John 10:16 – One Flock One Shepherd

God didn’t have to do any of this. He had no need that He had to fill. There wasn’t any outside influence on Him. God created us simply because He wanted to. No, maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps He did have a need. That need was to lavish the love bursting in His heart upon someone. And so He created us to be His children – that He could be our Father.

The Bible tells us that God created us in His image. He designed us so that we would reflect the goodness of who He is. As His sons and daughters, we would be pleasing to Him. It’s not as if He had to fill any void in His heart; He is complete unto Himself. His purpose was to bring joy through creation. Thus, His goodness would multiply.

Can you imagine the delight God took as He walked in the Garden in the cool of the evening and came across His image-bearers, Adam and Eve? What pleasure that must have given Him! When they – in their free will – disobeyed God, can you picture how it saddened Him?

In God’s omniscience, He knew that time was coming.  He already had a plan to deal with the fallout.  Yet, in the flesh we have to wonder if He shook His head and thought, “Oy vey, here it comes!”

Mankind has always been unruly because of the bad choices we make.  They lead us away from God and His perfect will for us.  It’s why men capitulated to the whims of God’s divine sons (bene Elohim) when they came to earth and corrupted the human gene pool, resulting in Him bringing the flood to start over (Genesis 6).

The stubbornness in our hearts to do what we wish rather than follow God’s commands is what led Him to scatter men into nations following the Tower of Babel, so that He could concentrate on raising a single people initially to be His own (Genesis 11; Deuteronomy 32:8-9).  In bringing Israel into existence, God intended for them to be a blessing to the world.  They were to be the light shining into the darkness so that mankind would once more turn to Him.

Of course, Israel on its own could do no more than any other nation or people.  They were as hopelessly mired in sin and rebellion as everyone else.  Thankfully, God didn’t stop there.

Using Israel as the launch pad, God brought His perfect Son into the world.  Jesus was the express image of God.  He was the perfection of what God intended in the Garden when He began this whole endeavor.  It is through Jesus that God’s original purpose will be fulfilled.

Despite the Scriptures and what they clearly said, Israel thought she was the only nation that would and should be blessed by God because of His work through the Jewish people over the ages.  The prophets had foretold One who would come and bring God’s glory to the entire earth, but His coming wasn’t in the way the Jews expected.

When Jesus came and operated among the people in the power and authority of God, the religious leaders couldn’t accept Him because of their preconceived notions.  When Jesus spoke of the unity of peoples that would result through His work, the idea – again despite the Word beforehand – didn’t sit well with many.  The concept was too radical and the box the Pharisees had constructed too airtight.

Look at all that Jesus said in this regard in John 10:14-18:

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

He spoke of the other sheep not currently in the fold that He would bring in.  He said He would die for them all.  He said all He did was because of His intimate relationship with Yahweh.  He said He would live again!

It was all too much for the Jews.  They thought Jesus was demon possessed to speak such extreme things. Yet, they weren’t antithetical whatsoever to what God had communicated through His Word. For the religious authorities, however, because their hearts weren’t for God, they couldn’t accept the truth Jesus spoke. To satisfy their own perverse nature, they had to kill Him.

Aren’t you glad that God didn’t give up on mankind in general, just as He didn’t give up on Israel? Jesus came to redeem us in such a way that “there will be one flock, one shepherd.”

It means two things:

  1. God has not given up on Israel
  2. He has not given up on us

When churches and pastors speak of how God has abandoned the Jews and the nation of Israel because they crucified Jesus in their disobedience, don’t believe them for a moment.  We are here because of Israel, and we are also here to make her jealous so she will return to the Lord (Romans 11:11).  God is neither through  with Israel nor with us – and praise the Lord for that!

Just as we have the opportunity and blessing to live forever with Christ, so do the Jews.  In fact, God loves them so much that He will bring them through a Great Tribulation so that they are broken and needy for Him.  That will be the day when all Israel proclaims Jesus as Lord (Matthew 23:39).

What a day it will be!  Jew and Gentile together – redeemed – blessed.

We need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  Why?  Because the sooner there is peace in Israel, it means the day of the Lord has finally come, and we can be with Him forever!

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