Messiah in Shemini Atzeret Chapter 7

  1. Messiah’s Shemini Atzeret Midrash on HaRo’eh HaTov
  2. Adonai is the Shepherd of Israel. Messiah is HaRo’eh HaTov (the Good Shepherd).
  3. Introduction
  4. The Door, the Thief, and the Robber
  5. The Shepherd and His Watchman
  6. The Voice of the Shepherd and the voice of strangers
  7. The Good Shepherd and the future Commonwealth of Israel:

Messiah’s Shemini Atzeret Midrash on HaRo’eh HaTov:

אָמֵן אָמֵן אֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָבוֹא דֶּרֶךְ הַשַּׁעַר אֶל־מִכְלָא הַצֹּאן כִּי אִם־יַעֲלֶה בְּדֶרֶךְ אַחֵר גַּנָּב הוּא וּפָרִיץ׃ וַאֲשֶׁר יָבוֹא דֶּרֶך הַשָּׁעַר הוּא רֹעֵה הַצֹּאן׃ לוֹ יִפְתַּח שֹׁמֵר הַפֶּתַח וְהַצֹּאן אֶת־קֹלוֹ תִשְׁמַעְנָה וְהוּא לְצֹאנוֹ בְּשֵׁם יִקְרָא וְיוֹצִיאֵם׃ וְאַחֲרֵי הוֹצִיאוֹ אֶת־צֹאנוֹ יַעֲבֹר לִפְנֵיהֶן וְהַצֹּאן הֹלְכוֹת אַחֲרָיו כִּי יָדְעוּ אֶת־קוֹלוֹ׃ וְאַחֲרֵי זָר לֹא תֵלַכְנָה כִּי אִם תִּבְרַחְנָה מִפָּנָיו אֶת־קוֹל הַזָּרִים לֹא יָדָעוּ׃ הַמָּשָׁל הַזֶּה דִּבֶּר יֵשׁוּעַ בְּאָזְנֵיהֶם וְהֵמָּה לֹא יָדְעוּ מָה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֲלֵיהֶם׃

Amen, amen, I say to you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but climbs in another way is a thief and a robber. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock. The guard will open the door for him, and the sheep will hear his voice. He will call his sheep by name and bring them out. After he brings out his flock, he will pass ahead of them with the flock following him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger. Rather, they will flee from his presence because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Ha-Mashiach Yeshua spoke this mashal (parable) in their ears, and they did not know what the word was that He spoke to them.

וַיּוֹסֶף יֵשׁוּעַ וַיְדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם אָמֵן אָמֵן אֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם אֲנִי הוּא פֶּתַח הַצֹּאן׃ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר בָּאוּ לְפָנַי גַּנָּבִים הֵמָּה וּפָרִיצִים וְהַצֹּאן לֹא־שָׁמְעוּ לְקוֹלָם׃ אָנֹכִי הַפָּתַח אִישׁ כִּי־יָבוֹא בִי יִוָּשֵׁעַ וּבְצֵאתוֹ וּבְבוֹאוֹ יִמְצָא מִרְעֶה׃ הַגַּנָּב לֹא יָבוֹא כִּי אִם־לִגְנוֹב וְלַהֲרוֹג וּלְאַבֵּד וַאֲנִי בָאתִי לְהָבִיא לָהֶם חַיִּים וּמְלֹא סִפְקָם׃

Amen, amen, I say to you. I am the entrance (the door) of the flock. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, and the flock did not listen to their voice. I am the entrance. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and when he goes out or comes in, he will find pasture. The thief does not enter except to steal, to kill, and destroy. But I have come to bring them life and the fullness of their sufficiency.

