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other sheep, not of this fold 

24-03-2012 - Posted by Andre Piet


And other sheep have I which are not of this fold. Those also I must be leading, and they will be hearing My voice, and there will be one flock, one Shepherd. John 10:16

referring to the prophets To which was Jesus referring, when He spoke of “other sheep… not of this fold”? For the Jewish audience, who were familiar with the words of the prophets, it was not difficult to answer this question. Jesus clearly refers to the prophet Ezekiel.

As a shepherd’s searching of his drove, In the day of his being in the midst of his scattered flock, so I (=the LORD) do seek My flock, And have delivered them out of all places, Whither they have been scattered, In a day of cloud and thick darkness. Ezekiel 34:12

In other words, the other sheep outside the flock, are the Israelites outside the country, in the diaspora (= dispersion). All Israel, in “the day the LORD” will be gathered and will become one people. No longer, as before, divided and scattered as the house of Judah and the house of Ephraim, but one people, one nation.

21 and speak you unto them: Thus said the Lord Yahweh: Lo, I am taking the sons of Israel, From among the nations whither they have gone, And have gathered them from round about, And I have brought them in unto their land. 22 And I have made them become one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, And one king is to them all for king, And they are no more as two nations, Nor are they divided any more into two kingdoms again. Ezekiel 37 

retraining John, as well as Peter and the rest of the twelve, was an apostle of the circumcision (Gal 2:7-9). He was called, with the testimony regarding the Messiah to bring Israel to repentance (Acts 3:19-21). When it became clear that the people rejected the Evangel, God called a thirteenth Apostle: Paul. To him was revealed that the people of Israel, for the time being, would not come to repentance and that God, in the meantime, would gather a people from out of the nations, in which there would be neither “Jews nor Greek”. Initially, the twelve apostles had great difficulty understanding this turn of events, but, eventually, Paul’s teachings brought them to insight (2Pet.3:15). By the time John, as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, wrote down his evangel-description, he had become fully aware of Paul’s teachings. In retrospect, he sees that all kinds of events are illustrative of the current interruption in the unfolding  history of salvation. It already started at the first sign that John describes: the wedding at Cana on the third day (John 2). Or in John 4, Jesus’ two-day-long stay in Samaria, after which he arrives at Cana. And so I could continue to show hidden clues, which afterwards prove to be so meaningful. double meaning The same is true for many statements that Jesus had made, which turn out to, also, have a double meaning. In the primary, literal sense they apply to Israel and the Kingdom, but beneath the surface (thus hidden), they seamlessly join Paul’s teachings to the nations. The above passage of John 10:16 is a good example of this. In the light of Paul’s epistles, it involuntarily makes one think of the unity that has been established within the ecclesia, the Body of Christ.

13 Yet now, in Christ Jesus, you, who once are far off, are become near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He is our Peace, Who makes both (=Jew and gentile) one, and razes the central wall of the barrier 15 (the enmity in His flesh), nullifying the law of precepts in decrees, that He should be creating the two, in Himself, into one new humanity, making peace; 16 and should be reconciling both in one body to God through the cross, killing the enmity in it. Ephesians 2

We do not have to choose between one or the other meaning. Both are true. John’s evangel is not only profound, it reveals a double meaning!    ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema