Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thieves and Robbers

Jesus had a code of divine honor. His mind is the mind of the servant leader. It is not something that can be adopted by just anyone. Christ's mind uniquely belongs to Him.

" 'Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.' " John 10:1-5 ESV

"This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them." John 10:6 ESV

This whole concept was so foreign that Jesus needed to reiterate it again.

"So Jesus again said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture." John 10:7-9

Jesus isn't just talking about the leadership of the day... He is talking about all the leadership in Israel throughout it's history. Anyone who had ever done well had pointed to the door and no one had done it perfectly.

Spirit must communicate with spirit.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.' " John 10:10-18 ESV

This power structure relies on this honor code and vice versa.

"There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, 'He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?' Others said, 'These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?' " John 10:19-21 ESV

What made them angry? I think it is the same thing that makes us angry when people won't do what we want. We can want a power structure that promotes control and if we function that way we are thieves and robbers.

The anger that rises up in us when a car is blocking the road and making us late for our appointment is the same anger these people felt. The anger that would steal the will of another. Naturally we might be very willing to steal the will of our spouse, our children, our employer or even people in our Church. These are just little th thefts after all. Our motivation might even be moral. Our soul cleaves to the dust and reverts back to this method without the buoyancy of the Spirit.

Jesus exercised His will and never took that right from anyone else.

The power of the Shepherd is the power of a laid down life.  There is no substitute for grace. This power structure opens eyes. It can not be duplicated. People can try... and they do try. There are plenty of books on servant-leadership. There is only one Christ. There is only one door. There is only one way.

"The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles (nations) are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:26-27 ESV

1 comment:

  1. "The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 'For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 ESV