“There is more joy in the square inch of being “in Christ” than in the square mile of the outside world of rebellion.” E. Stanley Jones
These words were spoken to unbelievers because Jesus wants us also to share them with unbelievers, that they might become believers; the apostle John tells us -
but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31 NKJ)
The Gospel of John is a witnessing tool, the best tract ever written.
People who are “Not His Sheep” are all around us. It is our job to share the Gospel with them, whether they might be saved or not.