Jesus' Description of a "Good Pastor"---John 9-10

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. 13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. 18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? 20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? 28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. 29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. 39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. 1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. 19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. 20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? 21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? (John 9:1-10:21, KJV).


If we study these verses of the Bible they relate some very important things about the ministry of Jesus. As we can see, although there is a chapter division--the words that the Lord speaks in John chapter 10 are in reference to what has happened in chapter 9.

Let's first take a close look at what occurs in these chapters--

Jesus sees a blind man, and His disciple ask Him a question--

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Jesus is speaking here of His ministry--the mission that he was "sent" to do--Jesus is speaking of His apostleship when He refers to His begin "sent" to the earth by the Father to "the works of God".

The word "works" here refers to the Greek worked "ergon" which is again in reference to ministry--

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Eph 4: 11-12)

The works of God are serving His will in the earth--they are the purposes of Christ (see Luke 4:18) --the healing--deliverance--casting out devils--healing the sick--saving the soul--But the fullness of what Jesus did in the earth was to save a person all the way until they themselves were raised up to serve God also. As Jesus says--what is about to happen to this man is that the "works of God" the serving of God's will--will be made manifest "in him"--This man will not only be healed--he will also enter into apostleship!


Jesus also says that He is the light of the world--another reference to ministry--In Mark chapter 4 we see the central theme and action of Jesus teaching--as He says "the understanding of all the parables and teachings"

13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? 14 The sower soweth the word. 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. 21 ¶ And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? (Mark 4: 13-21)

The reference to the shining of the light of the candle, from the aspect of this parable, is clearly referring to ministry ---the simple definition of which is to sow seed in the earth. Doing the will of God--serving His will--is the physical act of sowing the good seed in the earth. Ministry is sowing seed. But it is also light that is meant to shine before men in order to glorify God.

Jesus is saying, what is about to happen to this man, will reveal God in the earth--through works and light--through ministry--through serving out the will of the Father.


Now watch what happens--

6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

Jesus "anoints" the man. The first and central purpose of the anointing of God is to serve Him. The high priests of the old covenant were annointed for ministry---and when we say we are "Christians"--we are saying that we follow the anointed One and His anointing. But now Jesus tells the man to -- "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.)"

This man is now told by Jesus to go to a pool---whose name is "sent". This word "sent in the Greek is---

apostello {ap-os-tel'-lo} v

----send 110, send forth 15, send away 4, send out 2, misc 2; 133

1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed

2) to send away, dismiss

2a) to allow one to depart, that he may be in a state of liberty

2b) to order one to depart, send off

2c) to drive away


The man is now told by Jesus to go and wash in the pool of apostleship. He is now releasing the man to ministry--immediately!

Is there any other example in the Bible of someone meeting Jesus--healed of blindness--and immediately being released into ministry?--Very definetly---

1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutes: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. 10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. 17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. (Acts 9:1-20, KJV).


This man Saul--(later called Paul)--has exactly the same conversion experience and result as the blind man illustrated in John chapter 9. Jesus came to heal the sick--and to bring us salvation--but the fullness of His great salvation, is to heal--deliver--save---and release. It took the organization called the church 1,000 years to recognize that salvation was a free gift--it took even longer for "the church" to accept the fact that Jesus heals today--and we are on the verge of realizing that we are meant to be released to serve God--all of us--in our anointing--in our gift--immediately!


Now watch what happens to this man--(back to John chapter 9)...

8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. 13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. 18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? 20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?


This man is witnessing Jesus to everyone he meets! But he is facing resistance--from the people who ought to believe the most--the Pharisees--the Jews who are of the synagogue--the folks who have the scriptures--who have the Bible--the "church-folk" the organized religious people! They immediately question him--they call him a sinner. Even his own parents are afraid to admit that he was healed--because they fear the organization--the "proper" people of the synagogue--the people who hold power and authority within the religious organization.

But this man is now serving God--even though he does not fully understand what happened to him! Even though everyone is resisting him--in spite of the fact they all know he was healed--he continues to witness the Gospel--

27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?

He is asking the Pharisees if they want to be saved--if they want to be followers of Jesus! Talk about boldness!


28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. 29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.


They "reviled" him--which means to abuse him--yet he continues to witness to them! The Pharisees work from their own prejudice and pride--they are sure that this man is a sinner since he was born blind--so they will not receive his teaching. He does not come from the right place to teach--he has not had the proper background to teach--he has not studied at the right school--under the right tutor. Yet the Bible says he is teaching them--another gift of ministry, another "gift given unto every one of us"--and rejected by the Pharisees way of thinking. Yet here is this man who speaks two of the most profound verses in the Bible--

25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.


Incredible wisdom is coming from this man who has washed in the pool of Siloam--this man who has washed in the pool of apostleship. But he is facing the worse kind of people who have the wrong concept of leadership. It is very clear that the pharisees who are leading in this place have extreme prejudice against people--they have a strong tradition and idea about ministry and serving God--they are sure they know who can teach and who cannot. They have a strict idea of how to lead people--they are leaders of people who never promote anyone but themselves (Jesus describes Pharisees in Luke ch 23)--But watch--because Jesus is about to describe what kind of leader He is and what kind of leaders they are--who reject the ministry of others and govern by their own rules and not by he will and purpose of God.


But first, Jesus, merciful Jesus, has to "re-heal" this man--

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.


After he has been wounded and injured by the rules of the organization--rules that reject his ministry, and his words, and his healing--(even though it is beyond doubt!)--Jesus comes again and comforts this man and leads him to the fullness of salvation. Jesus here has revealed much more than the fact that He can heal the sick! Rather, in doing this, He exposes the false leadership of the Pharisees--and reveals the fact that all people are created to serve God. In the Bible, Jesus purosefully takes the people who are in the worse position (the demoniac of the Gadarenes [Mark 5]---Saul of Tarsus [Acts 9]--to name a few), and releases them to apostleship, the highest position in God. He truly gave us the example of service to others as the definition of ministry---of washing feet--of relasing others to greater places than we know. He shows us that teaching and witnessing and apostleship are gifts for all of us to function under.....

18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. (Psalms 68:18, KJV).

That these gifts of ministry are "given even unto he rebellious" and are for all to use for God's will and purpose They are NOT titles or positions for people to have--they are specifically NOT God's right to rule others.


Now watch what Jesus says next--

39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. 1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

Now Jesus is going to talk about the false leadership of the Pharisees and how His true and righteous pastoral ministry is going to function. The Pharisees were supposed to be good pastors--to be good shepherds.

(the word used here as "shepherd" is this in the Greek--)


poimen {poy-mane'} n m

---- shepherd 15, Shepherd 2, pastor 1; 18

1) a herdsman, esp. a shepherd

1a) in the parable, he to whose care and control others have committed themselves, and whose precepts they follow

2) metaph. 2a) the presiding officer, manager, director, of any assembly: so of Christ the Head of the church 2a1) of the overseers of the Christian assemblies 2a2) of kings and princes

(this is the world which is translated as "pastor" one time in Ephesians 4. Every other reference to a "pastor--a shepherd" in the new testament refers exclusively to Jesus---also note that the defintion of a pastor as a "presiding officer in a Christian assembly" is honestly defined as a metaphor--since it is specifically NOT in the Bible!)


Jesus in the next verses gives His idea of what a pastor ought to do. He gives His ideas of what the function of a pastor ought obey like.

It is first very importantto see clearly that all these verses relate to what just happened with the blind man who washed at the pool of Siloam. How that his ministry was rejected by the "pastors"-- the Pharisees. Jesus is still speaking to the Pharisees in these verses in chapter 10 and explaining His pastoral leadership--in contrast to the ideas of leadership that the Pharisees had......

3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.


