BIBLE INSIGHT in 500 words*
Jesus: Who Do You Think You Are?
Richard Leslie Parrott. PhD
John 10:1-21 presents a beautiful parable that conjures pastoral pictures, gentle images, and quiet reflection.
- “The shepherd of the sheep.”
- “The sheep listen to his voice.”
- “He calls his own sheep by name.”
- “The sheep follow him.”
- “The sheep know his voice.”
The parable reminds us of the gentleness of the 23rd Psalm. However, the parable is fraught with judgment, controversy, and disgust.
Who does Jesus think he is?
The controversy originates in John 9 that relays the story of a blind man receiving sight. The chapter describes disciples debating the cause of the man’s blindness. They proposed that either the man sinned while in the womb or his parents sinned before he was born; blindness was punishment.
Jesus turns the attention away from the past and away from sin. He looks to the future and says that the blindness was so “that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:2). These are fighting words!
Who gives Jesus authority to display the works of God? Jesus believes he is the ONE to display God’s works and straightaway gives the man sight.
The miracle unleashes a controversy with the leaders of the synagogue and the Pharisees. Who has the right to decide who is blind and who can see? Jesus claims to have this authority. The questions:
- Is Jesus from God or not?
- Is Jesus a true Prophet or not?
- Is Jesus God’s promised Messiah or not?
- Is Jesus the long-awaited Son of Man or not?
The controversy reaches an angry climax in the final verses of John 9. Three things happen in a moment: 1-The man is thrown out of the temple. 2-Jesus finds the man Jesus explains that he is, in fact, the Son of Man (a name for the Messiah). 3-The man believes and worships Jesus.
In the wake of these amazing events, Jesus turns and addresses the Synagogue Leaders and Pharisees:
Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains” (John 9:39-41).
The Pharisees were aghast and disgusted at such a claim. Debate continues into the next chapter where Jesus declares: “I am the good Shepherd” (John 10:11, “Shepherd” – a name for KING).
The debate concludes with division:
“The Jews who heard these words were again divided. . .”
Some accused Jesus of being demon possessed, but others said,
“Can a demon open the eyes of the blind” (John 10:19-21)?
The story of the Blind Man and the Good Shepherd
confronts you with life’s most important question:
Who is Jesus to you?
*Most people read 200 words per minute; this article contains 494 words.