Jehovah is the Good Shepherd
When Jesus told them in John 10:1, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber;” they did not understand Him. Not even the fifth verse, “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers,” opened the door of understanding. God knew that some people will do His will and will love, with all their hearts, to follow Him. These are His people: for whom He did a katallasso (kat-al-las’-so), a Greek word for ‘reconcile’ or ‘reconciliation’ found in 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19 and Hebrews 2:17, which means: ‘to change mutually, (figuratively) to reconcile.’
From the seventh to the tenth verses of John chapter ten Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
(8) All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
(9) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
(10) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. Then Jesus revealed His true Person in the eleventh verse: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” If you too do not understand then let us traverse the Scriptures.
They understood when the Lord called Himself the good shepherd. The reason is simple.
Psalm 80:1 says, “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest [between] the cherubims, shine forth.” What was Jesus saying here? Answer some questions and you would have answered this question.
Who is the Shepherd of Israel? He is the Ē̆lôhı̂ym of the preceding Psalms 79:1; the One who did commission Moses to go and tell Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” Of this Shepherd it is written in Exodus 13:21, “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:” so, Jehovah is the Shepherd.
Who dwelleth between the cherubim in the holy of the holiest? Of the cherubim God said, in Exodus 25:22, “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” What proves that this is God speaking is found in the first verse, “And the LORD spake unto Moses saying:”
The well-known Psalm 23 establishes God’s bucolical stance. “The LORD is my shepherd.” ‘LORD’, in capitals is the Hebraic YAHWEH. The God of Psalm 80 is not different from that of 23. I caught a revelation in Psalms 80:17, “Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.” Who else but Jesus who alone dwells at the right hand of Majesty? Verse 18, “So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.” The last Adam -Jesus- is a quickening spirit. Verse 19, “Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.” Only Jesus can save (Acts 4:12; John 3:36; John 14:6; 1Corinthians 3:11; 1John 5:11-12 & Revelation 7:10).
So, when Jesus said, “I am the good Shepherd,” the Jewish discipular audience, who were conversant with the Psalms caught the revelation. Those who had ears believed Him. Their eagerness to drink from the well of salvation and to gourmandise the heavenly manna facilitated the smooth digestion of Psalm 80:17. The Spirit of God, seeing their readiness, pointed out Jesus as the ‘son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.’
They had no reason to disbelieve, but every reason to presume true, His testimony of John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” The bucolic office of Jesus was ventilated by prophetic utterances. Isaiah 40:11, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” And who is the subject of verse 11? He is called, in verse 10, Lord God which is ‘Ådônây Yehôvih (yeh-ho-vee’) in Hebrew. ‘Ådônây (ad-o-noy’) going by BDB Definition: ‘Lord – title, spoken in place of Yahweh in Jewish display of reverence.’ Strong’s Definition: ‘An emphatic form of Adon; the Lord (used as a proper name of God only).’ God, in verse ten, is Yehôvih (yeh-ho-vee’): ‘A variation of Jehovah (used after ‘Ådônây, and pronounced by Jews as Ēlôhı̂ym, in order to prevent the repetition of the same sound, since they elsewhere pronounce Jehovah as ‘Ådônây).’
Ezekiel 34:23, “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.” God and David cannot hold the same bucolic office. When you read prophecies like this you must understand that David is used as a metaphor for the Messiah. Another good reason is that David had long died when Ezekiel made the prophetic pronouncement.
Is it lucidly unambiguous when Jesus declared, in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep?” It was categorical! Jesus gave a testimony of His deity! By this revelation, Jesus unveiled His true identity: Jesus is the LORD (Jehovah) of Psalm 23; and the God (Ēlôhı̂ym) of the third verse of Psalm 80. (…to be continued…)
Read the 2nd part here
Read part IV here