How does this fit with John’s themes? At first this passage in John 10 seems devoid of John’s themes and it is like there is nothing of what has gone before, just new material.
But a closer look reveals:
The opposition debate as to who Jesus is: “When He said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about Him.” John 10:19
Note the “believe” theme is still there in John 10:25, 26, 37, 38, 42
Do you notice “normal” John elements that are repeated?
I tell you the truth – John 10:7
I am the gate for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd – John 10:11
It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication. John 10:22
Here is John up to his old tricks again. He is focusing on the action taking place at yet another festival.
The people surrounded Him and asked, “How long are You going to keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” John 10:24
This issue of whether He is the Christ (The Messiah) is still in focus.
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me. John 10:28
For My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. John 10:29
And yet again we have the refrain relating to none being lost, none will be snatched out His hand.
So how then does John 10 connect to what has gone before or is it a true break and starts something new?
The previous chapter closed with controversy as to who Jesus was and a confrontation with the Pharisees. John closes the chapter with Jesus scathing comments about their blindness. The new chapter opens with Jesus discussing sheep, shepherds, thieves and hired hands. Shepherd is a familiar Biblical term for leaders of faith and religious activity. Thieves and hired hands are terms that Jesus is using to refer to the Pharisees. But it gets worse. In the next Gem we will see why! See if you can work out why they want to stone him.
If the only people you think are brilliant are those you agree with, you still have a lot to learn.Rick Warren