The Door

John 10:1-5 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enter not by the door into the sheepfold, but climb up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that enter in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter open; and the sheep hear his voice: and he call his own sheep by name, and lead them out. And when he put forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 

‘Verily, verily’ means Surely, surely or Amen, amen. ‘I say unto you’ – this phrase “I say unto you” is used by Christ 135 times and only twice by another person in the New Testament (Luke 3:8; Acts 5:38). It expresses complete authority when used by Christ, while in Acts 5:38 it is merely advice.

‘The sheepfold’ this refers to the place of shelter for flocks where they might repose at night and be safe from the attacks of wild beasts. Sheepfolds were low buildings opening into a court, surrounded by a stone wall or fence, with a layer of thorns on top for protection. A doorway carefully guarded the entrance.

He that doesn’t come through the door (which is Christ 10:9) but climb up some other way, is a thief and a robber: It is here applied to false teachers, who do not care to instruct men but abuse their confidence for gain.

‘He that enter in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep’ – the marks of a good leader is personal knowledge of God and gospel experiences (2Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:16-26; 1Cor. 12:1-31); having a calling to serve God and others, not from greed, personal ambition, respect, honor, self-interests, or love of ease (Acts 13:3; 1Cor. 12:28; Rom. 11:29); to have consecrated motives: God’s will and glory, salvation of lost souls, and the best interests of the body of Christ and all men (Luke 19:10; Acts 10:28; 2Cor. 5:14-21; Eph. 4:12); to have God’s anointing: not human education, wisdom, polish, and effort only, but divine leading and help (John 7:37-39; 14:12-17, 26; 15:26; Acts 1:4-8; 5:32); to have personal interest: private and public instruction, and helpfulness to others in all problems (Acts 20:26-35; 1Thes. 2:4-13; 2Tim. 4:1-5; Heb. 13:7, 17); to set a good example: lead, not drive; feed, not destroy; and live what is taught (1Cor. 4:9-13; 2Cor. 4:8-18; 6:1-10; 1Tim. 3:1-13; 4:11-16; 2Tim. 2:1-26; Tit. 1:1-16).

‘The porter’ – the doorkeeper of the fold who opens to the shepherds to get their flocks in the morning and who receives them at night. ‘Call his own sheep by name’ Eastern shepherds give names to their sheep as we do to dogs and horses. Every sheep recognizes his own name and comes when called. Even when flocks are mingled they speedily separate at the command of the shepherd.

‘He goes before them’ Eastern shepherds go before their flocks to lead them to good grass and water. ‘The sheep follow him’ Sheep always follow their own shepherd, but will pay no attention to strangers.

No Longer in Ignorance

John 9:32-41 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and does thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Does thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now you say, We see; therefore your sin remain. 

The blind man that was healed by Jesus, was cast out contrary to the agreement of the Jews (John 9:22) -for crossing religious leaders by taking a stand for what was right. His crime was being an honest man, true to his convictions. There were three grades of ex-communication: The niddin, pronounced for 30 days during which offenders were prohibited from public worship, were not allowed to shave, and were required to wear garments of mourning; the cherem, pronounced on those who continued in rebellion. The offender was formally cursed, was excluded from all interaction with other people, and was prohibited from entering the temple or a synagogue; the shammatha, pronounced on those who persisted in rebellion. They were cut off from all connection with the Jewish people and were consigned to utter perdition.

‘For judgment I am come’ referring to the effect of His coming. Rejection of Him will bring judgment. John 12:47 refers to the object of His coming. He came to save, but if men will not have salvation they will finally be judged (John 3:16-20).

‘That they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind’ the idea here is that the people became this way, little by little until they were past normal, vigorous obedience to truth and righteousness.

The Jews claimed to see and therefore refused to admit or repent from their sins. Jesus explained to them that if they were really ignorant they would have no sin, but they were no longer in ignorance. They rejected Christ through enmity so their sin remained.

Religious Wrath

John 9:26-31 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would you hear it again? will you also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spoke unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that you know not from whence he is, and yet he has opened mine eyes.Now we know that God hear not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does his will, him he hear. 

