Compare Jer. 23:1-4. By their attitude to the blind man of chapter 9 the Pharisees, who claimed to be the spiritual guides of Israel as the people of God, has shown themselves to be ‘thieves and robbers’ (verses 1, 8), like the false prophets of the Old Testament.
- Verses 1-10. Why does Jesus call himself ‘the door of the sheep’?
What are the privileges and blessings of those who enter in?
How do the sheep recognize the true shepherd?
What does he do to them? Do you know his voice?
- What are the marks of the good shepherd?
Can you find in verses 11-18: 9a) proof that our Lord’s death was not a mere martyrdom, (b) the purpose of his life and death, and (c) An incentive to missionary work?
Cf. Rev. 7:9, 10, 15-17.
- Verse 3. ‘Listen’: i.e., listen attentively to, and so obey.
- Jesus is both ‘door’ and ‘shepherd’. Others also are under-shepherds (Acts 20:28, 29; I Pet. 5:2-4) who must themselves first enter through the ‘door’.
- What illustrations are found in these verses:
(a) of the deep impression made by the Lord Jesus upon many; and yet
(b) how their incipient faith was checked by ignorance (verses 27-29), or prejudice (verses 35, 36), or pride (verses 48-52)?
Is one of these hindering me?
- The chief priests and the Pharisees by no means saw eye to eye in most matters, but they were united against Jesus.
What action did they take at this time, and what prevented its success?
It is often said, ‘No thinking person now believes that…’ What example of this attitude can you find in this passage?
- In what way is the promise of verses 37, 38 an advance on that of 4:13, 14?
What differences does the Holy Spirit make to your life?
Cf. Acts 1:8.
V 39 – The Spirit was already present and active in the world, but the particular promise of Joel 2:28 was not fulfilled until the ascended and enthroned Christ gave the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
See Acts 2:16-18, 33.
Chapters 7:1 – 10:21 give an account of Jesus’ visit to Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles six months before his Crucifixion.
The story vividly portrays the various attitudes towards Jesus among different groups. These groups fall into two main classes:
one, ‘the Jews’, who include the chief priests, Pharisees, rulers and ‘the people of Jerusalem’;
and the other, ‘the people’, that is, the general multitude from all parts, who were attending the feast.
The first of these two classes was, in the main, hostile to Jesus.
Notice & answer:
- How do the words of Jesus’ brothers in verses 3-8 show that they did not understand him?
- What did Jesus mean by ‘my time’?
The world’s attitude to Jesus prevented him from showing himself to them, as other men might (verses 4, 7).
- Can you expect any different reception from the world (cf. 15:18-21)?
- Has verse 13 any reproach for you?
- Verse 17, 18. What two tests does our Lord suggest by which a man can discover whether Jesus’ teaching was true and of divine origin?
- What will it cost you to apply these tests?
- Verses 8, 10. Jesus did not lie. He meant that he was not going up to the feast just then, and at their direction.
- Verses 21-24. The law of Moses commanded circumcision on the eight day after birth (Gen 17:12; Lev 12:3), and it was the practice of the Jews to perform the rite on that day, even if it fell on the Sabbath. Jesus argued that to make a man’s whole body well on the Sabbath had even more justification than to circumcise him.