From Heaven With Love


Chapter 52—The Divine Shepherd

This chapter is based on John 10:1-30.

“I am the Good Shepherd ... and I lay down My life for the sheep.” John 10:11, 15. HLv 323.1

Jesus found access to His hearers by the pathway of their familiar associations. In a beautiful pastoral picture He represents His relation to those that believe on Him. No picture was more familiar to His hearers than this. Recalling the Saviour's lesson, the disciples would see Christ in each faithful shepherd, themselves in each helpless, dependent flock. HLv 323.2

The Pharisees had just driven one from the fold because he dared to bear witness to the power of Christ. They had cut off a soul whom the True Shepherd was drawing to Himself. In this they had shown themselves unworthy of their trust as shepherds of the flock. Now Jesus pointed to Himself as the real keeper of the Lord's flock. HLv 323.3

“He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.” When the Pharisees reasoned in their hearts as to the meaning, Jesus told them plainly, “I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” HLv 323.4

Christ is the door to the fold of God. Through this door all His children from earliest times have found entrance. Shadowed in symbols, manifest in the revelation of the prophets, unveiled in the lessons given to His disciples and in miracles, they have beheld “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. Ceremonies and systems have been devised by which men hope to receive justification and peace with God. But all who interpose something to take the place of Christ, to enter the fold in some other way, are thieves and robbers. HLv 323.5

The priests and rulers, the scribes and Pharisees, destroyed the living pastures and defiled the wellsprings of the water of life. Inspiration describes these false shepherds: “The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the crippled you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.” Ezekiel 34:4, RSV. HLv 324.1

Every heathen nation has had its great teachers and religious systems offering some other means of redemption than Christ, turning the eyes away from the Father's face, and filling men's hearts with fear. Millions are bound down under false religions, bereft of hope or joy here, and with only a dull fear of the hereafter. The gospel of the grace of God alone can uplift the soul. The love of God manifested in His Son will stir the heart and arouse the powers of the soul as nothing else can. Whoever turns men away from Christ is turning them away from the source of true development, defrauding them of the hope and glory of life. He is a thief and a robber. HLv 324.2