This is the third time the Jews asked the healed blind man how he was healed (vv. 10, 15, 26). The blind man was the only one who was not afraid to talk up to the Pharisees. This brought religious wrath and ex-communication upon him (9:28-34).

‘Then they reviled him’ the Greek word for reviled is loidoreo which means to vilify, rail at; not merely to rebuke, but to abuse by words (Pro. 12:18). They claimed to be Moses’ disciples as they accused the blind man of being one of Jesus’ disciples.

‘As for this fellow, we know not from whence he is’ For the first time the Jews spoke the truth, which confession alone should have moved each one to make an honest investigation of the claims of Christ. On other occasions, His enemies claimed they knew all about Him, that He was the son of Joseph and not God’s son (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 6:42; 7:27, 52).

‘We know that God hear not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does his will, him he hear.’ This statement of the blind man should not be taken as a direct statement of God. It has been used for generations to prove too much – that no prayer of any sinner will ever be heard of God. It should be understood only in connection with what was uttered: God does not use sinners to heal the eyes of the blind and if He were not of God He could do nothing. To take this as proof that no sinner will ever get any kind of prayer answered is erroneous, for God has heard sinners in all ages and will always do so if they pray the right kind of prayers. He has not promised sinners any particular answer other than forgiveness if they repent (1Jn. 1:9).

Now I See

John 9:17-25 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then does he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 

The blind sinner was more sensible than all the religious leaders of the day. From only one miracle and one brief contact with Jesus, he knew that He was a prophet.

‘Did not believe’ this is why they were so blind. The Jews would not believe facts when they were seen. They would not believe that He was even a prophet, which, according to the Jews themselves, permitted one to break the sabbath.

‘These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews’ most people church will not stand up for truth and righteousness.

‘That if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.’ This means that anyone acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah was to be cut off from all religious connections with synagogue worshipers. It was the first time a law was made against Christians. This is why Christians had to form their own congregations.

‘Give God the praise’ these were the words used in making an oath. To give God praise was equivalent of swearing to tell the truth (Jos. 7:19). While they sought to put him under an oath they put their own words in his mouth to say that Jesus was a sinner, and the man answered very wisely: “one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”

Jesus Made Clay

John 9:6-16 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 

‘He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay’ Jesus illustrates that sin causes blindness (2 Pet. 1:9; 2:22).

‘Pool of Siloam’ this pool was made by Hezekiah (2Ki. 20:20); the Greek word for pool is kolumbethra which means a swimming pool or a place for diving (John 5:2, 4, 7; 9:7).

The blind man’s neighbours and others which had seen him that he was blind before, asked: ‘Is not this he that sat and begged?’ and ‘How were thine eyes opened?’

He answered and said that Jesus made clay, anointed his eyes, and told him to go to the pool of Siloam. He went and washed and received his sight.

‘And it was the sabbath day’ this made it the unpardonable sin as far as the hypocrites were concerned. Nothing good was to be done on this day except for material gain. One could take a beast out of the ditch, but not save a man from death, hell and the grave. Such utter senselessness exists even to this day in religion in many respects! Is it any wonder that sensible men reject outward forms, rituals, and teachings that have no practical and beneficial value at all!

Did keeping the sabbath help the Pharisees or prove they were of God? No more than in many cases today where men maintain some mere outward show of religion before others. Would they perform consistently the same things in private if no one was in the grandstand?

Some of the Pharisees accused Jesus of not being of God because He didn’t keep the sabbath day. Others didn’t agree and asked how can a sinner do such miracles?  The question that should have been asked was why could the Pharisees not heal the blind if they were of God more than Jesus was?

