Jesus the Good Shepherd leads his sheep in John 10

The lectionary gospel readers for the Fourth Sunday of Easter take the three parts of John 10 in turn; in Year A, we read the first ten verses, and now in Year B we look at the second section. But this is a good example of where our modern chapter divisions (first created by Stephen Langton, the 13th-century Archbishop of Canterbury who helped to write the Magna Carta) hinder rather than help our reading, for two reasons.

First, John 10 actually straddles a fairly major division in the narrative. The events of chapter 6 are clearly situated near Bethsaida and around Lake Galilee—the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus walking on the water, and the dispute about Jesus as the bread of life. But in John 7.10, Jesus heads off ‘secretly’ to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles in the early autumn, one of the three Pilgrim Festivals (with Passover and Pentecost), and the action of chapters 7, 8 and 9 until 10.21 is set around this time. (Note the mention, for example, of the ‘people of Jerusalem’ in John 7.25 and the ‘temple guards’ in John 7.45; this is a reason why we might interpret the language of ‘the Jews’ (Judaioi) here as either ‘Jewish leaders’ or ‘Judeans’.) But in John 10.22, we have now moved to The Feast of Dedication (Hannukah), around two months later, without any note of the time passing. The intense focus on Jerusalem is one of the things that makes sense if we believe that the author of the gospel is a Jerusalem disciple, rather than one of the Galilean Twelve.

Secondly, the chapter change from John 9.41 to 10.1 disrupts the continuity of the narrative, and even breaks up a single speech by Jesus to the Pharisees that oppose him. Chapter 10 begins with the distinctive expression of the Johannine Jesus: ‘Truly, truly I say to you…’ (Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν…). Since the Greek text here records the Aramaic or Hebrew term ‘Amen’, then we should really do so in English translations, as we do for other Aramaic terms like ‘Marana tha’, ‘Alleluia’ (in Revelation), and ‘Amen’ when it occurs in its usual place at the end of a prayer or praise to God. ‘Amen’ concludes numerous prayers in the OT, but only Jesus uses it to introduce his solemn statements. The single use (‘Amen I say to you…) occurs throughout Matthew and Mark, suggesting that this is a record of Jesus’ ipsissima verbathough Luke mostly omits the phrase in order to make his gospel more accessible to a non-Jewish readership (for example, compare Matt 8.10 with Luke 7.9). The Fourth gospel’s unique doubling of ‘Amen’, which comes 25 times, is usually repeated three or four times within a narrative unit, and almost always occurs in the middle of a section of discourse—and this is no exception.

Although we might casually infer that Jesus is opposed to the Pharisees as a group (‘I tell you Pharisees’, John 10.1 TNIV, supplying the word ‘Pharisees’ because of the context), the narrative of the healing of the man born blind in chapter 9 is connected tightly with the Good Shepherd discourse by the theme of division amongst the Pharisees in particular and the ‘Jew[ish leaders]’ in general. They are ‘divided’ in John 9.16, and again in John 10.19, and on both occasions in the same way—some saying he is opposed to God or possessed by a demon, but others arguing that he could neither do such healings or teach such things if he was a ‘sinner’. Difference and division is therefore central to the context of Jesus’ teaching here, and it is also emphasised in the content of what he says.

Part-way through Jesus’ discourse about the sheep/shepherd/sheepfold, the gospel narrator interjects to explain that this is a ‘figure of speech’, a paroimia. The term occurs only here and in John 16.25 and 29 in the gospels, and only once elsewhere in the NT in 2 Peter 2.22—where is has its usual Greek meaning of a proverb or saying. But both the terms parabole and paroimia translate the Hebrew term mashal in the Greek OT (the Septuagint, LXX), and we should not see this speech as very different from the parables in the Synoptics—which are otherwise absent from the Fourth Gospel.

