Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Peter Langbroek
"And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter" (John 10: 22). The air was cool and it was raining when Jesus on December 25, stood in the temple in Solomon's porch. The Pharisees thought He wasn't a prophet sent by God because He had healed a blind man on the Sabbath. They were upset. Jesus had told them," For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind" (John 9: 41). They became more upset when He again spoke in parables. He called Himself the door of the sheep. "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pastureÓ (John 10: 9). Then He called Himself the Good Shepherd. "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep and am known of mine" (John 10: 14).

What was He trying to say when He said that if someone comes into the sheepfold any other way than the door, he is like a thief or robber? Who was He referring to when He talked of thieves that came to kill and steal, and of wolves that attack the sheep, and of hired servants who flee from the flock when the wolf comes?

It wasn't that the Pharisees were ignorant. They knew that the Scriptures talked about the shepherd. They knew Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd." They knew Ezekiel 34, which spoke of false shepherds and talked of the one shepherd, who would lead His people Israel. This shepherd would be the son of David, the Christ (Ezekiel 34: 23). That's why they surrounded them, that winter day on Solomon's porch. They demanded to know, "How long dost Thou make us doubt? If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.Ó

Jesus replied, "I told you and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give them eternal life: and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one" (John 10: 25-30).

At that, the angry men picked up stones to stone Him. He, a man, had made Himself God (cf.John 10: 33). This was blasphemy!

The Jews threw no stones at Jesus. He had escaped from their sight. They would have to wait until next spring.

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It was spring as Jesus stood, a purple robe on him and a crown of thorns on His head. Pilate sat next to him in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in Hebrew is named Gabbatha (John 19: 13). It was dawn. The day would soon be warm. Pilate looked at the crowd and cried out, "Behold your King!"

The crowd cried back at Pilate, "Away with Him! Crucify Him!"

Pilate replied," Shall I crucify your king?"

"We have no king but Caesar," the scribes answered back.

The death sentence was passed. Jesus walked up to the hill to be crucified. He would suffer in the heat of the day.

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That spring day Jesus showed what He had said in the winter, in Solomon's porch, at the feast of the dedication. He was the Good Shepherd. He had said, "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore, doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father (John 10: 14-18).

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What Jesus said in the winter and showed in the spring tells us He is the Shepherd. He is the only way whereby we can enter to be delivered of our sins and to receive eternal life. Any other way is the way of a thief or robber. Jesus is the way of the sheep who hear His voice and enter where they are protected and secure. He loves His sheep so much that He gave His life for them.

Do you hear His voice?
Come and enter!
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