The Sermon Notes of Harold Buls

The Sermon Notes of Harold Buls

On the Gospel Lessons of the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia

Text from John 10:1-10

Easter II

1. Jesus' "I am" passages are all found in John:

2. In chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 John portrays Jesus battling with His unbelieving enemies, especially the Jewish authorities and Pharisees. Four of the seven "I am" passages occur in these chapters. Our text was spoken in the temple, immediately after Jesus had healed the man who had been born blind, Jn. 9:1-41.

3. The sheepfold or pen was a yard with a high stone wall to keep out wild animals and other intruders. The gate was guarded by a gate-keeper. Several shepherds would use the same sheepfold or pen. In the morning each shepherd would call his sheep and they would follow their shepherd.

4. On the contrast between true and false shepherds, cf. Jer. 23:1-4; Ezek. 34; Zech. 11:4-17. Ps. 23 is the Good Shepherd passage. A prophecy of Christ follows Jer. 23:1-4. There is another in Ezek. 34, vss. 23 to 25. Note the shepherd and sheep theme in Paul's speech to the elders of Ephesus at Acts 20:28-35. In last Sunday's text, Jn. 21:15- 23, Jesus pictured Peter as a shepherd. And Peter refers to this theme in I Pet. 5:1-4. The shepherd-sheep theme is used often in the Bible.

5. There are various illustrations of the intimate relationship between Christ and Christians: He is the Vine, we are the branches (Jn. 15); He is the Head of the Body, the Church (Eph. 4:15-16); The Church is Christ's bride (Rev. 21:1-2); Christians are stones in the spiritual temple (I Pet. 2:5). But the most familiar picture of all is that of the Shepherd and His sheep, found especially in Jn. 10.

6. The first two words of Jn. 10 (verily, verily) occur as a phrase only the Gospel of John and only from the mouth of Jesus. It occurs 24 times: 1:51; 3:5.11; 5:19.24.25; 6:; 8:34.51.58; 10:1.7; 12:24; 13:; 14:12; 16:20.23; 21:18. Jesus used this phrase whenever He made an emphatic statement. He uses it twice in our text, the first time to state that the shepherd who does not come through Christ is nothing but a robber and a thief, and the second time to state that the only way into the church is through Christ, the Door.

7. Vs. 6 tells us that what Jesus said was an illustration, a picture, a parable. Jesus is the Door. The sheepfold or pen is the church. The shepherd who does not enter through the door is a false prophet, a thief, a robber, who serves his own purposes. A true shepherd, a true teacher of the Word (vs. 2) enters through Christ. For this one the doorman (the Triune God) opens and the sheep hear his voice and follow him. The sheep recognize the voice of a true shepherd (vs. 4). Sheep will not follow a stranger, a false prophet (vs. 5) but flee from him. Only Christ is the Door. All others are thieves and robbers. This door gives slavation, freedom from the enemy and food (vs.9). The thief's only purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. But Christ has come to give life in abundant measure already in this life.

8. Vs. 6 tells us that Jesus' enemies did not understand what He said. Read 9:39-41. Jesus had healed a blind man in body and soul. Now he could see. The Pharisees claimed that they could see (spiritually) but remained blind. That is why they could not understand Jesus in our text. But Jesus did not give up. He went on to speak the beautiful words of Jn. 10:11-18, some of the most beautiful words in the Gospel of John. In those vss. He uses a different picture: He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. The Father, Jesus and the Sheep know each other. The Sheep hear Jesus' voice and follow Him. He gives them life eternal. The false shepherd is a hireling, a thief, a robber, who cares nothing about the sheep. He runs when the wolf, the devil, comes.

9. The central thought in vss. 1-10 is Jesus, the Door. The central thought in vss. 11-18 is Jesus, the Good Shepherd. In both sections and safe-keeping of the sheep. Jesus loves His sheep.

The Sermon Outline of Harold Buls

On the Gospel Lessons of the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia

Text from John 10:1-10

Easter II

THEME: False and True Shepherds


Jn. 10 took place in Jerusalem in the fall before Jesus' suffering and death. He now distinguishes false shepherds from true shepherds. For three years Jesus had been battling with the false shepherds among the Jews. They are described in John 5-9. They denied that He was true God. They rejected His mission. They rejected His miracles. The scorned the blind man whom Jesus healed. Now follows our text.




In Jn. 10:1-10, 11-18, 27-30, Jesus uses two pictures: He is the Door. He is the good Shepherd. False Shepherds disregard Jesus the only Door and Jesus the only Shepherd. True Shepherds faithfully enter through Jesus the only Door and direct sheep to Jesus the only Shepherd.

This text was converted to ascii format for Project Wittenberg by Cindy A. Beesley and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to: Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther Library at Concordia Theological Seminary.


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