It was previously argued (by Joachim Jeremias in The Parables of Jesus) that parables had only one point, implying that anything more complex was a later addition by the early church or the author of the gospel. But that does not stand up to scrutiny in the light of Jesus’ own explanation, for example, of the parable of the sower in Mark 4. On the other hand, we should be wary of treating these as allegories, where each element of the story (such as the gatekeeper in this case) ‘stands’ for something, in a detailed one-to-one relationship. That approach is undermined by Jesus’ change of focus here, where at one moment he is the shepherd, and at another is the gate for the sheep—notwithstanding the fact that shepherds would at night lie across the entrance to a sheepfold to protect the flock. Jesus emphasis in verse 9 is that he lets people in, not that he keeps others out.

The ‘figure of speech’ here functions in the same way as the parables in the Synoptics, as Jesus explains by quoting Is 6.9–10 in Mark 4.10–12: the obscurity of Jesus’ teaching serves to differentiate between those who are spiritually open to receive his message, and those who fail to understand. In this context, the difference is metaphorically expressed as between those who see (including the man born blind) and those who remain blind to Jesus’ true identity, despite their claim to sight, that is, understanding.

The whole section from verses 1 to 18 clearly have a shared theme, of the image of sheep and shepherd, but it is worth teasing out the different sections, which use the images is slightly different ways:

Contrast between shepherd and thief (1–5)They enter a different way; the doorkeeper opens the door for the shepherd but the thief comes over the wall
The sheep hear the shepherds voice and follow him, but they do not recognise or follow ‘strangers’
Contrast between door and thief (7–10)The sheep have not listened to the thief
The thief comes to kill and destroy, but the [one in the] gate offers life and pasture
Contrast between shepherd and hired hand (11–13)Shepherd risks his life for the sheep, whilst the hired hand flees at the sign of danger
The hired hand allows the sheep to be scattered
The good shepherd (14–18)The shepherd knows the sheep
The shepherd lays down his life for the sheep
The shepherd brings all the sheep into one flock
The sheep listen to the shepherd’s voice
I lay down my life and take it up again

The shifting metaphors offer connections in a typically Johannine way, circling around and developing different ideas. The first section is an example of rabbinical argumentation ‘from the lesser to the greater’ (kal vahomer) in which the second half of the argument is left for the reader to deduce—as we saw in Jesus’ language about the ‘grain of wheat falling into the ground’ in John 12.24. Jesus’ identification with the shepherd isn’t made explicit until the third section. The twin themes of the sheep listening and following and introduced in the first section, repeated in the second, and revisited in the fourth. Jesus’ opponents (with whom he is interacting) are characterised as malicious ‘thieves and robbers’ in the first and second sections, and then with cowardly hired hands in the third. In the fourth section they appear to disappear from view, but the implication is that they are those who do not know the sheep, who do not know the Father, and who do not have authority, in contrast to Jesus. All through we are introduced to ideas which are further developed in the Last Supper discourse—knowing, following, Jesus laying down his life, and the relationship of Jesus with his followers mirroring Jesus’ relationship with his Father.

It is helpful to note that the different sections appear to draw on two different pastoral scenarios (see Colin Kruse, Tyndale Commentary, pp 267–269, drawing on the insights of Kenneth Bailey). In the first scene, the context is a village, where each family owns some sheep which are kept in a courtyard at the back of the house. A shepherd would take the sheep from each household out to pasture, and a doorkeep would admit him. In the second and third sections, the context has changed. Here we are in the open country, and the shepherd is bringing the sheep into a pen at night for protection, and himself lies across the entranceway—hence he is the ‘door’ for the sheep. But in the fourth section, we have returned to the village, and there are several courtyards, each with sheep in, all looked after by one shepherd.

