Posts Tagged ‘John’

The sheep and the shepherd (John 10:16)

May 27, 2010

Reference: John 10:16

We know who the shepherd is, the question here is "who's in the flock?"

What does Jesus mean in John 10:16 when he says ” one on one” – does he mean that he guides each one us one on one?

Actually this passage has nothing to do with the manner in which Jesus leads/guides us.  Rather he is speaking specifically about salvation and who receives it.  Jesus does not say that the shepherd leads us “one on one” he says that there is “one flock and one shepherd”.   A flock consists of many sheep, not just one.  It would have been different if he had said there is one sheep and one shepherd.  But he is saying that there is one “flock”, i.e. many sheep.

The significance of this ONE flock lies in the beginning of the verse.  Jesus says that he has “other” sheep.  He is referring to the Gentiles, those outside the Jewish faith.  He suggests here that he will go and get them as well, and through the gate (Jesus), they too will receive salvation.  This is a very radical statement because during Jesus’ time there was great separation between the Jews and the Gentiles.  Yet here he says they will both be a part of the ‘one flock’.

Jesus reminds us that even the people we least suspect are welcome into his flock.  It doesn’t matter if they come from a different culture, a different system of beliefs, or if they look or act a certain way.  But here he also reminds us that those who will pass through the gate must “listen to his voice.”  Many do not.