Jesus the Good Shepherd
10:1Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the fold of the sheep,1 but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.2 10:2But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 10:3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice:3 and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 10:4When he hath put forth all his own, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 10:5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.10:6This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
10:7Jesus therefore said unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 10:8All that came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 10:9I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and shall find pasture. 10:10The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
10:11I am the good shepherd:4 the good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep. 10:12He that is a hireling, and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, beholdeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth, and the wolf snatcheth them, and scattereth them:5 10:13he fleeth because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 10:14I am the good shepherd; and I know mine own, and mine own know me, 10:15even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.6 10:16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:7 them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd. 10:17Therefore doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 10:18No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment received I from my Father.
10:19There arose a division again among the Jews because of these words. 10:20And many of them said, He hath a demon, and is mad; why hear ye him? 10:21Others said, These are not the sayings of one possessed with a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?
- Metaphysically the sheepfold represents the mind with its thoughts; the door represents the I AM consciousness.
- All forces that come into your consciousness in any other way than through your own I AM are thieves and robbers. No man can be saved from the limitations and mistakes of ignorance except through his own volition.
- The sheep hear his voice. Man learns to control his thought life through attention, study, and practice as well as through prayer. When his thoughts become orderly and obedient to his will, it is then that the sheep hear his voice.
- The good shepherd is the Christ, I AM, or the individual I AM, Christed, illumined, lighted by the understanding of Truth. Man is saved by the Good-Shepherding of his thought powers, or by his learning to think in harmony with divine law and thereafter controlling his thoughts accordingly.
- Wolves represent worldly thoughts, always wanting and never finding, always hungry and never satisfied, restless, searching here and there and everywhere for Truth. These thoughts are let into the consciousness by the hireling, the personal ego, and the result is a scattered state of mind.
- “The good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep.” This means that the high spiritual I AM lets itself become identified with the limitations of self-consciousness that it may lift all up to the spiritual plane. “I lay down my life, that I may take it again.”
- “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold” Our temporal Gentile thoughts and states of consciousness, which we have considered not included in the divine plan of perfection for us.
Jesus is rejected by the Jews
10:22And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem: 10:23it was winter; and Jesus was walking in the temple in Solomon's porch. 10:24The Jews therefore came round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou hold us in suspense? If thou art the Christ, tell us plainly.1 10:25Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believe not: the works that I do in my Father's name, these bear witness of me. 10:26But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep. 10:27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 10:28and I give unto them eternal life;2 and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. 10:29My Father, who hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 10:30I and the Father are one.3
10:31The Jews took up stones again to stone him. 10:32Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from the Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 10:33The Jews answered him, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 10:34Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods? 10:35If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came (and the scripture cannot be broken), 10:36say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 10:37If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 10:38But if I do them, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. 10:39They sought again to take him: and he went forth out of their hand.
10:40And he went away again beyond the Jordan into the place where John was at the first baptizing; and there be abode.4 10:41And many came unto him; and they said, John indeed did no sign: but all things whatsoever John spake of this man were true. 10:42And many believed on him there.
- In this Scripture Jesus symbolizes the I AM or Christ, and the Jews symbolize our high-brow intellectual thoughts, which hold to the letter of the law to such an extent that they cannot let the spiritual word expand in and through the consciousness.
- “give unto them eternal life” By identifying ourselves only with true thoughts and ideas and proving both in our daily life, we give them vitality and permanence.
- “I and the Father are one.” We may use it in the same form in which Jesus stated it, or we may say, “I am one with Divine Mind, and I think divine thoughts.”
- After the Christ has done a positive work it always withdraws to an inner state of consciousness in order to replenish its power before it goes forth to achieve again. Into this state of consciousness opposing intellect cannot find entrance.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
Following Entry: John 11