Christ Jesus revealed why we follow him through the a parable he spoke to Jews gathered at the temple during their feast of tabernacles. Recorded in John ten.
Just prior, in John nine, we see Jesus healed the blind man. Not only that, but the formerly blind man was a Gentile and declared he believed in Jesus. (Jn 9:38). That really stirred up the Jews and Jesus rebuked them. (Jn 9:39-41)
The Illustration of the Sheepfold
1“Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, the person who doesn’t enter the sheepfold through the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a bandit.2The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The sheepfold is what sheepmen of today call a corral. It is an enclosure to contain and protect sheep. The shepherd of the sheep is known by the gatekeeper who opens the gate.
3It’s to him the gatekeeper opens the gate, and it’s his voice the sheep hear. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has driven out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. 5They’ll never follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.”
Christ Jesus knows us and calls us by name. We follow him out because we recognize his voice.
Christ Jesus the Good Shepherd
“Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, I’m the gate for the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9I’m the gate. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved. He’ll come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I’ve come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Christ Jesus identifies himself as the gate, we enter the gate through him and will be saved. We are saved and will be saved on the last day. God has made us His heirs and given us the inheritance of eternal life in the new heaven and new earth. We will receive the inheritance on the last day. (Rev 21:1-4) God has also rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His Son. (Col 1:9-14)
The pasture Christ Jesus our Messiah leads us to is the Kingdom of the Son.
“9 For this cause, (Col 1:3-8) we also, since the day we heard this, don’t cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, 11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the holy ones in light, 13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love, 14 in whom we have our redemption,§ the forgiveness of our sins.” Colossians 1:9-14 WMB
11I’m the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired worker, who isn’t the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, deserts the sheep, and runs away. So the wolf snatches them and scatters them, 13because he’s a hired worker, and the sheep don’t matter to him.
The good shepherd lays down his life for us. He ushered in the new covenant thru his blood, for the remission/forgiveness of our sins. (Mt 26:27-28) The hired worker deserts the sheep.
“This deeper sense of union between the human spirit and Himself, and the wondrous likening of it to the union of Himself and the Father, is present to His mind as the close of His work on earth draws near. We find it again in John 14:20; John 15:10; John 17:8; John 17:21. It is bound up with the thought of the love which lays down His own life for them. This is repeated here and again in John 10:17-18. Ellicott’s Commentary
16I have other sheep that don’t belong to this fold. I must lead these also, and they’ll listen to my voice. So there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it back again. 18No one is taking it from me; I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This is what my Father has commanded me.” John 10:1-18 ISV
“(16) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold.—The words recall to the mind a question which the Jews had asked at this very feast, “Will He go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?” (John 7:35). They asked it in the bitterness of scorn. He asserts that among the Gentiles—who are not of the Jewish fold—He already possesses sheep; just as He says to Paul concerning Corinth, “I have much people in this city” (Acts 18:10). The Old Testament prophets had foretold this coming of the Gentiles, as e.g. Isaiah 52:13 et seq.; Isaiah 53:10 et seq.; Micah 4:2; and it is present to our Lord’s mind here as the result of His laying down His life for the sheep. (Comp. Notes on John 11:52; John 12:32.)” Ellicott’s Commentary
You are God’s kingdom people. He has destined you to love, know, hear and see Messiah Jesus as good shepherd and King and to walk in the light of the kingdom as saints/holy ones with your light shining. It is time for a kingdom awakening.
Here’s the picture. By the Spirit, Christ Jesus is calling. For the last centuries, My sheep have been circling in the church corral. I have sent more and more of My Spirit to strengthen and liberate the church I build. And, My people have grown in strength and understanding. But, they are still in the corral. They have received of My Spirit time and time again. But, each time they have made the church their own. They have made their own church doctrine, own church revival, own church government and own church traditions. They have made it their own church corral.
The church corral is full of pulpits, pews and entertainers. It is crowded and dusty and has little green forage for the sheep. Instead of following Me and growing up and maturing in Me, many are as babies needing milk. Many do not function in the work of service/ministry other than to their own family. Many do not do their part in building My body by putting their love into action and making it real.
Here I stand at the gate to the corral and now, the gate is wide open. But, many of My sheep don’t see it open and many don’t hear my voice and follow me through the gate into the pasture. Now, the rams of My flock begin see Me and turn and go through the gate and My sheep follow. The rams follow me as their good shepherd, who is their King. The rams and you who have eyes to see and ears to hear Me and follow Me in the pasture of the Kingdom.
You are alive unto Me. You are being transformed. For, I have liberated My people and you are being changed from glory to glory in My kingdom. The veil over your faces has been taken away. I have liberated you to see Me as good shepherd, Messiah and King. From now on you will hear more and more of My grace and glory. For, by My Spirit, I lead you to be changed from glory to glory to be like Me. See Me as your Shepherd King. Walk worthy of your calling into My kingdom and glory.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 ISV