View John 10 in the note window.
1: He that entereth not by the door - By Christ. He is the only
lawful entrance. Into the sheepfold - The Church. He is a thief
and a robber - In God's account. Such were all those teachers, to
whom our Lord had just been speaking.
3: To him the door keeper openeth - Christ is considered as the
shepherd, (Joh 10:11).
As the door in the first and following verses. And as it is not
unworthy of Christ to be styled the door, by which both the sheep
and the true pastor enter, so neither is it unworthy of God the
Father to be styled the door keeper.
See (Ac 14:27,Col 4:3,Re 3:8,Ac 16:14).
And the sheep hear his voice - The circumstances that follow,
exactly agree with the customs of the ancient eastern shepherds.
They called their sheep by name, went before them and the sheep
followed them. So real Christians hear, listen to, understand,
and obey the voice of the shepherd whom Christ hath sent. And
he counteth them his own, dearer than any friend or brother:
calleth, advises, directs each by name, and leadeth them out,
in the paths of righteousness, beside the waters of comfort.
4: He goeth before them - In all the ways of God, teaching them
in every point, by example as well as by precept; and the sheep
follow him - They tread in his steps: for they know his voice - Having
the witness in themselves that his words are the wisdom and the
power of God. Reader, art thou a shepherd of souls? Then answer
to God. Is it thus with thee and thy flock?
5: They will not follow a stranger - One whom Christ hath not
sent, who doth not answer the preceding description. Him they
will not follow - And who can constrain them to it? But will flee
from him - As from the plague. For they know not the voice of
strangers - They cannot relish it; it is harsh and grating to them.
They find nothing of God therein.
6: They - The Pharisees, to whom our Lord more immediately spake,
as appears from the close of the foregoing chapter.
7: I am the door - Christ is both the Door and the Shepherd,
and all things.
8: Whosoever are come - Independently of me, assuming any part of
my character, pretending, like your elders and rabbis, to a power
over the consciences of men, attempting to make laws in the Church,
and to teach their own traditions as the way of salvation: all
those prophets and expounders of God's word, that enter not by
the door of the sheepfold, but run before I have sent them by my
Spirit. Our Lord seems in particular to speak of those that had
undertaken this office since he began his ministry, are thieves
- Stealing temporal profit to themselves, and robbers - Plundering
and murdering the sheep.
9: If any one - As a sheep, enter in by me - Through faith, he shall
be safe - From the wolf, and from those murdering shepherds. And
shall go in and out - Shall continually attend on the shepherds
whom I have sent; and shall find pasture - Food for his soul in
10: The thief cometh not but to steal, and to kill, and to
destroy - That is, nothing else can be the consequence of a
shepherd's coming, who does not enter in by me.
12: But the hireling - It is not the bare receiving hire, which
denominates a man a hireling: (for the labourer is worthy of his
hire; Jesus Christ himself being the Judge: yea, and the Lord
hath ordained, that they who preach the Gospel, should live of
the Gospel:) but the loving hire: the loving the hire more than
the work: the working for the sake of the hire. He is a hireling,
who would not work, were it not for the hire; to whom this is the
great (if not only) motive of working. O God! If a man who works
only for hire is such a wretch, a mere thief and a robber, what
is he who continually takes the hire, and yet does not work at
all? The wolf - signifies any enemy who, by force or fraud, attacks
the Christian's faith, liberty, or life. So the wolf seizeth and
scattereth the flock - He seizeth some, and scattereth the rest; the
two ways of hurting the flock of Christ.
13: The hireling fleeth because he is a hireling - Because he
loves the hire, not the sheep.
14: I know my sheep - With a tender regard and special care: and
am known of mine - With a holy confidence and affection.
15: As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father - With such a
knowledge as implies an inexpressible union: and I lay down my
life - Speaking of the present time. For his whole life was only
a going unto death.