אָנֹכִי הוּא הָרֹעֶה הַטּוֹב הָרֹעֶה הַטּוֹב יִתֵּן אֶת־נַפְשׁוֹ בְּעַד צֹאנוֹ׃ וְהַשָּׂכִיר אֲשֶׁר לֹא רֹעֶה הוּא וְהַצֹּאן לֹא־צֹאנוֹ הוּא יִרְאֶה כִּי־בָא הַזְּאֵב וְעָזַב אֶת־הַצֹּאן וָנָס וְהַזְּאֵב יַחֲטֹף וְהֵפִיץ אֶת־הַצֹּאן׃ הַשָּׂכִיר יָנוּס כִּי שָׂכִיר הוּא וְלֹא יִדְאַג לַצֹּאן׃ אֲנִי הָרֹעֶה הַטּוֹב וְיָדַעְתִּי אֵת אֲשֶׁר־לִי וְנוֹדַעְתִּי לַאֲשֶׁר לִי׃ כַּאֲשֶׁר הָאָב יֹדֵעַ אֹתִי וַאֲנִי יָדַעְתִּי אֶת־הָאָב וְאֶת־נַפְשִׁי אֶתֵּן בְּעַד הַצֹּאן׃ וְצֹאן אֲחֵרוֹת יֶשׁ־לִי אֲשֶׁר אֵינָן מִן־הַמִּכְלָה הַזֹּאת וְעָלַי לְנַהֵל גַּם־אֹתָן וְתִשְׁמַעְנָה קוֹלִי וְהָיָה עֵדֶר אֶחָד וְרֹעֶה אֶחָד׃ עַל־כֵּן אֹהֵב אֹתִי אָבִי כִּי אֶת־נַפְשִׁי אֶתֵּן לְמַעַן אָשׁוּב וְאֶקָּחֶהָ׃ וְאִישׁ לֹא יִקָּחֶנָּה מֵאִתִּי כִּי אִם־אֲנִי מֵעַצְמִי אֶתְּנֶנָּה יֶשׁ־בְּיָדִי לָתֵת אֹתָהּ וּבְיָדִי לָשׁוּב לְקַחְתָּהּ הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת קִבַּלְתִּי מֵעִם אָבִי׃

 I am HaRo’eh HaTov, the Good Shepherd. HaRo’eh HaTov gives his life for his flock. The hired worker is not a shepherd, and the flock is not his flock; he will see the wolf has come and abandon the flock and flee. Then the wolf will snatch and scatter the flock. The hired worker will flee because he is a hired worker and is not concerned for the flock. I am HaRo’eh HaTov (the Good Shepherd), and I know what is mine, and I am known to those who are mine, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father and I give my life for the flock. I have other flocks that are not from this sheepfold, and I must lead them as well. They will hear my voice, and there will be one flock (lit. herd) and one shepherd. Therefore, my Father loves me, for I give my life so that I may return and take it. No one will take it from me, but rather I myself will give it. It is in my hand to give, and it is in my hand to return and take it. I have received this mitzvah (commandment) from my Father.”

וַתְּהִי מַחֲלֹקֶת גַּם־בַּפַּעַם הַזֹּאת בֵּין הַיְּהוּדִים עַל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ רַבִּים מֵהֶם שֵׁד בּוֹ וּמְשֻׁגָּע הוּא לָמָּה תִשְׁמְעוּ אֵלָיו׃ וַאֲחֵרִים אָמְרוּ דְּבָרָיו אֵינָם כְּדִבְרֵי אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר שֵׁד בּוֹ הֲיוּכַל שֵׁד לִפְקֹחַ עֵינֵי עִוְרִים׃

This time as well a controversy started among the Yehudim (and their Prushim religious leaders) over these words. Many of them said, “A demon is in him, and he is insane! Why do you listen to him?” Others said, “His words are not like the words of a man in whom there is a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?

Adonai is the Shepherd of Israel. Messiah is HaRo’eh HaTov (the Good Shepherd):

The Holy One shepherds Israel through His appointed Servant, the Messiah. The Son of David, the Messiah Yeshua. He is the One Shepherd who Adonai has set over all the flocks of His sheep. The use of the metaphor of the shepherd and the sheep is quite popular in the Tanakh. Israel’s kings and priests were called shepherds and their subjects were called sheep. Many of the great men of the Tanakh were shepherds. The Jewish patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and David were all Shepherds. They were both shepherds over flocks and they were Adonai’s trusted shepherds over His people. Messiah’s use of the term Good Shepherd is a midrashim on the entire Tanakh (read texts that immediately follow: 1. Numbers 27:15-23; 2. Psalm 23; 3. Isaiah 53:6; 4. Ezekiel 34; and 5. Micah 2:12-13). Especially important is the message of Ezekiel 34. The prophet Ezekiel castigates the unfaithful shepherds of Israel because they do not care for the flock of Adonai. In contrast the Messiah to come is pictured as a faithful shepherd who receives high praise. The Messiah is the means by which Adonai promises to protect and bless His people. He is the One who personally fulfills Adonai’s promise that He will one day remove the unfaithful shepherds and replace them with His Chosen One, His Good Shepherd, the Messiah ben David.

