What I take from this passage•People have been prisoner inthe sheep pen of the Pharisees•No one until Jesus has beenable to lead people out.
•Everyone other than Jesus isreally about “fleecing” thesheep and imprisoning them.•Only Jesus is about guardingthe sheep and giving themfreedom to come and go.
This passage has been the basis fortraditional Quaker opposition topastoral ministry. What I do hasbeen called “hireling ministry” anddistrusted as a poor substitute forJesus Christ.
Sometimes this has been true.It is not just paid leaders whopoorly substitute for Jesus andimprison us for unworthypurposes, though.
Religion itself can imprison us.This passage is also one of thekey scriptural foundations forany sort of view of otherreligions than Christianity…
John 10:16 “I have other sheepthat are not of this sheep pen.”•What can this mean but thatJesus claims other peoplearound the world besides justhereditary Jews of Palestine?
Like you and me.…but what about people whofollow other religions?(imprisoned by other religions,including secular irreligion)
John 10:16 continued:“They too will listen to myvoice, and there shall be oneflock and one shepherd.”
Hindu, Buddhist, Moslem,Wiccan, whatever, the personwho doesn’t go to church…They don’t listen to my voice oryour voice, but they will listen toJesus’ voice when they hear Him.
…and we will all be unified.It may not look like AmericanProtestant religion, but it willpraise God in Jesus’ name.
John 10:17 The key to it is:“I lay down my life – only totake it up again.”
No one can mistake that foranything else, and they willlisten to the voice of Jesuswhen they recognize it.
Do you know how torecognize the voice ofJesus, so that you canteach someone else?
Recognizing the Voice of JesusAccording to the 7 Last Words from the Cross1. Father forgive them, for they know not whatthey do (Luke 23:34).Jesus’ voice always offers forgiveness. It doesnot ignore sin, but it recognizes that we do thebest with our limited awareness and limitedability to govern our own will, and it will alwayscome up short.2. Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me inparadise (Luke 23:43).Jesus’ voice immediately responds to faith, notnecessarily with an outward or material,miraculous salvation, but the guarantee ofperfect, eternal reunion with God.3. Woman, behold your son: behold your mother(John 19:26-27).Jesus’ voice offers comfort here in the world,bringing His people together to care for eachother in a way that resembles family.4. My God, My God, why have you forsaken me,(Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).Quoting Psalm 22:1 and a human’s voice ofagonized prayer, Jesus’ voice offers us theassurance that He shares even the worst of oursuffering, no matter how great or unbearable.5. I thirst (John 19:28).Jesus’ voice often comes in simple requests thatare opportunities for us to give and discover Himas He blesses us and rewards us for our offeringsof mercy and compassion.6. It is finished (John 19:30).Jesus’ voice always offers the calm assurancethat God’s will is perfect and will be perfectlyaccomplished in full.7. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke23:46).Jesus’ voice encourages our faith to trust in Godat any cost and be content that His will be doneand not our own.