John 10 Notes.docx

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Religious Studies
Stephen Westerholm

John 10 th - Chapter and verse divisions come from 16 century - Where Ch 10 starts seems to be a new start talking about the sheep and shepherd - Seems to be a completely new discourse (sheep, shepherd, bandits, Roberts, shepherd’s voice) - No indication of a change in scenery or time, no indication of a new speaker - Looks as though, without the chapter division, it would be a continuation of what Jesus had just said - If you ignore the chapter division, how does the opening verses of chapter 10 relate to ch 9? Opening Verses - Synoptics: parables, john: no parables Difference between opening verses of ch 10 and parables in synoptics: - Parables are traditionally little stories - This is not a story – it is more of a developed metaphor - John is famous for his metaphors for Jesus – light of the world, bread, water, etc - Some metaphors are just stated, some are developed (like the shepherd, vine, etc) Is it an allegory? - Allegory: A story being told that on one level you may take at the level of the story, but in fact each point in the story corresponds to something in another world or situation o Each figure stands for something else; eg. Pilgrim’s progress, animal farm o If it’s a good allegory you can read it convincingly and persuasively as a story on its own even though it refers to something else - This isn’t an allegory because it’s not a story and Jesus says he is both the shepherd and the gate  cannot be two things in an allegory - Part of what he wants to say is conveyed by being the gate to the sheepfold and part of it is conveyed by being the Shepherd - Bad guys: thieves, bandits, stranger, hireling (mercenary figure not the real shepherd) o Refer to opposing religious leaders and others against Jesus because they represent all of these figures in the story Jesus is the door to the sheepfold - He is the way to the father, the way people enter into salvation to get to God - You go in and out through this door if you’re going to find abundant life He is the Good Shepherd   - Psalm 23 – God is portrayed as the shepherd to the individual - Psalm 80- God is spoken of as the shepherd of Israel - God is the shepherd both to individuals and to nations as a whole - Allusion to God as the shepherd of his people in the Hebrew Scriptures - God is not the only shepherd  David is also (Psalm 78) o David is literally a shepherd, but God took him from this literal role to be a metaphorical shepherd to his people o Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 24 – leader of God’s people are spoken of as shepherds but shepherds who do not care about the sheep and only care for themselves  bad shepherds o Leadership of the people is spoken of as shepherds (whether or good or bad) o Ezekiel 34 God is displeased with people not doing a good job shepherding and he himself will return to shepherd his people, and David his servant is going to shepherd his people  God will shepherd them through David o Past scriptures - coming Messiah would shepherd the people (Micah 5:4) - Synoptics Shepherd References o Parable of the shepherd with 100 sheep and 1 is lost – shepherd goes to great lengths to recover this sheep o Incidental references – Mark 6:34 – seeing people like sheep without a shepherd, indication religious leaders are not playing the role they ought to o Mark 14:27 – smite the shepherd and the sheep will be spread abroad o Matthew 25 – Son of Man comes at the end of history as we know it and divides people as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats ( sheep destined for eternal life, goats for eternal punishment) - Points of Jesus as the Good Shepherd: o Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep  act of love and concern o Totally of his own volition  it is all of his own accord o Takes his life up again in accordance with his and his father’s will - This is the first explicit reference in the Gospel to Jesus’ coming death: I am going to lay
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