John. 10:10 “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”
The above scripture has been widely used almost all the time everywhere both in preaching and in prayers, purportedly with the feeling or understanding that this is referring to Satan the devil. So, we use it to rebuke the devil and asking him to pull his hands out of the situation that we are praying for etc.
But the real question is, was Jesus talking about the devil? Who is this thief that Jesus was referring to? Is it possible that we have gotten Jesus wrongly and if so, what do we make of this level of prayers that we do offer?
You see the Bible talks about praying according to the will of God. Anything outside of this, no matter how much sweat you will pour out while doing so, its sheer religiosity and not spirituality.
So, in this series of study we intend to take a closer look at the statement of Jesus and find out who He was referring to and hoping that the scriptures we shall examine shall cause us to make necessarily adjustments as to please the Lord and not our human given set standards.
“The Background to the Discourse”
The first thing we need to find out is, what led to this statement by Jesus?
Because In verse 1 of Chapter 10, we are told;
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber”
You see he was specifically referring to a certain people. It was not just a scripture written for His Body.
Remember then He hasn’t gone to the cross neither was He actually talking to His disciples. So, who was this ‘YOU’ in this passage?
From John 10:6, we can learn that the whole of this discussion is a parable, for it is said
“This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them”
And remember most of His parables were targeted at the Jews and especially the Pharisees who were always attacking Him and His ministry to the people.
So, what led to this statement?
In Chapter 9, Jesus having healed a blind man to whom the Pharisees tried as much as they could to stop from accepting and declaring that Jesus healed him was thrown out of the congregation and then Jesus found him;
35Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth”
So here is what Jesus was telling the Pharisees in verse 41 for rejecting Him.
“If ye were blind” Jesus said. Meaning if there had been no privilege of you witnessing the miracles that I have performed and heard the divine truths that I have been preaching, then your rejecting me could not be imputed to you as sin; but, “because ye say, we see” i.e. we have the privilege and opportunities as Pharisees and religious leaders to Judge between a true and a false prophet even though you ought to be able to point out the Messiah from the scriptures that you are reading. By reason of these facts, you are guilty and blind and your sin remains, it can’t be taken away because you are rejecting me your very messiah therefore the Lord has rejected you from being His People.
Whenever it is said that your sin remains, it means no pardon, they are not taken away (John 1:29; Psalms 32:5). Meaning here they will not partake of His forgiveness that He was going to offer as the Lamb of God since they are rejecting Him.
So, now speaking, Jesus said to the same Pharisees;
John10:1 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber”
Can you pick it up now? He was now telling the Pharisees that you can’t have access to the People of God except through me,
John 14:6 “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” And again, I am (John.10:7) “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.”
Therefore, trying to impose yourself on the people and when they accept me you cast them out from the synagogues is climbing through the window instead of going through me, the door.
And only thieves find their way into a house (the sheepfold, the flock) through the window.
This then is the passage in question that led to the statement we shall be considering later on.
To be continued…