St John’s Gospel (28): The Son of God: The Good Shepherd (John 10) part 2
Critical scholars deny that Jesus was believed to be divine by the earliest followers . . . .
Polycarp of Smyrna (69–155): Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth . . ., and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead. (Polycarp, Philippians, 12:2. Holmes, AF, 295)
Ignatius of Antioch (c. 50–117): For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit. (Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 18.2
Justin Martyr (100–165): And that Christ being Lord, and God the Son of God, and appearing formerly in power as Man, and Angel, and in the glory of fire as at the bush, so also was manifested at the judgment executed on Sodom, has been demonstrated fully by what has been said. (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 128. Translation from Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, I:264)
Tatian (110–172): We do not act as fools, O Greeks, nor utter idle tales when we announce that God was born in the form of man. (Tatian, Address to the Greeks, 21. ANF, II:74)
John 10:22-39 - At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem . . .The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying 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, these testify of Me. . . . 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? 35 “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me . . .
The Good Shepherd - Jesus is the Good Shepherd offering abundant life (vv11-15). The setting of this discourse is the Feast of Dedication which commemorated the cleansing of the temple by the Judas Maccabeus in 165 B.C. after its desecration in 168 B.C. by Antiochus IV (Epiphanes). Jesus pleads that His goodness as a leader is in His willing self-sacrifice.
The Man from God - Jesus disclosed Himself through His Word and works (vv24-30). The Jewish leaders inquire of Him to make Himself known as Messiah. In ch. 2 many believed because of the signs; in ch. 3 Nicodemus says Jesus is “from God”; in ch. 4 the Samaritans call Him the Savior of the world and the King’s servant’s son is healed with a word; in ch. 5 the ill man (38 years) is healed instantaneously; in ch. 6 He feeds thousands with five loaves and two fishes; in ch. 7 He claims to give living water; in ch. 8 He shows justice and mercy claiming to be “I Am”; in ch. 9 He heals a man born blind and claims to be the Light of the World.
The Response of the Jewish Leaders - They do not believe because they are not His Sheep (vv26-30). His Words and His works have already revealed His true identity. The problem is their own willful unbelief. They cannot hear the true Shepherd. They are not sheep at all, they are wolves. They threaten His life for His divine claims (vv31-39). Christ’s challenges their grounds, asking what “work” deserves this wrath. It is His claim of divinity that is the problem. Christ responds that the OT refers to those who have the Law as “gods” (Ps. 82:6), therefore how is it inconsistent with the Law that He could be the Son of God? The final call is to believe on the basis of the works (vv37-38).
1) Entering into the Good Shepherd’s Care (v1, 9) - There is no other path which leads to abundant life, which includes Resurrection.
2) Listening to the Good Shepherd’s Voice (v3, 8) - The “sheep” of Jesus listen to His voice.
3) Following the Good Shepherd’s Leading (v3, 9) - The abundant life in the Lord requires enough faith to follow Jesus into a new, perhaps unfamiliar place, but a place of goodness.