“How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Why did they say this? He didn’t say He was the Christ, did He?John 10:24
- Why did they pick up stones to kill Him? What did he do worthy of stoning? (10:31)
- Why did they say, “You, a mere man, claim to be God.” Where did He say anything like that? (10:33)
- What is happening here?
These people are coming out with statements that don’t fit the context of what has been spoken before it.
- What is the connection?
- Where do we find how to solve this riddle?
- Where does Jesus get the term “The Good Shepherd”?
- Has He just made it up?
- What is the connection?
Our disadvantage is that we have not graduated from the Beth Sepher or Beth Talmud or Beth Midrash. (See Bible Gem 27). We have not internalized the Scripture. Jesus use of this term takes his listeners straight to Ezekiel 34. Read it now and see what light it sheds on John 10. Take note especially of Ezekiel 34:1-5, 10-13, 15, 23-24 and 30-31. That will help you understand what is going on? We will look at the unpacking of it tomorrow, that will give you time to digest it.
How can we work out where to look in the Bible for the connections if we haven’t to been to Beth Sepher? Always look for the sense unit – the chunk of Scripture (a paragraph or more, a chapter or several, a book) which connects ideas or comments together and makes sense. The answer is most often in the immediate context. But at times we have to look farther afield. Remember the New Testament is based on the Old Testament. Too often I hear Christians nowadays saying things like “I am a New Testament Christian, I don’t need the Old Testament, that’s just laws and wars.” I have news for you – you can’t understand the New Testament unless you understand the Old Testament. The answer is most often found in the Old Testament.
So how do we find it? Follow the trails of the words used and you will come across words or concepts that have been taken from the Old Testament. In this case it is “shepherd”. So we must look up the passages of the Old Testament relating to “shepherds”. It is in that search that we will find Ezekiel 34. Many times in the tradition of Beth Midrash Jesus is lifting one word or a phrase or a sentence out of the Old Testament and instantly his hearers recall the passage and bring all of the passages up in their memory banks. It is easy to do when you have memorized it.
The other way to find the connections it is to buy a good concordance or a study Bible with a good cross reference system. For those of you who already have one – USE IT. You paid full price for it; so use it fully. You will note that this portion of John is cross referenced to Ezekiel 34. Remember Jesus has challenged the Pharisees, told them they were blind and refuse to see. He (Jesus) directs them to Ezekiel 34 by making allusions to it. Remember always to use all of Scripture to interpret Scripture.
We will pursue the link and see why they react so strongly. Go dig.
There’s something wrong if you’re always right.Anon