The first part of the paroimia is simply descriptive of the practices of shepherd in Jesus’ day. There is often discussion here (and in relation to the shepherds at Christmas in Luke 2 as well as Luke 15) as to whether shepherds were social outcasts as the bottom rung of the ladder of respectability. But David Croteau has pointed out that all the negative references to shepherds either come from Greek sources or from one part of the Babylonian Talmud, which might have been influenced polemically against the gospel traditions in which shepherds are positive models. Within this narrative, and elsewhere in the NT, shepherds are depicted entirely positively—which is not surprising given the roots of the image in the OT as referring to God and to those who are faithful leaders under God of his people, especially in Ezekiel 34 and Ps 23. First-century shepherds would indeed be able to name their sheep, who would respond to either a tune played on a flute by their shepherd, or the shepherd calling them by name.

In the second part of the paroimia, Jesus makes his identification with the shepherd and the door explicit, and this section includes, close together, two of the seven ‘I am…’ sayings of the Fourth Gospel. Felix Just notes how all these images are rooted in the OT, and primarily refer to God’s relationship with Israel:

  • Bread of Life / Bread from Heaven – see Exod 16; Num 11:6-9; Ps 78:24; Isa 55:1-3; Neh 9:15; 2 Mac 2:5-8
  • Light of the World – Exod 13:21-22; Isa 42:6-7; Ps 97:4
  • Good Shepherd – Ezek 34:1-41; Gen 48:15; 49:24; Ps 23:1-4; 80:1; 100:3-4; Micah 7:14
  • Resurrection / Life – Dan 12:2; Ps 56:13; 2 Mac 7:1-38
  • Way – Exod 33:13; Ps 25:4; 27:11; 86:11; 119:59; Isa 40:3; 62:10
  • Truth – 1 Kings 17:4; Ps 25:5; 43:3; 86:11; 119:160; Isa 45:19
  • Vine / Vineyard – Isa 5:1-7; Ps 80:9-17; Jer 2:21; Ezek 17:5-10

So Jesus’ claims here contribute to the high Christology of this gospel; what God was to Israel, Jesus now is to those who follow him.

Jesus’ willingness, as the good shepherd, to lay down his life clearly anticipates the crucifixion, and Jesus uses this language more directly in John 15.13, where the ‘sheep’ have now become ‘friends’. The following of the sheep becomes the obedience of his friends, who ‘do what I command’. Receiving Jesus’ gift of his life laid down, obedience and discipleship, knowing him as a friend, and knowing the Father are all integrally entwined together.

We might naturally read the language of the wolf who scatters the sheep as a spiritual reference to Satan and those who do his work, just as Judas is described as a thief and identified with the devil. But for this gospel’s first readers, having seen the destruction of the nation following the First Jewish War, it would be hard not to see some association with the power of Rome. It is Jesus who confronted Pilate and his assumptions about power, whilst the Jewish leaders capitulated in their concession that ‘We have no king but Caesar’ (John 19.15)—and it is Rome who has scattered God’s people and, ultimately, driven them out of the land.

The ‘other sheep not of this courtyard’ cannot be a universalising reference to ‘secret believers’ in other religions, since Jesus is clear that they ‘shall be one flock with one shepherd’. Here is the Fourth Gospel’s anticipation of the gentile mission, hinted at from the very beginning when ‘his own’ rejected Jesus, but ‘all who received him’, regardless of whether they were initially ‘his own’ or not, became members of his family.

The description of the shepherd now takes on heightened significance. As the sheep, who are trusting, and unable to find their way on their own, listen to the voice of the shepherd, so Jesus’ voice becomes the guide for those who follow him. This literally becomes the case for Mary Magdalene in the tomb garden in John 20; it is when she hears Jesus call her by name that she recognises him. But elsewhere in this gospel, the voice of Jesus is closely identified with the voice of God; just as Jesus only does what he sees his Father doing (John 5.19) so he only speaks what the Father is speaking (John 12.49), so that to hear Jesus is to hear the words of God (John 14.31).

