Fourth Sunday of Easter (May 7th)

Pastor's Summary of John 10:1-10

In chapter 9, Jesus has raised the ire of some religious leaders by giving sight to a blind man on the Sabbath.Some of them have heard Jesus say "I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind" (9:39). Some have asked him, "surely we are not blind, are we?", to which he has replied, "If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, 'We see,' your sin remains'" (9:41) Thinking themselves worthy makes the unworthy in God's eyes.

Now Jesus uses a metaphor to expand on his point (but no metaphor works perfectly). In Palestine, sheep belonging to villagers roamed freely during the day but were confined to a common enclosure at night, to protect them from predators. Each morning, each shepherd called his sheep who followed him to pasture.

While this fugure of speech is hard for us to understand in detail (as it was for those who heard Jesus), we can get the drift. So irate does the metaphor make the leaders that they try to stone him and, in v. 40, Jesus flees across the Jordan.  As he explains, he is the "gate" so presumably the theives and bandits are the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus, both the "gatekeeper" and the "shepherd" is the true leader. He calls the faithful to follow him; the don't follow a "stranger". the people listen to him and not to the Pharisees, "all who came before me". He is the only gate to eternal life, to freedom ("come in and go out") and to nourishment beyond measure ("find pasture...abundantly")