Reference #1. Then Moses spoke to Adonai, saying, “May Adonai, Elohey HaRuchot lechol-basar (the Almighty Lord of the spirits of all flesh), appoint a man over the assembly (of Israel), who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the adat Adonai (Congregation of Adonai) will not be like sheep which have no shepherd.” So Adonai said to Moses, “Take Yeshua (Yehoshua) the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and commission him in their sight. You shall put some of your authority on him, in order that all the congregation of the sons of Israel may obey. Moreover, he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before Adonai. At His (Yeshua’s) command they shall go out and at His command they shall come in, both He and the sons of Israel with Him, even all the congregation.” Moses did just as Adonai commanded him; and he took Yeshua (Yehoshua) and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. Then he laid his hands on Him and commissioned Him, just as Adonai had spoken through Moses.

Reference #2.  Adonai is my Shepherd (Adonai Ro-i), I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of Adonai forever.

Reference #3.  All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

Reference #4.  Then the word of Adonai came to me saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says Adonai Elohim, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.”’

Reference #5.  Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Adonai: “As I live,” declares Adonai Elohim, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Adonai:  ‘Thus says Adonai Elohim, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”’

Reference #6.  For thus says Adonai Elohim, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares Adonai Elohim. “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.”

Reference #7.   “As for you, My flock, thus says Adonai Elohim, ‘Behold, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats. Is it too slight a thing for you that you should feed in the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pastures? Or that you should drink of the clear waters, that you must  foul the rest with your feet? As for My flock, they must eat what you tread down with your feet and drink what you foul with your feet!’”

Reference #8.  Therefore, thus says Adonai Elohim to them, “Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you push with side and with shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns until you have scattered them abroad, therefore, I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.”

Reference #9.  “Then I will set over them One Shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them (through His greater Son the Mashiach); He (Mashiach) will feed them Himself and be their Shepherd. And I, Adonai, will be their Almighty One, and My Servant (Messiah ben) David will be prince among them; I Adonai have spoken.”

Reference #10.  “I will make a covenant of shalom with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing. Also the tree of the field will yield its fruit and the earth will yield its increase, and they will be secure on their land. Then they will know that I am Adonai, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.”

Reference #11.  “They will no longer be a prey to the nations, and the beasts of the earth will not devour them; but they will live securely, and no one will make them afraid. I will establish for them a renowned planting place, and they will not again be victims of famine in the land, and they will not endure the insults of the nations anymore. Then they will know that I, Adonai Elohim, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people,” declares Adonai Elohim. “As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your Almighty One, declares Adonai Elohim.”

Reference #12.  “I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; like a flock in the midst of its pasture they will be noisy with men. The breaker goes up before them; they break out, pass through the gate and go out by it. So their king goes on before them, and Adonai at their head.”

Introduction:

The Messiah’s Shemini Atzeret teaching on the Good Shepherd is addressed to the Prushim and the scribes. He soundly rebukes the obstinate rabbinate for their lack of sympathy and compassion for their less educated and economically under-privileged brothers and sisters (whom the proud Prushim refer to with disdain as being ‘sinners’). Prophetically the Prushim rabbinate are counted among the wicked shepherds referred to in Ezekiel 34:

“Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.”’

Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Adonai: “As I live,” declares Adonai Elohim, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Adonai:  ‘Thus says Adonai Elohim:

“Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”’

The Faithful Shepherd, the Messiah, stands in contrast to the wicked shepherds (the Prushim rabbinate and their successors). The wicked shepherds refused to go into the wilderness to look for the lost sheep of Israel. Since the people of Adonai were like sheep without a shepherd, for the Prushim were of no help, Adonai provided His own Shepherd in the person of the Messiah ben David.