And to hear Jesus is to know him, and that is the source of true life (John 17.3). Here is the most striking contrast between Jesus as the good shepherd, and the ‘thieves and robbers’ who claim illegitimate authority. Where they bring death, he brings life—in fact, he offers an exchange, where he gives up his own life, and experiences death, in order that the sheep might have life ‘in all its fulness’. This, then, is not a mantra for general prosperity in society, detached from the question of discipleship (as it appears to have been used recently in the Church of England statement about goals in education), but an expression of discipleship—of the life that comes from Jesus’ atoning death, that brings light and life to those who receive him. This completes the connection between life and sight that is created by the connection with the healing of the man born blind; right at the start of this gospel, the Word brings life which is the ‘light of all humanity’ (John 1.4) but which is only experienced when he is ‘received’ (John 1.12).

These sayings do not offer a cosy image of comfort to those already part of the community of faith, nor to the general reader. They are generated in the heat of the conflict and division created by both Jesus’ teaching and his actions. They sit within the paradox of grace and judgement within this gospel as a whole; although Jesus came to save the world and not judge it (John 3.17), yet judgement comes when people make a decision about how to respond to Jesus (John 3.18). Jesus’ claim to be the true Shepherd of God’s people means we need to make a response as to whether we will follow him.

But to those who do receive them, these words offer hope and life. Safety is no longer to be found in a place, in the sheepfold of the land of Israel or the social space of conformity to the law, but in a person—in the knowledge of Jesus and obedience to the call of his voice, as he calls us by name. Hence Paul’s language of the people of God being ‘in Christ’ where the OT talks about being ‘in the land’. And the sheep belong to the shepherd, they are his own, because they have been ‘bought with the price’ (1 Cor 6.20) of the life of the Good Shepherd laid down for us.

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12 thoughts on “Jesus the Good Shepherd leads his sheep in John 10”

  1. I appreciate that you don’t want us to read it allogorically, but I must protest. Surely, if we are to read the wolf as the Roman empire then we must see the Zealot’s and their false messiah as the hirelings. But they didn’t flee! Though, I acknowledge Yohanan ben Zakkai did. I don’t know any reason to think that early Christian would have blamed the Romans for Jerusalem’s destruction rather than the rebels. This seems to be academic revolutionaries – with their famed lack of empathy for the common man – reading themselves into the situation rather than really considering how the early reader would have read it.

    I don’t think there is one early church reading. You assume that the early readers would be opposed to the Romans – despite the Epistles being so pro-peace and the Roman’s role in that peace – rather than the rebels – despite their murder of James the Just. The monoideology of the academy provokes the attempt to discover the monoideology of the early readers (and if they do manage to realise that there’s no such thing, then there must be ‘early Christianities’).

    You say that it was Rome that scattered God’s people, but was it not actually them temple authorities (who supported this most recent rebellion in which the common man starved and died) who scattered God’s people when they stoned St Stephen? (Which tallies with 10:16 being a reference to the gentile mission.)

    • I don’t think the scattering here is view at all positively, but as an element of destruction, hence the earlier reference to ‘stealing and destroying’. Jesus appears to see the failed leadership as causing the destruction of the people, and it is clear in the later narrative that this failure includes kow-towing to Rome…

      • I don’t think the Jewish leadership in stoning Stephen are viewed at all positively. And the idea that God can bring good out of what is evil is right at the start of the Christian.

        However, if you think that the wolf and hirelings having ultimately positive effects are ruled out in Jesus’ sayings, then when do you date the emergence of the (Christian) view that the destruction of Jerusalem was good and just?

        “is clear in the later narrative that this failure includes kow-towing to Rome…”

        Where? The only kowtowing I see is that they don’t kill Jesus themselves as that would be against the Roman law (and so make Pilate do it for them) and it hardly condemns them for not killing Him personally. It is Pilate who is described as being afraid. Indeed, John 19:11 seems to destroy any possibility of an Anti-Rome narrative.

