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    John 10:16 and how it empowers us to share the Gospel

    By Call of Love Ministries On January 12, 2023 Category Devotional
    Bible open wit blog title

    If you’ve been following along on our blog, then we know you have a passion for sharing the Gospel and the love of Christ with Muslims. Our job is to feed this passion and give you the right tools to do something with it! Having a relationship with Christ is life-changing and naturally results in wanting to share that loving relationship with others.

    John 10:16 is one of the key verses for our ministry, because we believe that as much as it represents Jesus’ relationship with Israel and those who were not part of God’s chosen people (the Gentiles), it can also represent the relationship between today’s Church and those outside of it. Our mission is bringing the Gospel to the large Muslim population of the world, whom we can consider the sheep outside of “the fold” of the Church.

    Jesus said, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.John 10:16

    One of the best ways to start any study of a singular scripture verse is by immediately expanding to read the chapter or section surrounding it so that you have the complete context.

    Read John 10:1-21 for context.

    After reading the verses before and after verse 16, we learn about the significance of what Jesus is saying!

    Sheep herd with John 10:16 over it

    The importance of parables

    This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.” John 10:6

    Jesus explained His points through parables a lot. Simply put, a parable is a story with a second, higher meaning to teach a lesson. Verse 16 is in a portion of John called “Parable of the Good Shepherd,” and for those of us in the twenty-first century who have seen this title applied to Jesus and been in church circles for a while, this parable is not hard to understand. But it is important to realize that for the first audience who heard this message, it was a totally new concept.

    Jesus shocks His audience

    Verse 16, our focus verse, seems to be the only verse on the topic of the sheep outside of the original fold (another word for flock or herd). It is sandwiched between talking about what makes Jesus a good shepherd and how He is willing to die for His sheep.

    But do not let the briefness of this topic distract you from the magnitude of what Jesus is saying. His audience is a group of Jews, God’s chosen people, who had been set apart as the one group of people who could have a relationship with Yahweh because they followed His laws and worshiped Him in the Holy Land.

    Jesus tells them that now there are people outside of them that will also receive this relationship. Perhaps this statement, more than any other, is what leads to the division described in verses 19-21. To Jesus’ audience, this is a big deal, and it is easy for modern audiences to lose sight of that since it has been our calling to share and spread the Gospel for over two-thousand years.

    The beauty of verse 16

    Odds are that you are not a Jew, and neither are any of us who work at Call of Love. So Jesus’ statement about the sheep outside of the fold first and foremost means you and me. Without His sacrifice and resurrection to fulfill the original covenant, our hope of eternal life and relationship with God would rest on our ability to adopt the Old Testament laws.

    Now that we have this relationship with God, and we are over two-thousand years removed from Jesus' words, the ideas of the pre-existing herd and those outside of it take on a whole new meaning.

    People holding hands over bible

    Key Takeaways

    There are three main things that we can take away from John 10:16:

    • Jesus calls to those outside of His flock because He earnestly desires a relationship with every person. Jesus promises that many will respond to His voice and will become part of the flock.
    • The Body of Christ is called to be one and we all are supposed to follow and answer to the same Shepherd before we identify with any other group, like denomination or nationality.
    • The Gospel is meant for everyone. When you take that and the life-changing power of Jesus’ love seriously, sharing the Good News becomes a necessity.

    Reflection Questions

    Here are some questions for you to further reflect on Jesus’ words in John 10:16:

    • What was life like before you were in Jesus’ flock? How has it changed?
    • How have you seen and felt Jesus’ shepherding in your life?
    • Who do you know who is outside of Jesus’ flock? How can you pray for them and be a testimony of Jesus’ love to them?

    Prayer for John 10:16

    Dear Jesus, thank you for being the Good Shepherd. Thank you for laying down your life for me. Please allow me to be a light in this world, and give me opportunities to share your love with others who are not yet part of your flock! Amen.

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