The Fall and Sin of Man

John 9:1-5 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 

‘Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jews believed that pious souls were reincarnated as a reward, not punishment; and that the wicked were put into eternal prisons to be tormented forever (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 18, and War, Book 2). Some Asiatic nations and some Jews believed souls came back into bodies as a penalty for sins committed in a preexistent state. Controversies raged over whether some physical infirmity was the result of one’s sins before birth, even in the womb, or sins by the parents. They held that marks on the body proved sin in the soul. Some false religions identified the sins of a previous life with afflictions of the present. For example, headaches were for irreverence to parents; epilepsy for poisoning someone; pain in the eyes for coveting another man’s wife; blindness for murder of mother; etc.

‘Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents’ Neither: all the theories of reincarnation, preexistent sins, physical infirmities proving personal sin is involved, and all fallacies that go with such paganism are unscriptural. Personal and immediate sin is not necessarily involved in the imperfection of reproduction. Mental, moral, and physical wrecks are caused by the fall and sin of man, by satanic powers (Eph. 2:1-3; Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38), by continued depravities and sin, by imperfect and undeveloped cells, and by overwork, worry, accidents, and violation of natural laws.

‘But that the works of God should be made manifest in him’ this was not the cause of his blindness, but a simple declaration that the works of God were to be manifest regardless of the cause. Jesus answered their question as to whether the man or his parents had sinned. He did not state the cause, but it is certain God was not the cause. God was the healer and satan was back of the cause (Matt. 12:22; Acts 10:38; John 10:10; 1Jn. 3:8).

Obedience to Him

John 8:48-55 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and has a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and you do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seek and judge. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou say, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom make thou thyself? Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honour me; of whom you say, that he is your God: Yet you have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. 

The Jews accused Jesus of being a Samaritan, meaning that He was a heretic, a schismatic, an idolater, a man self-excommunicated with whom no man should fellowship.

Jesus answered them and said that He had no devil; but that He honoured His Father, and they dishonoured Him; that He didn’t seek His own glory, but that of His Father.

The Jews, however, was convinced by this answer that Jesus did have a devil, for all people have died and Jesus said that those who believed in Him will never ‘taste death.’ This is a perversion of Christ’s words. Christ meant the second or eternal death and they took Him to mean physical death which all men must meet who live before the rapture (Heb. 9:27; 1Cor. 15:51-58).

‘If I honour myself, my honour is nothing’ this is not the answer of an insane man or a self-seeker who would always be boastful of himself and his own abilities and wonderful self (2Ch. 25:19; Psa. 49:6; 94:4; 97:7; Rom. 1:30). ‘It is my Father that honours me’ God honoured Jesus by working miracles through Him and by supporting His every claim. He asked the Jews that if the Father were their God, why they didn’t support Him also. He accused them of lying when they said that they know the Father and that He would lie if He said that He did not know Him. Jesus proved that He knew the Father by His obedience to Him. The Jews proved that they didn’t know Him by rejecting Jesus whom the Father has sent.

The Deeds of Your Father

John 8:41-47 You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not. Which of you convince me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me? He that is of God hears God’s words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God. 

‘You do the deeds of your father’ the fact that one does the deeds of the devil proves that one is of the devil (1Jn. 3:8). Since they had sought to kill Jesus, He accused them of being the offspring of satan who was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:41-44).

The Jews answered Him that they were not born of fornication. They said that they were not idolaters, but that God was their Father. Idolatry refers to spiritual fornication or a violation of the spiritual and covenant marriage between God and Israel (Jdg. 2:17; Isa. 1:21; Hos. 1:2; 4:12; 2Ch. 21:11; Eze. 16:1-63).

Jesus told them that if God were their Father they would have loved Him. They would not persecute Him if they were of the same Father that He was.

They couldn’t understand Jesus because they cannot hear His Word; it exposed their hypocrisy and condemned their sins, so they were determined not to hear just as others today who refuse to change from a sinful life.

Jesus explained that they were of their father the devil whose lusts they will do (Greek word for lust is epithumia) which means desires, craves and longing for. Satanic lusts are like those of men but much stronger because of being agitated by spirit forces. Fallen angels and men are capable of misusing their creative faculties in deeper and deeper degrees of sin and rebellion as time goes by.