The Pharisees have hard time understanding what Jesus is saying here. They do not relate this kind of leading and knowledge to their version of pastoral leadership. Jesus here is saying that pastors ought to know their sheep personally--to not be a stranger to them. He was saying to them that they were leading people for their own glory and not for the benefit of the people themselves.

One of the things that upsets the Pharisees about the blind man is that he is talking about God--that he is preaching to them about God--that they ought to follow Jesus. This is a man that they have judged a sinner because of his blindness. They are sure that this man is a wicked sinner--being punished by God for some sin that he did or his parents did. But now , here he is preaching to them--speaking about God--something which is reserved for only the chosen few who meet the correct requirements that they have established. He is unsanctified-he is a sinner--not the proper person to be speaking about God in their church.


Now this is the description of what Jesus' true pastoral ministry is like--

7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Jesus says this using the example of the blind man. He is saying that He saves people--not to keep them "under his authority" --but rather to heal, save and release--

9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The key here is that Jesus says that His pastorship will save--and then release the person to "go in and out"--He shall not be constrained but be released to his purpose in the earth. He shall "find pasture"--the word pasture here means to find increase or nourishment. When someone is under Jesus pastoral ministry they shall continually find a place to grow and develop into their full potential.


Is this just an odd example in the Bible? Well we have already see the example of Paul (Saul). But if we study we will see that nearly everyone who came in contact with Jesus was released in to serving God. Jesus here clearly related this to the function of a pastor--to His pastoral ministry. Let's look at another example in the Bible which is very similar to the blind man--

1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. 6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. 14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. 15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.(Mark 5:1-20, KJV).


Here we see the same result of Jesus' pastoral ministry--His way of leading and shepherding people. Jesus casts the devils out of this man--and then--when the man asks to follow Him--Jesus tells him to --

"..Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee."

When Jesus sees a demon possessed man--when he sees a blind man who is thought to be a sinner because of His blindness--Jesus sees a minister of the word of God! Jesus sees the full potential of a person--He is able to "save to the utmost"--to deliver someone from their affliction--but not to make them a "church-goer"--but rather to release them to their calling and purpose in God.


When the demon possesed man is released by Jesus--the Bible says the most amazing thing--

20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

This man went to "Decapolis" which is "ten cities". He went and preached the Good News in ten cities--a greater work than the apostles that were closely following Jesus had yet done!


The pastoring of Jesus is to lead people "in and out"--to heal them and then "send" them as apostles. Once again we re-iterate---Jesus: saves--heals--delivers and releases!

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

We have often heard this verse taught as one of the great "Christian empowerment" verses. It most certainly is---but it is really a verse of release. Many will teach this and stress the fact that all the works of Christ are for all believers---"but--not to ministry". This is ridiculous, since the gifts of ministry are the gifts which are meant to empower the works--the purposes of Christ. If we do the works, we are ministering (serving) the purposes of God.


But this release is what Jesus is speaking of as His idea of pastoral ministry in John chapter 10--

9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

This next verse 10 reveals that when a person is allowed to "go in and out" to be released to serve God--they will experience "life"--

zoe {dzo-ay'} n f

---- life 133, lifetime 1; 134

1) life 1a) the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate 1b) every living soul

2) life 2a) of the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic "logos" and to Christ in whom the "logos" put on human nature 2b) life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.


This is the fullness of life--which comes form serving God. Jesus is saying that His pastoral ministry will give others this type of life in God--in "abundance"--

perissos {per-is-sos'} adj

----more 2, beyond measure 1, vehemently + 1537 1, more abundantly 1, advantage 1, superfluous 1, very highly + 5228 + 1537 1, exceeding abundantly above + 5228 + 1537 1, exceeding + 5228 + 1537 1; 10

1) exceeding some number or measure or rank or need 1a) over and above, more than is necessary, superadded 1a1) exceeding abundantly, supremely 1a2) something further, more, much more than all, more plainly 1b) superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon 1b1) pre-eminence, superiority, advantage, more eminent, more remarkable, more excellent