The Messiah ben David is the one Shepherd who is able to care for the flock of Israel in the Strength of Adonai (cf. Micah 5:2-4; Masoretic Text 5:1-3). The Good Shepherd possesses the Strength of Adonai sufficient to atone for sin and establish the kingdom of heaven on earth. He is able to triumph over sin and death so that He might  rule over the living. In Zechariah 13:7 we read:

“Strike the Shepherd and the sheep (of the Jewish flock) will be scattered.”

Messiah never shirked back from His calling to lay down His life for the flock. The Good Shepherd is the special agent of Adonai. He is a royal person. His atoning death provides a decisive turning point in redemptive history. The phrase, “Striking the shepherd” clearly finds its fulfillment in the Messiah’s arrest, the fleeing of His disciples and his execution. It is the atoning death and life giving resurrection of the Messiah that restores Israel’s faith in Adonai. In Zechariah 13:9 it is written:

“They will call on My name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘Adonai Elohai’ (Adonai is My Almighty One).” These reassuring words of the Holy One’s steadfast love for His people and AmIsrael’s (the people’s) restored faith in Adonai finds its prophetic fulfillment in the Messiah’s miraculous resurrection from the dead, ascension into heaven, and yet (near) future triumphant return to earth as the glorified, immortal, invincible, all-powerful Messiah ben David.

The Door, the Thief and the Robber:

“Amen, amen I say to you, he who does not enter by the Door (Gate) into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a Shepherd of the sheep.”

In His teaching on the Good Shepherd the Messiah describes a morning shepherding scene. The Shepherd enters through a gate (door) into a walled enclosure that is designed to keep several flocks safe and secure. The secure enclosure is surrounded by stone walls. It is guarded at night by a watchman (doorkeeper) whose job it is to prevent thieves and beasts of prey from entering. Any person who would find another way around the watchman and his gate by climbing up and over his protective wall is a thief and a robber.

The Shepherd and His Watchman:

“To Him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His Voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He puts forth all His own, He goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow Him because they know His Voice.”

The Shepherd has a right to enter the sheep-pen. The watchman opens the gate only for the Shepherd. The Prophets taken together, as an inerrant Divinely appointed unit of revelation, are the Watchman. The combined supernatural revelation of the prophets only opens up the Gate of Truth to the Good Shepherd. The words of the prophets of Israel only bear witness to Ha-Mashiach. Not the Prushim. Not their illegitimate rabbinate successors. Therefore, the guardianship of the prophets recognizes only the Messiah as the Good Shepherd of Israel.

Those who carefully study the words of Moses and the prophets for themselves, with an open heart and mind toward the Holy One, know the true teaching. We recognize the true Voice of Prophecy. The True Voice of Prophecy is the testimony of Ha-Mashiach Yeshua. In the Voice of Prophecy the Spirit of Holiness is bearing witness to the Salvation of Adonai, (Yeshua), He is the Faithful Witness (Ha’ed Ha-Ne’eman) and the Faithful and True One (נאמן ואמיתי). If the Shepherd comes in to call His own sheep by name (out from the other flocks), we respond. We know the testimony of the Jewish Scriptures. We know the Voice of the Shepherd. When we hear the familiar Voice of our Shepherd, we go to Him. He leads us safely out of the sheep-pen. He takes us out to the green pastures and the still waters where He restores our souls.

The Voice of the Shepherd and the voice of strangers:

“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

This figure of speech the Salvation of Adonai (Yeshua) spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.” The “voice of a stranger” is any voice other than the Voice of the Spirit of the Holy One. Formerly Adonai spoke in part through the prophets. Now in these last days Adonai speaks only through His Son, the Messiah. The ancient and modern rabbis (shepherds) were never authorized to act as the Voice of Adonai. Unlike the prophets and the Messiah their voice is the voice of men and is not the Vpice of Adonai. Their voice is naturalistic, imperfect, and powerless. The Voice of Adonai is supernatural, inerrant, and all-powerful. So the Messiah said to His fellow Yehudim and the Prushim rabbis:

“Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the Door (Gateway) of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the Door (Gateway); if anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

The Spirit of all prophecy is the testimony of the Salvation of Adonai (Yeshua). The Gateway and the Stairway from heaven to earth is the Messiah (the one Shepherd). The holy prophets teach us who all of the prophecy of the D’var HaShem bears witness to. It bears witness to the human proxy of Adonai. Therefore, the Person and Life of the Messiah Yeshua is the fulfillment of all of the writings of Moses and the Prophets.

