John 10:19-29

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 19) The REAL OFFENSE is in the gospel (Gal. 5:11; I Cor. 1:23). It was not His works but His words that caused the division among the Jews (John 10: 30-33). It was His claim to Deity, to being the Christ, to being the Redeemer of whom Moses wrote and to whom Abraham looked, of laying down His life for the sheep and taking it up again, of fulfilling all the ceremonies, types, and Scriptures of the Old Testament, of being the Bread of Life, the door to communion with God. The Jews knew what He was saying and were filled with wrath (John 7:43; John 9:16).

(Vs. 20) It was a notion among the Jews that insanity or madness was from the devil. Therefore they said, "He has a demon and is insane," What a sad commentary on the condition of natural men, even religious men, that they should call the Son of God, truth incarnate, a devil! (Rom. 8:7.)

(Vs. 21) "Many" of them thought Him insane, but there were "some" even among these Pharisees (a minority) who recognized that He neither spoke nor acted like a demoniac. "No madman can talk in such a spiritual and Divine way," they said, "And certainly no demoniac ever opened the eyes of the blind" (John 7: 45-46).

(Vs. 22-23) Many writers say that this particular feast was one appointed by Judas Maccabaeus to commemorate the purification of the temple from the idolatries of Antiochus about 165 B.C. It was observed in the month of December for eight days. The mention of "winter" is the main clue. Our Lord walked on Solomon's porch (Acts 3:11; Acts 5:12).

(Vs. 24) The disciples believed Him to be the Christ (John 6:69). He revealed Himself to the Samaritan woman and to the blind beggar (John 4:26; John 9:37) as the Christ, and many of the people thought Him to be the Christ because of what He had done and said (John 4:42; John 7:40-43). Now these Jewish leaders come and say, "If you are the Christ, declare it to us freely, openly, and in exact words." They said this not because they thought He was the Christ nor for their own information, but rather that they might to go the Romans and in His own words declare Him to be an enemy to Caesar and the expected King of the Jews.

(Vs. 25) Our Lord had told them that He was the Son of man (John 5:27), that He was the One of whom Moses wrote (John 5:46), that He was the Living Bread (John 6:51), that Abraham rejoiced to see His day (John 8:56), and that the Scriptures were written about Him (John 5:39). His mighty works were clear witnesses of His Deity and total power over everything (John 5:36; John 3:2). Compare Isaiah 35:4-6.

(Vs. 26) They were not His sheep (His elect) given Him by the Father or they would have come to Him (John 6:37-39). They were not chosen of the Father, predestinated to sonship, and ordained to eternal life or they would have believed on Him (Acts 13:48). A man does not believe to become one of the Lord's sheep; he believes because he IS one of the Lord's sheep! Faith (as repentance and every saving grace) is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 2:4: Acts 5:31; Acts 11:18; Phil. 1:29).

(Vs. 27) "As I said unto you before (John 10:3-5), my sheep hear my voice." His elect, His sheep, will hear His voice in the gospel, not only with the ear but with the heart. They hear because a sovereign God gives them spiritual life and the capacity to hear (Prov. 20:12; Matt. 13:15-17). "I know them." Each of His sheep is known to Christ by a special knowledge of approbation, acceptance, and love. As the Father's gift to Him, He prizes them highly, affectionately, and personally. The vast crowd of the non-elect He "never knew" (Matt. 7:23). "And they follow Me." That is, they believe Him, love Him, cast their lot with Him, and go with Him wherever He leads (II Tim. 1:12).

(Vs. 28) Because of covenant mercies (whereby they were given to Him by the Father and He became their surety), because of His obedience in all things (whereby they received a perfect righteousness, Rom. 5:19), because of His death, resurrection, and intercession (whereby they were justified before God in such a way that God's justice and character were honored, Rom. 3:23-26), He gives His sheep eternal life (I John 5:11-12). They shall never (now or eternally) perish; and no man, demon, power, nor force can separate them from that union with Him (Rom. 8:35-39).

(Vs. 29) There is no stronger passage to be found in the Word of God guaranteeing the absolute security of every child of God. (1) They are His sheep, (2) they follow Him, (3) they have eternal life, (4) they are in the hand of Christ, (5) the Father gave them to Christ (John 6:37; John 17:2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24), and (6) they are in the Father's hand. The sheep of Christ have a double security; they are in the hand of Christ, and they are in the hand of the Father. To suggest that any of His sheep could be finally lost is to blaspheme the Lord God Himself.

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.