I Am the Good Shepherd - Part Two - Keeper - John 10:22-30
I Am the Good Shepherd – Keeper – Part Two
John 10:22 – 30
22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will 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 the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Introduction: During a recent visit to the zoo with my daughter and grandchildren, we visited the orangutan exhibit. The only thing separating us from these awesome creatures that possess the strength of at least five men were panes of thick glass, each 20-feet tall. My two-year-old grandson, Trevor, was amused at first by the orangutans' antics. Then one of the hairy beasts suddenly began to beat on the glass. Trevor leapt into the arms of his mother, crying, "I scared! I scared!" His mother tenderly took him, placed his little hand on the glass, and showed him that the glass shielded him from the animal, so there was nothing to fear. Afterwards, any time Trevor seemed uncertain, his mom would simply say, "Remember the glass."
The first-century church faced persecution at the hands of a powerful government bent on snuffing out her message, her influence. The fact that some had been beaten, imprisoned, even killed for their faith made them feel as though there was nothing at all that stood between them and the enemies of God's kingdom. Into these trying times the apostle Peter wrote them with a reminder that though it might not seem to be true at times, they were ultimately shielded by the eternal power of God that surpasses the temporary power of any other powers and principalities—that "the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast." (1 Peter 5:10) It was Peter's way of saying, "Remember the glass. Remember the glass." - Van Morris, Mount Washington, Kentucky
Purpose: Every genuine Christ follower must walk in the confidence and assurance that they are bound for an eternity in heaven because of their faith in Christ
Transition: Don’t miss the utmost importance of this message for you and your loved ones.
The Father secures us eternally with His Son – John 10:22-30
- True believers see the Father through Jesus
John 10:22 – 26
22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.
This passage as we will talk about on July 30th is the final passage describing Jesus public ministry as recorded by the Apostle John
- There is a gap of two months between verses 21 and 22 of John 10
- The previous section described Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles and verse 21 describes Jesus at the Feast of Dedication
- Either Jesus stayed in Jerusalem for two months or stayed in the nearby vicinity because it does not say as is common to be said that one went UP to Jerusalem
- This event, the Feast of Dedication, took place probably on December 25th. It is known to us as the Festival of Lights or Hanukah
- It is represented with lamps or candles lit
- This event in Jewish history occurred during the intertestamental period and commemorated the Jews victory over the Syrian King Antiochus Epiphanes who ruled form 175 – 164 B.C. over Israel
- In the Syrian King’s attempt to follow Hellenist culture – Greek culture, he captured Jerusalem and desecrated the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar and setting up a pagan altar in its place. Then he erected a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies and tried to systematically stamp out Judaism
- He went on to oppress the Jews
- He forced the Jews to offer sacrifices to pagan gods
- The Jews were not allowed to read OT scripture and copies of it were destroyed
- No circumcisions were allowed to be performed or observing the Sabbath day
- Antiochus Epiphanes was the first king to persecute the Jews for their religion and many more persecutions would come in Jewish history
- The Jews finally rose up in a revolt led by the priest named Mattathias and his sons
- There were three years of guerilla warfare led by the Jewish military leader Judas Maccabeus – son of Mattathias and retook Jerusalem
- On December 25th, 164 B.C., the Jewish temple was liberated and rededicated
- Jesus was walking in the temple area known as Solomon’s porch or portico in the winter time. It was cold and probably rainy since winter is the rainy season in Palestine
- The porch provided protection from the elements
- Picture of Solomon’s porch in the east temple area.
- Solomon’s porch was frequented by many people
- Rabbi’s often taught students there
- Later it was a gathering place for people to come and here the Gospel preached
- Some say that John using the seasonal term “winter” in verse 22 maybe referring not just to the weather of the season but the coldness spiritually of the Jews at that time.
- In verse 24, we see the Jews encircling Jesus
24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.
- The word gathered means that they pinned Him down by making a circle around Him. This was an inquisition.
- How long will you hold our soul is literally what they were saying?
