My journey through the book of John continues and chapter 10 has multiple examples of Jesus proclaiming that he is the Messiah. Beginning with the parable of the sheepfold:
John 10:1-6 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
The Old Testament often used the imagery of sheep (Israel) and a shepherd (God) and the book of Jeremiah includes this prophecy about the coming Messiah: “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.” – Jeremiah 23:3.
The Bible commentary I’ve been using to study (New Testament Life and Times by Lawrence Richards) notes, “Thus when Jesus claimed, ‘I am the Good Shepherd,’ his listeners, steeped in the OT, should have immediately realized that He was once again presenting Himself as Israel’s Messiah and as her God.”
The exclusivity of Jesus’ claim becomes even clearer in verse 9 when he states: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” And verse 11 includes the claim as well as a foretelling of his death on the cross: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giving his life for the sheep.”
Jesus goes on to make very clear his deity in verse 30 saying “I and my Father are one.” His Jewish listeners knew he was claiming to be God/making himself equal with God in that statement which is why they “took up stones again to stone him” and say in verse 33 “For a good work we stone thee not: but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”
This is not the only chapter that makes it very clear Jesus was claiming to be God and claiming to be the only way of salvation. These are very important theological points and ones that conflict with the postmodern world in which we live. But we must hold on to them.
- What Did Jesus Mean in John 10:30? (A Response to Muslims and Unitarians) (anotherchristianblog.org)
- In the Word: John 6 – The Multitude (steakandabible.com)
- The Word: John 3:1-21 (steakandabible.com)