‘He was a murderer from the beginning’ this refers to the death of the whole human race by sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12-21; Heb.2:14). Death comes through satan and he kills those who fell away from God’s protection because of their sin.

Satan walked in truth for a time until he decided to rebel against God and this was before he ‘abode not’ or rebelled against truth (Eze. 28:11-17; Isa. 14:12-14). This was before Adam’s day for he was already a fallen creature when he came into Adam’s Eden (Gen. 3:1-24). The rebellion caused the flood of Lucifer (Gen. 1:2; Jer. 4:23-26; 2Pet. 3:5-8). He chose to reject all truth in his period of probation as the Jews were doing here (vv. 39-47). When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own falsehood, for he is a liar and the father of lies and liars. When we believe lies, we reject the Truth (Word = Jesus) and make satan our father.

Jesus asked the Jews that if they couldn’t convict Him of sin, error, or falsehood, why did they not believed what He said? The fact that they didn’t hear God’s Word proved they were not of God.

No Place In You

John 8:37-40 I know that you are Abraham’s seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said unto them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 

‘Abraham is our father’ True, according to the flesh, but this does not make true children of Abraham or true Israelites. One must not only be a descendant in the flesh but must also be saved and a child of the promise to be a true Jew and an Israelite (Rom. 2:28-29; 9:4-11). If they (the Jews) were really the spiritual seed of Abraham they would imitate him in faith, obedience, and righteousness; but they seek to kill Jesus merely because He told them the truth; Abraham never did anything like this.

The only place Jesus calls Himself a “man” (v 40) He generally refers to Himself as the ‘Son of God’ and ‘Son of Man’ (John 1:49, 51). He was truly man and truly God in nature, being born of God and a virgin (Matt. 1:18).

There were ten reasons why the Jews killed Jesus: His Kingship (Matt. 2:2-3, 16; John 18:33-40; 19:12-22); for telling the truth (Luke 4:21-29; John 8:40); for healing on the sabbath (Matt. 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; John 5:16; 9:16); for claiming Sonship (John 5:18; 10:24-39; 19:7); and for claiming to be God (John 8:53-59; 10:33); they were jealous of Him (Matt. 26:3-4; 27:18; Mark 14:1; 15:10; Luke 22:2; John 11:48); they were ignorant (Matt. 26:64-66; Mark 14:62-64; John 12:40; Acts 3:17); for fear of losing their authority (John 11:46-53; 12:10-11, 19); for their unbelief (John 5:38-47; 6:36; 9:40-41; 12:36-38); they killed Him to fulfill prophecy (Luke 13:33-35; John 12:38-40; 18:31-32; 19:11, 28, 36-37; Acts 2:22-36; 3:18).

Be Made Free

John 8:31-36 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say thou, You shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committed sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

‘If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed’ there are 1,595 ‘if’s’ in the Bible and all of them express a condition if one of them does. The condition to be met if these new believers were to remain as true disciples and have freedom from sin was: “continue in My Word;” for if any man “committeth sin” he “is the servant of sin.”

‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ this is the secret of freedom from sin, sickness, and all the curses of this life that Christ – who is the Truth – died to set men free from (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8).

‘We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man’ this is one of the many false statements of the Jews, for their history in Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, as well as many servitudes to other smaller nations round about for 1,800 years to 70 A.D., prove this false.

‘Whosoever committed sin is the servant of sin’ – No man can commit sin and not be a servant of sin. No man can sin and not have to pay the penalty for sin (Eze. 18:4; Rom. 8:12-13; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:7-8). The servant of sin does not abide in the house of the Lord forever, but if we become free from sin we will abide with the Son of God in God’s house forever (Rom. 6:16-23; John 14:1-3; 15:1-6; 1Thes. 4:16).

‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed’ If one is made free from sin by the Son, he is free indeed and is no longer a servant of sin (Rom. 8:1-13; Gal. 5:16-26; Heb. 12:14; 1Jn. 2:29; 3:6-10; 5:1-4, 18). Greeks permitted a son and heir to adopt brothers and Romans permitted him to free all slaves that were born in the house during the father’s lifetime.