        (There’s the ‘we have no king but Caesar’, but that is cant used to disagree with Caesar’s actual representative. I don’t think the writer is implying that that’s there reason for rejecting Christ as king.)

  2. I taught the Gospel of John at a seminary in Kenya. Many of the students were from desert ares where animals are a priority. I used Ken Bailey’s ideas when I covered Jn 10. The desert students asked how i knew so much about sheep as I correctly described their experience of taking care of the sheep. I’ve been very grateful to Ken and bless him every day for his insights.

  3. The focus on Jerusalem may suggest that the author was a Jerusalem disciple rather than one of the Twelve. However, if one of the Twelve became a resident of Jerusalem then it could be that his memory of events which occurred in that city would be more firmly established. Assuming that the John referred to by Paul as one of the Pillars was the son Zebedee, he would fit the bill. Furthermore, the author is also clearly knowledgeable about the Galilean setting, which you would not expect of a Jerusalem native.

    Perhaps the strongest argument against this is that the “other” disciple who follows Jesus after his arrest apparently knows the high priest. That definitely suggests a Jerusalem native. If the “other” disciple is the Beloved Disciple, and author, this would be quite compelling.

    • Although Richard Bauckham makes quite a strong case for John the Elder, Im still not wholly convinced. I think it still could be the apostle John. As you say, how do we know he didnt live in Jerusalem for some time?

  4. I can’t seem to find a reference to Satan as a wolf. What I could find seemed to be about religious officials willing to throw people under the bus for their own gain. We appear to give spiritual powers too much credit, maybe to cover for the damage we ourselves do, under the guise of being fellow sheep of course, which maybe most of the perpetrators genuinely believe themselves to be. Two of Bailey’s categories too, of course, bad shepherds and bad sheep. Brilliant book.

  5. Ref first century shepherds knowing their sheep by name: I was brought up on a mixed farm (ie milking cows and arable crops) in ’50s and ’60s. The cows were milked twice daily and our cowman and my Dad certainly knew the small (<50) herd of cows by name and what their temperaments were like – eg which were easy to milk and which of the 'ladies' might attempt to kick them from time to time.

  6. Hope you don’t mind this, which centres on “I am the Gate/door” but expands.
    I took part, with others in a series on the “I am” sayings of Jesus in John – notes from the last time I preached. It is easy to see why.

    Readings Psalm 34 : John 10: 1-10
    Some years ago a retired Director of Education, who I know, who was an longstanding Local Preacher got an article published in the National Local Preachers magazine, and much edited and in my own words it goes something like this: I have some idea about Jesus being the Bread of Life: being the Light of the World, Jesus as the Good shepherd, Jesus the True Vine, but what on earth is Jesus going on about: I AM THE GATE. – I just don’t get it.
    There we have it: sermon for today. Amen, let’s say the grace together. and go home.

    Two weeks ago we looked at Jesus as The Good Shepherd. As this is part of a series on the I Am sayings of Jesus today is a bit like seeing, looking at, or listening to episode 3 after episode 4 of a 7 part TV or radio series, and we need to recap a bit, for those of us who missed it and as a reinforced reminder to those us who were here.

    Jesus is at the Feast or Festival of Tabernacles or Booths,(John 7). It is
    Compulsory for Gods people, compulsory for the nation.(It is commanded by God (Lev 23:34) (Deut 16;123) . It lasts 7 days, a 7 day High- Holy – days of celebrations.

    It is an acted out reminder of the Nation’s Exodus for forty years in the desert
    when God’ presence Tabernacled with His people in their midst, all day and all night
    As I said two weeks ago: Forget Glastonbury, forget Spring Harvest, forget Keswick Convention, forget any Christian gathering, large or small they are cucumber sandwich tea parties. in comparison. This is the gathering of a Nation to worship God.

