I am the good shepherd - Whose character is the very reverse of that which has already been described. In John 10:7, John 10:9, our Lord had called himself the door of the sheep, as being the sole way to glory, and entrance into eternal life; here he changes the thought, and calls himself the shepherd, because of what he was to do for them that believe in him, in order to prepare them for eternal glory.
Giveth his life for the sheep - That is, gives up his soul as a sacrifice to save them from eternal death.
Some will have the phrase here only to mean hazarding his life in order to protect others; but the 15th, 17th, and 18th verses, as well as the whole tenor of the new covenant, sufficiently prove that the first sense is that in which our Lord's words should be understood.
The good shepherd - The faithful and true shepherd, willing to do all that is necessary to defend and save the flock.
Giveth his life - A shepherd that regarded his flock would hazard his own life to defend them. When the wolf comes, he would still remain to protect them. To give his life, here, means the same as not to fly, or to forsake his flock; to be willing to expose his life, if necessary, to defend them. Compare Judges 12:3; “I put my life in my hands and passed over,” etc.; 1 Samuel 19:5; 1 Samuel 28:21. See John 10:15. The Messiah was often predicted under the character of a shepherd.
Jesus cares for each one as though there were not another individual on the face of the earth. As Deity He exerts mighty power in our behalf, while as our Elder Brother He feels for all our woes. The Majesty of heaven held not Himself aloof from degraded, sinful humanity. We have not a high priest who is so high, so lifted up, that He cannot notice us or sympathize with us, but one who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 5T 346.1
How different from this spirit is the feeling of indifference and contempt that has been manifested by some in ----- toward J and those who have been affected by his influence. If ever the transforming grace of God was needed, it is needed in this church. In judging and condemning a brother, they have undertaken to do a work that God never put into their hands. A hardness of heart, a censorious, condemnatory spirit that would destroy individuality and independence, has been woven into their Christian experience, and they have lost the love of Jesus out of their hearts. Make haste, brethren, to get these things off your soul before it shall be said in heaven: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” 5T 347.1
You will have many perplexities to meet in your Christian life in connection with the church, but do not try too hard to mold your brethren. If you see that they do not meet the requirements of God's word, do not condemn; if they provoke, do not retaliate. When things are said that would exasperate, quietly keep your soul from fretting. You see many things which appear wrong in others, and you want to correct these wrongs. You commence in your own strength to work for a reform, but you do not go about it in the right way. You must labor for the erring with a heart subdued, softened by the Spirit of God, and let the Lord work through you, the agent. Roll your burden on Jesus. You feel that the Lord must take up the case where Satan is striving for the mastery over some soul; but you are to do what you can in humility and meekness, and put the tangled work, the complicated matters, into the hands of God. Follow the directions in His word, and leave the outcome of the matter to His wisdom. Having done all you can to save your brother, cease worrying, and go calmly about other pressing duties. It is no longer your matter, but God's. 5T 347.2Read in context »
Then said Jesus unto them ..., Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. John 10:7. LHU 197.1
Satan took the field in person against Jesus Christ. Evil angels conspired with evil men to resist good, to trample upon righteousness, and all the energies of evil were confederated together to destroy the champion of God and truth. While success seems to attend the masterly activity of Satan, Jesus takes the field to contest his power. Jesus came “unto his own, and his own received him not.” He was charged with an embassage of mercy, sent of the Father at a crisis when rebellion had overspread the world, in order that man should not perish, but have everlasting life through faith in the Son of God. Through Christ they were to bruise the serpent's head, and gain eternal life.... LHU 197.2Read in context »
Christ's illustrations were taken from the things of daily life, and although they were simple, they had in them a wonderful depth of meaning. The birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the growing seed, the shepherd and the sheep—with these things Christ illustrated immortal truth; and ever afterward, when His hearers chanced to see these objects, they recalled His words. Thus the truth became a living reality; the scenes of nature and the daily affairs of life were ever repeating to them the Saviour's teaching. CT 261.1
Christ always used simple language, yet His words tested the knowledge of deep, unprejudiced thinkers. His manner of teaching should be followed by teachers of today. Spiritual truths should always be presented in simple language, that they may be comprehended and find lodgment in the heart. Thus Christ addressed the crowds that pressed and thronged about Him; and all, learned and unlearned, were able to comprehend His lessons. CT 261.2
In every school the instruction given should be as easy to understand as was that given by Christ. The use of long words confuses the mind and eclipses the beauty of the thought presented. There is need of teachers who will come close to their students and who will give clear, definite instruction, illustrating spiritual things by the things of nature and by the familiar events of everyday experience. CT 261.3Read in context »
“Speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee.”
The Great Teacher brought His hearers in contact with nature, that they might listen to the voice which speaks in all created things; and as their hearts became tender and their minds receptive, He helped them to interpret the spiritual teaching of the scenes upon which their eyes rested. The parables, by means of which He loved to teach lessons of truth, show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature and how He delighted to gather the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of daily life. Ed 102.1Read in context »