- They asked a good question with bad motives
- These religious leaders were unsettled by the miraculous signs Jesus was performing
- They were tired of the crowds being divided and questioning the religious leaders to explain who Jesus was
- They were upset at the divisions among themselves, the other religious leaders
- They were fearful of a revolt against Rome which would jeopardized their privileged political status
- They were angered at Jesus public rebuke of their hostility against them
- The one that set them off the most was the unapologetic claim Jesus kept making that He was God and equal to the Father.
- Their strategy here in these verses was to get Jesus to declare publicly and opened that He claimed to be the Messiah and then they could arrest Him.
- Jesus reply in verse 25 is that I have already told you for the last 3 to 3 and one-half years that the works I do testifies that I am from the Father
- Not because I was unclear but you are spiritually blind
- They hated the truth and love the darkness of sin and deception sin brings
- Jesus had said before that anyone who truly seeks God will find Him
17 If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
- He goes on to say in verse 26 that they are not of His sheep fold.
- This is challenging as we think of how man’s free will and God’s divine sovereignty work together. Only God knows. That is way above my pay grade
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
- Understanding election, predestination and how much is our responsibility and God’s when it comes to faith and salvation is very hard to define.
- All I know is that when someone places their faith and trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection, the Holy Spirit regenerates the spiritual heart and moves it from death to life.
- Judas Iscariot as Jesus said was to betray Him as part of God’s sovereign plan but then He adds that Judas was responsible so he must have been a part of the decision?
For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”
- In Peter’s sermon in the book of Acts speaking to the Jews in Jerusalem about Jesus crucifixion
Acts 2:22 -23
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
- On the one hand, it was God’s definite plan for Jesus to die on the cross, but yet Peter was holding them humanly responsible for their sin of executing an innocent man??
Romans 11:33 – 36
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
- True believers hear and followthe Father’s voice
- Jesus repeats here what He said earlier in chapter 10:3 - 5
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
- Those who respond to God’s call of salvation will continue truth and obedience until we enter eternal glory
- To continue in faith and obedience is to follow the words of the Father as Jesus followed the words of the Father
- True believers are eternally secure in the Father
John 10:28 – 30
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will 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 the Father's hand.
- These verses, verses 28 – 29 give the strongest affirmation in all of the Bible of absolute security of true believers in Jesus Christ
- I don’t believe in eternal security because of John Calvin or reformed theologians. I don’t believe in eternal security because I am a Baptist. I believe in it because Jesus tells me so.
- If God can save us, He is more than capable to keep us
- If salvation is not dependent on human effort but totally based on the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9), His promised love and power, then He will keep us because of that grace. It is just that simple!!
- Verse 28 says that Jesus sheep should never fear being lost. We are as believers in Jesus hand
- Verse 29 says if that isn’t enough, we are also in the Father’s hand
- Notice the double negative here in verse 29. There is a grammatical rule I have been told in the Greek language that if a double negative is used it literally means what is said is impossible to do.
- Look at the;
Seven Realities in Christ’s Words that Bind Every True Christian
- All believers are His sheep
- Christ’s sheep hear only His voice and follow only Him
- Christ’s sheep are promised eternal life – Colossians 3:1 – 4
Colossians 3:1- 4
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
- Christ gives eternal life to His sheep and we did nothing to earn it
- Christ promised that His sheep will never perish
- No one or no thing is powerful enough to snatch Christ’s sheep out of His hand
- Christ sheep are held not just in the hand of Christ but also the hand of the Father. We are hidden in Christ – Colossians 3:3
John MacArthur commentary on the Gospel of John
Questions people raise about eternal security
- So, if a person prays to receive Christ and goes out and lives the rest of his or her life in sin, will they go to heaven? It gives a person a license to sin
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
I Thessalonians 4:8
Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
Romans 8:29 - 30
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Ephesians 4:17 - 24
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
- Pre – believer, the Spiritual Man and the Carnal Man – 3 chairs
- They may not have received Christ as Savior in their hearts.
- What about those who name the name of Jesus but God says He never knew them?
Matthew 7:21- 23
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
- What about Hebrews 6?