    1 FIRST It is a Festival a SEASON of Joy.
    It is the whole Nation the people of God Remembering by acting out the Exodus, God’s deliverance of His people to enable thenm to worship him.
    It takes place in and around the around the Temple Courts or Courtyards which is where we most likely find Jesus
    Herods’s Temple at time of Christ is One of Wonders of the World.
    The saying is “if you haven’t seen the Temple you haven’t seen any beautiful building”, It is jaw-dropping Awesome to Jesus disciples “what wonderful stones AND WHAT WONDERFUL BUILDINGS” they say (Mark 13:1)
    The Temple is the Holy Place and inside that is The Holy of Holies. a symbol of God living permanently in the heart of God ‘s people, at the heart of the nation. Only a cleansed High priest can enter, the Holy of Holies He will die if he enters, if he comes into the presence of God dirty.
    Surrounding the Temple are courts, or Courtyards which have magnificent Gates. To get to the Holy Place you go through different Court yards. They are a bit like sheep pens, really.
    On holiday in Scotland, a couple of years ago, I looked into an ancient Church in Cromarty. The inside is sectioned off into pens for people. The pens at the front, were named and bought by local big wigs, the cheap seats were at the back and there is little room for the poor, the great unwashed.
    Closer to home, a large Methodist Chapel, years ago, was a lot like that with the seating sectioned off like pens for people.
    At Herod’s Temple The Courtyard, furthest from the Temple is for Gentiles. This Courtyard surrounds all the others. Illustrate …
    Gentiles can’t go further into inner temple Courtyards. On each gate there is a Death Penalty Warning Sign, “(gentile) Sinners will die”. Sinners -the unclean – can not enter the Holiness of God for they will surely die.
    Unlike TODAY where we Could have signs on all the gates into our Church – This place is for Sinners only – enter through Jesus and you will LIVE.
    Around the Courtyard of Gentiles are Magnificent colonnades, porches. The greatest of them is Solomon’s with 162 marble pillars and Solomon’s Entrance Porch.
    Solomon’s Porch is near the Beautiful Gate, an enormous double gate, a gate with Pillars to support it , massive double doors, with gold and silver plating and brass from Corinth: it dazzles with ornamentation. It’s So ENORMOUS it needs 20 men to open and close It is the MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE TEMPLE:
    Jesus says in this passage, anyone, everyone has to go through THE GATE -There’s no other way, The Good Shepherd has to go in through the gate. But Here’s the rub: Jesus says He is THE Good Shepherd and he is THE Gate.
    v 9 ” I am THE gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.

    Jesus here is not wishy washy, vague He is pin sharp. He is exclusive, not inclusive. But at the same time he is inclusive, “whoever,” anyone, everyone, who comes through Him will be saved. But if you don’t, you wont.

    They don’t understand: Come off it Jesus how ON EARTH can you be both The Good Shepherd and The Gate at the same time. This is bizzar, weird. How can you go through yourself ? We just don’t get it .
    They don’t understand because it is a figure of speech.
    A well known figure of speech is something you all are at this very moment, listening , listening : “I am all ears”. As look around all I can see are Noddy’s fiends – BIG EARS.

    There’s an expression frequently heard today which doesn’t come from the Bible: so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good, but I’ll turn that upside down –we can be NO EARTHLY GOOD UNLESS, we are so heavenly minded. We need to see with the eyes of faith the Spiritual reality behind the earthly things.

    Now we flick the switch over from the reality the physical GATE at the Temple. As a visual aid to Jesus speech, AS A FIGURE OF SPEECH to the Spiritual Reality of Jesus as God’s Gate/door.
    JESUS IS SAYING I AM THE GATE/DOOR of access to PRESENCE OF GOD FOR ALL WHO COME THROUGH ME and all who do are His sheep over whom he is the Good Shepherd (from the OT fulfilled)
    And what a Beautiful Gate, a beautiful Saviour He is. Sublime. Supreme.

