This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A.
17 This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”
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This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. Continue reading →
This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. This and the remainder of this week’s post are not part of the Sunday gospel, but are part of the cohesive narrative offered by St. John: 11 I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. 13 This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. Continue reading →
This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. Israel’s leaders were often regarded as shepherds, and even though God was always their principal shepherd, responsible human agents were necessary so that Israel would not be as “sheep without a shepherd” (Num 27:16, 17); and significantly, a charismatic element is said to have rested on such leaders (Num 27:16–21; cf. Isa 11:1–9; 44:28–45:1). God is said to have led the flock Israel through the wilderness by the hand of Moses and Aaron (Ps 77:21; Isa 63:11). Although no Israelite king is ever directly called by the title “shepherd,” it is implied, since David as prince feeds, or shepherds, Israel (2 Sam 5:2), and when Micah predicted the death of Ahab and Israel’s defeat, he said the scattered army would be “as sheep which have no shepherd” (1 Kgs 22:17; 2 Chr 18:16; cf. Num 27:16, 17). Continue reading →
This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. It is evident to Jesus that the disciples do not understand, so Jesus offers another explanation. Commentaries have long asked how we are to understand the relationship between the two sections marked by “Amen, Amen…” (vv.1-6 and vv.7-18). Are the latter verses making an allegorical explanation to the already presented parable? The problem with such a view is that characters and imagery have changed. In any case, if the latter section is meant to be a clarifying or additional explanation, it likely was not any more effective. Continue reading →
This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. 8 All who came (before me) are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. Who are the thieves and robbers? Does the phrase in v. 1 refer to the same group as the phrase in v.8 (or “thief” in v. 10) or not? It is likely that they may refer to different groups. Whoever they are in v.8, they came before Jesus. The ones in v.1 are contemporaries with the shepherd. They also seem similar to the “thief” in v. 10, who also has malevolent intentions against the sheep. It would be very Johannine if there are different layers of meaning to this phrase, e.g.: Continue reading →
This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter and our gospel text is taken from John 10 which includes the memorable Johannine imagery of the Good Shepherd. The opening verses (vv.1-2) are actually one sentence in the Greek and form a carefully balanced parallelism that establishes the identity of the shepherd (v.2) by first establishing who he is not (v.1). 1 “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. 2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. Continue reading →
This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter and our gospel text is taken from John 10 which includes the memorable Johannine imagery of the Good Shepherd. As we have already noted, this chapter is preceded by the account of Jesus’ healing of the man born blind. There, Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees (among whom there is a division) and he condemns them for their blind ignorance Continue reading →
This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. The metaphors come fast and often in John 10. There are the sheep — easily identified as the flock that Jesus intends to lead into good pasture (v. 9), those whom he knows by name and who recognize his voice (vv. 3–4, 14), those whom he intends to defend against thieves and robbers (vv. 1, 8, 10) and whom he wishes to join together with all others who, listening to his voice, will come into the one fold (v. 16). Jesus will effect all this because he is the Good Shepherd (vv. 11, 14), loved by the Father because he will lay down his life for the sheep. It is this act of total, loving self-sacrifice that is mentioned again and again as the central motif. Appearing first in v.11 as the good shepherd title is introduced, it occurs again in verses 15, 17, and twice in verse 18. Though the shepherd-sheep metaphor was well known in the OT, this laying down of the shepherd’s life is something new. It is the characteristic function of Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd, especially because of his willing self-sacrifice.
Image credit: Frank Merino, Pexels, image 7360551
This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. The gospel reading only includes verses 1-10, but this commentary will also include verses 11-21 which is the passage in its entirety. Again, there will be a lot of smaller posts to facilitate an ease of reading. That being said, the gospel text has sheep, shepherds but rather than describing a bucolic scene, the passage seems to begin with a harsh, accusatory tone. It is almost as if we have picked up an on-going conversation. And we have. There are many commentators who set the boundaries of this gospel pericope as John 9:39-10:21 in order that the reader understand the scene that is unfolding. Continue reading →