16: I have also other sheep - Which he foreknew; which are not of
this fold - Not of the Jewish Church or nation, but Gentiles. I
must bring them likewise - Into my Church, the general assembly of
those whose names are written in heaven. And there shall be one
flock - (Not one fold, a plain false print) no corrupt or divided
flocks remaining. And one shepherd - Who laid down his life for
the sheep, and will leave no hireling among them. The unity both
of the flock and the shepherd shall he completed in its season.
The shepherd shall bring all into one flock: and the whole flock
shall hear the one shepherd.
17: I lay down my life that I may take it again - I cheerfully die
to expiate the sins of men, to the end I may rise again for their
18: I lay it down of myself - By my own free act and deed. I have
power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again - I have
an original power and right of myself, both to lay it down as a
ransom, and to take it again, after full satisfaction is made,
for the sins of the whole world. This commission have I received
of my Father - Which I readily execute.
He chiefly spoke of the Father, before his suffering: of his own
glory, after it. Our Lord's receiving this commission as mediator
is not to be considered as the ground of his power to lay down and
resume his life. For this he had in him self, as having an original
right to dispose thereof, antecedent to the Father's commission.
But this commission was the reason why he thus used his power in
laying down his life. He did it in obedience to his Father.
21: These are not the words - The word in the original takes in
22: It was the feast of the dedication - Instituted by Judas
Maccabeus, 1 Macc. iv, 59, when he purged and dedicated the
altar and temple after they had been polluted. So our Lord
observed festivals even of human appointment. Is it not, at
least, innocent for us to do the same?
23: In Solomon's portico - Josephus informs us, that when Solomon
built the temple, he filled up a part of the adjacent valley,
and built a portico over it toward the east. This was a noble
structure, supported by a wall four hundred cubits high: and
continued even to the time of Albinus and Agrippa, which was
several years after the death of Christ.
26: Ye do not believe, because ye are not of my sheep - Because ye
do not, will not follow me: because ye are proud, unholy, lovers
of praise, lovers of the world, lovers of pleasure, not of God.
27-29: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they
follow me, &c. - Our Lord still alludes to the discourse he had
before this festival. As if he had said, My sheep are they who,
And to those who,
- Hear my voice by faith;
- Are known (that is, approved) by me, as loving me; and
- Follow me, keep my commandments, with a believing,
- Truly believe (observe three promises annexed to three
conditions) I give eternal life. He does not say, I will,
but I give. For he that believeth hath everlasting life.
- I know truly to love me, shall never perish, provided they
abide in my love.
- Those who follow me, neither men nor devils can pluck out
of my hand. My Father who hath, by an unchangeable decree,
given me all that believe, love, and obey, is greater than
all in heaven or earth, and none is able to pluck them out
of his hand.
30: I and the Father are one - Not by consent of will only, but
by unity of power, and consequently of nature. Are - This word
confutes Sabellius, proving the plurality of persons: one - This
word confutes Arius, proving the unity of nature in God.
Never did any prophet before, from the beginning of the world,
use any one expression of himself, which could possibly be so
interpreted as this and other expressions were, by all that
heard our Lord speak. Therefore if he was not God he must have
been the vilest of men.
34: (Ps 82:6).
35: If he (God) called them gods unto whom the word of God came,
(that is, to whom God was then speaking,) and the Scripture
cannot be broken - That is, nothing which is written therein can
be censured or rejected.
36: Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into
the world - This sanctification (whereby he is essentially the Holy
One of God) is mentioned as prior to his mission, and together
with it implies, Christ was God in the highest sense, infinitely
superior to that wherein those judges were so called.
38: That ye may know and believe - In some a more exact knowledge
precedes, in others it follows faith. I am in the Father and
the Father in me. I and the Father are one - These two sentences
illustrate each other.
40: To the desert place where John baptized, and gave so
honourable a testimony of him.
41: John did no miracle - An honour reserved for him, whose
forerunner he was.