working together for the future of faith
(1) John 10:22-42
(1) John 10:22-42
At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah,1 tell us plainly." 25 Jesus answered, "I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me; 26 but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand.2 30 The Father and I are one."
31 The Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus replied, "I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?" 33 The Jews answered, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God." 34 Jesus answered, "Is it not written in your law,3 'I said, you are gods'? 35 If those to whom the word of God came were called 'gods'--and the scripture cannot be annulled-- 36 can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, 'I am God's Son'? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand4 that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." 39 Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.
40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. 41 Many came to him, and they were saying, "John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true." 42 And many believed in him there.
The major biblical parallels to the good shepherd theme are to be found in Ezekiel 34 and the Psalms (23, 95, 100):
34:1 The word of the LORD came to me: 34:2 Mortal, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to them--to the shepherds: Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? 34:3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. 34:4 You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them. 34:5 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and scattered, they became food for all the wild animals. 34:6 My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with no one to search or seek for them. 34:7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 34:8 As I live, says the Lord GOD, because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild animals, since there was no shepherd; and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep; 34:9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 34:10 Thus says the Lord GOD, I am against the shepherds; and I will demand my sheep at their hand, and put a stop to their feeding the sheep; no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, so that they may not be food for them. 34:11 For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. 34:12 As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 34:13 I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. 34:14 I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 34:15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. 34:16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. 34:17 As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats: 34:18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? 34:19 And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet? 34:20 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 34:21 Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, 34:22 I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. 34:23 I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 34:24 And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken. 34:25 I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild animals from the land, so that they may live in the wild and sleep in the woods securely. 34:26 I will make them and the region around my hill a blessing; and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. 34:27 The trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase. They shall be secure on their soil; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke, and save them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 34:28 They shall no more be plunder for the nations, nor shall the animals of the land devour them; they shall live in safety, and no one shall make them afraid. 34:29 I will provide for them a splendid vegetation so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the insults of the nations. 34:30 They shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord GOD. 34:31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture and I am your God, says the Lord GOD.
23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
23:3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me;
your rod and your staff-- they comfort me.
23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.
/1/ O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
/2/ Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
/3/ For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
/4/ In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
/5/ The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
/6/ O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
/7a/ For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
/1/ Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
/2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
/3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
/4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.
/5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
John Dominic Crossan
Stratum: II (60-80 CE)
The detailed voting results of the Seminar do not report any voting on this passage, but the commentary in The Five Gospels (p. 435f) read as follows:
The words of Jesus in vv. 25-30 pick up the theme of the good shepherd elaborated in vv. 1-18 and develop it along well-known Johannine lines. As in previous sections, there is no echo here of the authentic voice of Jesus.