Messiah is the Gateway between Heaven and Earth. He is the Living Door. He is the Living Stairway to Heaven.

After the Shepherd’s flock has been separated from the other sheep by His Voice, He takes them to pasture. Near the pasture is an enclosure for the sheep. The shepherd takes His place in the doorway or entrance and functions as a Living Door and Protective Gate. The sheep can go out to the pasture in front of the enclosure, or if afraid they can retreat into the security of the enclosure. The spiritual meaning of both doors and both gates (the first door opened by the prophets and the second door opened by the Messiah Himself) is that the Salvation of Adonai (the LORD) is the only Gateway by which people can enter into the gracious provision of Adonai.

All whoever came before me were thieves and robbers.”

When the Messiah said, “all whoever came before me were thieves and robbers,” he is referring to those leaders of the nation of Israel who cared not for the spiritual good of the people but only for themselves.

The Messiah puts the welfare of his people before his own life. The Good Shepherd is a Servant-leader. He is also a Shepherd-Warrior. He provides security for His flock from their enemies (“Whoever enters through Me will “be saved,” or “kept safe”). He also provides for their daily needs (The sheep “come in and out, and find pasture”). “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

The false-shepherds care only about feeding themselves, not building up the flock. When you follow the false-shepherds you die. First you die spiritually. Then you die physically. The false-shepherds remove the secure, safe, and loving Divine Covering of Adonai. And they even do this in the name of Adonai (HaShem). The false-shepherds steal sheep from the rightful Shepherd in order to “kill” them (ingest them into the ‘deat of their own false vanity and deceitful imagination (into their God which is their own belly; naturalistic self-life). The thieves use up and consume (destroy, devour) the lives of the sheep for their own selfish advantage.

In sharp contrast the Messiah has come only to benefit the sheep. He gives to us His Life which is not constricted but overflowing with abundance. The thief takes life. The thief’s self-serving actions lead to the destruction of the sheep. The Messiah gives life. His self-sacrificing actions lead to our receiving life in abundance (to the full) for those of us who hear His Voice and follow Him. The True Shepherd came to seek and to save that which was lost. The True Shepherd, the Messiah, came first (not to destroy but) to seek and save that which was lost. Instead of taking the lives of the sheep He laid down ‘His’ life for them.

Messiah is the true Shepherd of Israel and all of the world and not the false shepherd.

There is another false-shepherd to come who is the anti-shepherd of Israel and the world. Before Messiah returns a second time the false shepherd will come and be received in “his own name” (Jeremiah 23:1-4; Ezekiel 34; Zechariah 11:15-17).  The false shepherd is the “foolish, false, and worthless shepherd,” he will come and be received and he will devour the foolish sheep who will follow his voice, the voice of a stranger (but not all will follow him, for there is a remnant of Israel who hears, understands and obeys only the Voice of Messiah).

The Good Shepherd and the future Commonwealth of Israel:

