Saturday, November 26, 2016

John 10:11,14 - The One Shepherd

John 10:11 - I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:14 - I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I'm known by my own.

Psalms 23:1 - A Psalm of David. Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not lack.-- Green's Literal

Ezekiel 34:15 - I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord Jehovah. -- American Standard.

The above scriptures are presented (and sometimes a few others such as: Isaiah 40:10,11; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 7:17) with the idea of leaving the impression that Jesus is Jehovah, who is presented as "shepherd" spoken of in Psalm 23:1; Ezekiel 34:15; Isaiah 40:10,11.

While Jehovah claims for Himself the role of shepherd for His sheep, the prophecy in Ezekiel 34 further shows that Jehovah shepherds His sheep by appointing another who is not Himself to perform the actual shepherding. Thus Jehovah shepherds the sheep "through" the one appointed, just he will come to judge the world "through" the one he appointed. -- Psalms 96:13; 98:9; Acts 17:31.

Ezekiel 34:23-24 - 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. And I, Jehovah, will be their God, and my servant David prince among them; I, Jehovah, have spoken it. -- American Standard.

David here is used to represent the Messiah, who comes from the house of David. Jehovah says that He will "set up one shepherd over" his sheep, and that this one shepherd is to feed them, and he identifies that shepherd as "David." "David," of course, is not Jehovah. David is prophetically used many times in the Old Testament of designate the "the son of the man," David, the Messiah.

The Greek word "Kalos" rendered "Good" in the expression "Good Shepherd" in John 10:11,14 can also mean "Genuine" or "Approved", depending on how it is used in the context. Many before Jesus had claimed to be that shepherd promised by Jehovah in Ezekiel 34:23,24, but Jesus spoke of himself as the "Genuine Shepherd". In view of the context, both in John 10 and Ezekiel 34, it should be apparent that the expression "Good Shepherd" would better be understood as the "Genuine Shepherd" in John 10:11,14.

Only Jesus had kept the Law perfectly, unlike all the false shepherds who came before, thus only Jesus was that "Genuine Shepherd". Only the Genuine Shepherd would be sin-free so as to be able to lay his human existence down in death for the sheep. Nevertheless, Jesus never claimed to be Jehovah, to whom the sheep belonged. He claimed that he received the sheep from Jehovah, his Father, as we can see from the context of John 10:11,14:

John 10:29 - My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand.

Jesus here speaks of the sheep entrusted to him by his God and Father.

John 17:9 - I pray for them. I don't pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

And thus Jesus acknowledges the actual ownership of the sheep belongs to the only true God who sent him, and the only true God had given these sheep to him. -- John 17:1,3.

Jesus thus corroborates Ezekiel 34.

None of this means that Jesus is Jehovah, but rather shows that it was Jehovah who appointed Jesus as shepherd of the flock.

Instead of claiming to be God (the Supreme Being), Jesus claimed to be sent by the only true God. - John 17:1,3.

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