Hebrews 6:1- 12
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. 9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
- 6:4–6. This passage has been interpreted in four ways: (1) that the danger of a Christian losing his salvation is described, a view rejected because of biblical assurances that salvation is a work of God which cannot be reversed; (2) that the warning is against mere profession of faith short of salvation, or tasting but not really partaking of salvation (The New Scofield Reference Bible, p. 1315); (3) that hypothetically if a Christian could lose his salvation, there is no provision for repentance (The Ryrie Study Bible, p. 1736); (4) that a warning is given of the danger of a Christian moving from a position of true faith and life to the extent of becoming disqualified for further service (1 Cor. 9:27) and for inheriting millennial glory. The latter is the interpretation adopted here. The entirety of these verses constitutes a single sentence in Greek as well as in the English of the NIV. The central assertion is: It is impossible for those who have … to be brought back to repentance. Following the words “those who” is a description of the persons whom the writer affirmed cannot possibly be brought back to a state of repentance. The description he gave shows that he had Christians in mind.- Hodges, Z. C. (1985). Hebrews. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 794–796). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- What is the unpardonable sin?
Matthew 12:31 – 32
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
- Some say it is the sin of unbelief
- 12:30–37. Jesus then invited the people to make a clear decision. They must either be with Him or against Him. He gave a strong warning to those moving away from Him. Understandably some would not comprehend who Jesus V 2, p 47 is. A divine Person living among men would naturally not be appreciated fully. That was why allowances for such actions were made: Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven. But while the person of Jesus was not fully comprehended, the power evidenced through Him should never have been misunderstood, especially by religious leaders.
- The nation, because of its leaders, was on the brink of making a decision that would bring irreversible consequences. They were about to attribute incorrectly to Satan the power of the Holy Spirit exercised through Jesus and thus to commit the blasphemy against the Spirit. This specific sin cannot be reproduced today, for it required Jesus’ presence on earth with His performing miracles through the Spirit’s power. If, however, the leaders, acting on behalf of the nation, concluded that Jesus was empowered by Satan, they would commit a sin that would never find national or individual forgiveness (in this Age or in the Age to come). The consequences would bring about God’s judgment on the nation and on any individual who persisted in that view. - Barbieri, L. A., Jr. (1985). Matthew. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 46–47). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Illustration: Harry Ironside stated that salvation was like Noah inviting a pagan in his day to place his trust in God's Word and come in to the ark.
Some view salvation like Noah offering to put a peg on the outside of the ark. "If you just hang on through the storm, you'll be saved." Salvation is not dependent on our holding on to God, but on our being securely held by and in Christ. - Source Unknown.
Application: Are you living in the hope and security that the Father will keep you in His hand and take you to heaven?
Illustration: In many instances, duct tape is highly reliable—but as a means of water transportation, it may not be a prime choice. Just ask the Alaskan man who recently attempted to cross a channel near Juneau on a "homemade watercraft"—more specifically, "an inflatable, duct-taped craft"—complete with a paddle, his dog, and a conspicuous lack of a life jacket. A local news outlet stated that while the "[w]eather on scene was reportedly calm with 9 mph winds," a local Coast Guard crew still ended up coming to the man's aid: when the makeshift boat started to fill with water. Having "deemed the craft unsafe," they "transferred it, the man—and his dog—to [nearby] Douglas Harbor." Emily Lund, PreachingToday.com; source: Tripp J. Crouse, "Coast Guard Rescues Man and Dog in Gastineau Channel in Duct-Taped Inflatable," KTOO (6-08-17)
What are you staking your eternal life upon?
- Jesus said in John 10:30
30 I and the Father are one.”
Key Thought: If Jesus is God, He and the Father are more than capable to take care of your eternal soul forever.
Three Questions to Ponder
- What are the things that cause you to doubt and wonder if you lost your salvation?
- How have you experienced the Good Shepherd loving, caring and keeping your soul? How has this given you confidence in living the abundant life?
- How is it that we can trust God with our eternal soul but yet struggle to trust Him with our everyday events, plans and needs?
“As long as a believer is worrying about whether or not they are truly saved, they will never grow up in spiritual maturity. It basically guarantees that a Christian will remain stuck in spiritual infancy. And worse, it paints a picture of God that is not only untrue but also unbiblical. It cheapens the gift of salvation – the gift of grace – and make God look like a finicky human.” ― Will Davis Jr., 10 Things Jesus Never Said: And Why You Should Stop Believing Them