אָנֹכִי הוּא הָרֹעֶה הַטּוֹב הָרֹעֶה הַטּוֹב יִתֵּן אֶת־נַפְשׁוֹ בְּעַד צֹאנוֹ׃ וְהַשָּׂכִיר אֲשֶׁר לֹא רֹעֶה הוּא וְהַצֹּאן לֹא־צֹאנוֹ הוּא יִרְאֶה כִּי־בָא הַזְּאֵב וְעָזַב אֶת־הַצֹּאן וָנָס וְהַזְּאֵב יַחֲטֹף וְהֵפִיץ אֶת־הַצֹּאן׃ הַשָּׂכִיר יָנוּס כִּי שָׂכִיר הוּא וְלֹא יִדְאַג לַצֹּאן׃ אֲנִי הָרֹעֶה הַטּוֹב וְיָדַעְתִּי אֵת אֲשֶׁר־לִי וְנוֹדַעְתִּי לַאֲשֶׁר לִי׃ כַּאֲשֶׁר הָאָב יֹדֵעַ אֹתִי וַאֲנִי יָדַעְתִּי אֶת־הָאָב וְאֶת־נַפְשִׁי אֶתֵּן בְּעַד הַצֹּאן׃ וְצֹאן אֲחֵרוֹת יֶשׁ־לִי אֲשֶׁר אֵינָן מִן־הַמִּכְלָה הַזֹּאת וְעָלַי לְנַהֵל גַּם־אֹתָן וְתִשְׁמַעְנָה קוֹלִי וְהָיָה עֵדֶר אֶחָד וְרֹעֶה אֶחָד׃ עַל־כֵּן אֹהֵב אֹתִי אָבִי כִּי אֶת־נַפְשִׁי אֶתֵּן לְמַעַן אָשׁוּב וְאֶקָּחֶהָ׃ וְאִישׁ לֹא יִקָּחֶנָּה מֵאִתִּי כִּי אִם־אֲנִי מֵעַצְמִי אֶתְּנֶנָּה יֶשׁ־בְּיָדִי לָתֵת אֹתָהּ וּבְיָדִי לָשׁוּב לְקַחְתָּהּ הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת קִבַּלְתִּי מֵעִם אָבִי׃

I am HaRo’eh HaTov, the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of 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 is not concerned about the sheep. I am HaRo’eh HaTov, and I know my own and my own know me, even as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 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. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from me, but I lay it down on my own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from my Father.”

The Good Shepherd has a personal interest and intimacy with the sheep. This is unlike the workman whose only interest is his wages. Messiah’s remark, “I know my sheep,” communicates his vigilant care and watchful oversight. “My sheep know me,” reveals there is a reciprocal knowledge of the Good Shepherd. The sheep know their Shepherd.

Messiah’s high degree of care for His sheep is evidenced by his prediction of His coming sacrificial death on behalf of the flock. Some shepherds have willingly died while protecting their sheep from danger. The Messiah willingly sacrificed his life for his family, the people of Israel. His substitute death, resurrection and ascension into heaven on our behalf gives us forgiveness for our sins, reconciliation to our Father in heaven and the gift of eternal life.

In this gracious provision of the Messiah we are destined to one day be transformed into the likeness of Messiah. It is the will of Abba Avinu that one day we are all to become many sons of glory. Therefore, it is the will of the Father that we be remade in the likeness of our Tzaddik the Messiah. In this way we will become eternally Perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.

“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.”

The “other sheep” not of this flock refers to the Gentiles who in the future will believe in Adonai through their faith in the Messiah. This addition of the Gentiles coming into full faith in Adonai through the Messiah will lead to the entire world coming under the rule of heaven. This addition of the Gentiles coming into full faith in Adonai is indicated in the festival of Sukkot. Sukkot is the most celebrated of all of the festivals. In Sukkot we celebrate the messianic age to come when the whole world will live in peace. The reign of Messiah on earth will create a Commonwealth of Israel (cf. the Messiah in Purim).

Jew and Gentile together will hear, understand and obey the Voice of Messiah.

“One flock and one Shepherd” speaks of the believers from both the Jewish and Gentile flocks becoming one body, with the Savior of all humankind (HaMoshia l’chol Adam) and the Savior of the World (Moshia HaOlam) acting as our Head. “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from me, but I lay it down on my own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from my Father.”

“I lay down my life so that I may take it (up) again.”

The Messiah, the Salvation of Adonai (Yeshua) predicted his own death. He said multiple times that he would voluntarily lay down his life. The Father has a special love for the Messiah because of his sacrificial obedience to His will. The Messiah also predicted multiple times he would resurrect from the dead. He would “take up” his life again (cf. Messiah in HaBikkurim). He did this by his own sovereign authority and power over death. His sacrificial death was wholly necessary and voluntary, “No one takes (my life) it from me.”

“A division occurred again among the Yehudim because of these words. Many of them were saying, “he has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”

The Messiah’s teaching divided the people of Israel. We are still divided over who he is. Many in the hostile camp of the Prushim (pious ones) judged him to be demon-possessed and raving mad. However, many others disagreed with the Prushim rabbis. The common people of Israel in no way believed that Rabbeinu Yeshua was demon-possessed. For “how could a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

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