“God Is Greater Than The Kidnapper” (John 10: 28 – 30, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Jesus says eternal life is His gift to His sheep. Because He gives His sheep this gift, “they will never perish — ever!” His sheep “hear [His] voice, [He] knows them, and they follow [Him].” (John 10: 27}

Jesus speaks of someone who tries to kidnap His sheep, who wants to “snatch them out of [His] hand.” Simultaneously, He promises that “no one will snatch them out of My hand” because “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all.”

Jesus’ Father is greater than the kidnapper.

Jesus promises, “I assure you; I Am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep do not listen to them. I Am the door. If anyone enters by me, he is saved and comes in and goes out and finds pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I Am come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. I Am the good shepherd.” (John 10: 7 – 11)

“Passed Out Of Death” (John 11: 25, ESV) by Carley Evans

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” (1 John 3: 14)

Lazarus is dead; he lies in his grave, his body spiced and wrapped. He has been in the grave four days when Jesus arrives in Bethany. Martha meets Jesus as He approaches, saying to Him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.” (John 11: 21) Jesus tells Martha that Lazarus will rise again. Martha figures Jesus is referring to the future resurrection to occur on the last day. But Jesus says, “I Am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live.”

The life Jesus gives is for the present time.

Jesus finds Mary weeping, and He is “deeply moved in His spirit and greatly troubled.” (John 11: 33) He weeps with Mary. At Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus commands the stone to be moved from the cave where Lazarus’ body is entombed. Martha is concerned about decay and odor for her brother has been dead four days. Jesus is focused on His heavenly Father’s glory. He calls Lazarus to come out. Lazarus does. Jesus says to Mary, Martha and others, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11: 44)

Jesus unbinds us from the grip of death; He loosens the ties and lets us go. “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15: 55)

Jesus loves us. He tells us, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15: 13) He says, “I came that [My friends] may have life and have it abundantly. I Am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (John 10: 10 – 11)

“Like A Good Shepherd” (John 10: 14 – 15, ESV) by Carley Evans

Jesus compares Himself to a good shepherd. A shepherd knows his flock; he knows each of the sheep of his flock. He worries over each one, protecting each from wolf, starvation, wandering. If one wanders away from the others, then the shepherd seeks it out, brings it back into the fold.

Jesus says that He knows His own sheep, and His sheep know Him. We know His voice as He knows ours. Each of us is uniquely His. No one is like the other, but we are each specially and wonderfully made by Him. We are His possessions, for He created us.

Jesus tells us that just as the Father knows Him, and just as He knows His Father; so He knows us, and we know Him.

Like a good shepherd defending his sheep from wolf or lion, so Jesus defends us against our adversary, the wolf in sheep’s clothing or the lion who prowls about us, seeking one to devour.