    Jesus is both the Gate and the Good Shepherd who leads His sheep, his people through the Gate. He is both the way to .safety, to salvation into the presence of God and HE is the Permanent presence of God, with us even to the end of time.

    We continue with spiritual, with the scripture John 10 v3. It is not 20 men who open the GATE IT IS the WATCHMAN who opens the Gate .
    v 3 “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
    Watchmen are Prophets in Old Testament who tell out what God is saying, what God has done, is doing and will do, they tell forth and fore tell, they POINT THE WAY FORWARD,
    But it’s not just the recognised WATCHMEN prophets who do that, the whole of the Old Testament in different ways does that – like the Psalms
    PSALM 24: 9-10
    9 Lift up your heads, you gates;
    lift them up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
    10 Who is he, this King of glory?
    The Lord Almighty—
    he is the King of glory.
    BUT Who is THE SPECIFIC watchman OF John 10v3 who opens the Gate to THE specific GOOD Shepherd.
    He is the prophetic voice of God HERALDING, making a way opening the gate
    John the Baptist says , he is the prophet , the one: the one the Prophet Isaiah spoke about : “I am the voice of the one calling in the desert, make straight the way for the Lord” (John 1:23)
    John the Baptist THE watchman opening the door as it were, making way , ” make way to the King of King and let his Kingdom in.. ” to Jesus the LORD Of Glory., Jesus the Good Shepherd King
    And,as if to drive home the point the Gospel of John chapter10 ends with Jesus, escaping the grasp of the Hebrew people who are trying to kill him for though, in their eyes he is merely a man, Jesus is claiming to be God: John 10:37 takes us back back to the place where John the Baptist first baptised on the other side of the River Jordan and it is there many people believe in Jesus BECAUSE they believe that “all John (the Baptist said) about Jesus was true” .
    All of this is in stark contrast a night and night and day contrast to those who are trying to kill Jesus because they don’t BELIEVE Jesus.

    The Tabernacle and Temple are two streams that flow into one river, –
    Jesus is the true Temple (John 2: 19-22)
    And just as a theme of the Festival of Tabernacles is the dedication of the Temple,
    THE VERY BEING of JESUS is dedicated by being laid down for us ,desecrated, broken down by human hands but raised up and rebuilt not by human hands, but by the hand of God, Holy Spirit.
    And now God’s Holy Temple is being built, restored not with human hands, but by Living stones, as we are joined to Him

    1 Peter 2 : 4-5 “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house [ a temple of the Spirit] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
    Jesus is the Temple, we are living stones built by God, not human hands.
    Jesus dedicates the temple of his Body, by laying it down

    So what in a name?
    Jesus Christ is NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES The Names Start in Genesis and End in Revelation They clear away the fog and misunderstanding and frequent apathy and neglect of Jesus in our lives and outright unbelief. We are called to fix our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, to look to the lifter of our heads, the restorer of our souls as we continue our worship with a sacrifice of praise, as we Come to Him the King of Glory, the Lord of Glory who is crucified for those who love Him (1Cor 2 8b) who changes us from one degree of glory to another as we open up our whole lives, every part to let the Shepherd King of Glory in to inhabit and possess us.

    And there we have it.
    Jesus is the true Shepherd King of Glory, the true tabernacle, the true Temple :
    From Rev 21: 22
    “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple”
    And again rev 21 : 3-4
    3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place (tabernacle)is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
    Even today, we might be broken, battered, bruised, washed out, strung out. Even now, this very moment, we are His and He is ours, and He is Here: Here now. Amen and Amen
    And Yes even to the Very End through to Revelation
    Jesus is the true tabernacle, the true Temple :
    From Rev 21: 22
    “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple”
    And again rev 21 : 3-4
    3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place (tabernacle)is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
    Even today, we might be broken, battered, bruised, washed out, strung out Even now, this very moment, we are His and He is ours, and He is Here: Here now. Amen and Amen.

    What there to do? Let’s come to him, let’s worship him.


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