WOW! There is so much good stuff in these chapters. John Chapters 9-12 holds some key interactions between Jesus, the people and the religious leaders. In these chapters you find the stories of Jesus healing a blind man in John 9, Jesus’ analogy of the good shepherd and the sheep in John 10, death and resurrection of Lazarus with the shortest vs. “Jesus wept” in John 11, and Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem in John 12. Tensions are rising, lives are threatened and plots are formed. There is an unrest in the Pharisees as they battle with the validity of their status. They are threatened by Jesus and are blinded by their own pride and arrogance. Though seeing many signs, they plot to kill Jesus and persecute his followers. While the Pharisees struggle with their sin, Jesus is unapologetically healing, serving, and teaching. He is spreading love for the people in this and astonishes everyone with his teachings and breaking of traditions. He calls out the Jews that don’t believe in him making it known that the only way to God is through him.
Again, there is a lot going on in these passages. A key verse that I resonate with is the passage of the Good Shepherd and his Sheep (John 10:1-21). In this passage Jesus addressed the Pharisees with the analogy of a good shepherd and his sheep. Jesus equates the Good shepherd with himself and the sheep as his followers. This passage highlights the love and care that Jesus has for his people. How he protects and cares for his people to the point of willing to put himself in harm’s way despite the consequences. There is no love like the love that God has for his people. Though his people may be put in custody by others, it is only temporary and their care won’t be as great as God’s.
These chapters really help me to see how gracious God is and how loving and caring he is. Despite the haterade the Pharisees are sipping, he is still warning them, giving them opportunities to repent. He is letting them know the truth and reveals his plans to them and his disciples. He is doing so many great things and though the Pharisees are so hard-headed, He is poise and goes about God’s plan. This just adds more admiration to Jesus and his role in my salvation and the salvation of the world.
In regard to the Good Shepherd and the Sheep, I take it that the sheep who follow and listen to the Good shepherd are disciples of Christ. Naturally sheep stick together. They roam together to protect themselves and each other. This is so much their custom that it is a great accomplishment if a herding dog can split the sheep into two groups. Like a herding dog, there are many things in our society that try to guide us. Get us to move one way or the other and try to divide us. With all the division in our society it is made clear even more so. As disciples of Christ, we have a duty to one another and should do our best to remain together, unified in Christ.