This is the result of Jesus' pastoring in a person's life--this life in abundance. But as we see in the example that He is speaking about--the blind man seems to be in trouble and rejected by men. We too often associate "life in abundance" with the concept of monetary prosperity--or even success with people. Jesus is saying that he gave this blind man a full life now. On the outside the man is rejected by his leaders--even by his parents--yet Jesus calls what he has----now that he has washed in the pool of apostleship--"life in abundance"! Jesus is clearly saying that His pastoral ministry is to release others into serving God--which is the Bible's idea of an abundant life!


11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

And now in these verses we see the ultimate purpose of Jesus' pastoral ministry--to give His life that we might have eternal life in Him--though His blood sacrifice at Calvary. Jesus states here that He will "lay down His life" The word "life" here is "psuche" or "soul"--Jesus will lay down His soul--His breath--He will give up His life, that we might have the fullness of the abundant life that He describes for us.

Yes that we might have eternal life after we die--but also that we might have abundant life in this earth--the abundance of serving him in His will and the will of God the Father through the empowerment of the Holy Ghost.


19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. 20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? 21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

When Jesus describes his pastoral ministry, there is division among the Jews for it. They have not heard of this kind of ministry--of this kind of idea--to lead people in and out--to release blind men to minister the word of God--to allow a man thought by all to be a sinner, into apostleship.

16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

This saying was certainly one of the things that the Jewish leadership did not like. Jesus was saying here that he had others people beside Jews whom He must lead into ministry--that it was not only for the proper Levitical priessthood, given by birthright, to be a minister any more. He was saying that he would lead all people into His great salvation---healing-- deliverance--and walking into the service of God. Releasing the demon-possessed man was already an example of this. That man lived in Gadara--a place outside of Israel--he was a Gentile! Jesus was of course saying that His great salvation was coming to all the world, not just for Israel--and His great salvation includes the release to Godly service.


Now, where do most of us stand today? I believe firmly that there are now many many Christian who believe that they can lay hands on the sick and see them recover. There are certainly many Christians who understand that they have the God-given right to chase the devil out of people--that they have authority over the enemy.

But the question is this--are we ready to release these people to their ministry immediately--as Jesus did? We might pray and see someone healed or delivered--but don't we then train them to become church-goers like the rest of us? Don't we healt them so they can tithe to our church? Would anyone release the demoniac of the Gadarenes as a representative of their church they way Jesus did? We might allow him to be an usher in the church or perhaps if he went to church long enough we might let him teach the Sunday school---would we allow him to "go in and out"?--to find pasture and life in abundance to serve God fully with his gifts? Do we heal someone and then tell them to immediately wash in the pool of apostleship? Don't we have a"proper order" in our churches? Don't we have ideas and rules that tell us that new Christians are "babes in the Lord" and that we are who are wiser ought to lead them? Jesus refuses the demoniac from becoming His disciple--because Jesus realizes that He is already an apostle--that God gave this gift to all people--"even the rebellious" (psalm 68:18).


Perhaps we ought to train pastors the way Jesus says to. Perhaps we ought to expect pastors to lead the way Jesus did by example and doctrine. Perhaps we ought to know that the pure Biblical understanding of the pastoral annointing--is in fact--release!

35 ¶ And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. 1 ¶ And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these;....." (Matthew 9:35-10:2)

Here is another place it the Bible where the word "poimen" translated as shepherd is used. Again, we need to realize that this is the word translated in eph 4 as "pastor". (Note that this word is only used 18 times in the Bible--as compared to over 200 references to the word "apostle"--when we are studying John 9-10 we are studying nearly every reference to the word "pastor" in the Bible) We see that Jesus is again moving in his pastoral anointing--with the same result....

He sees the crowds and realizes that He alone cannot reach all of them. Now He does the same type of pastoral ministry that He does with he blind man in John 9. He turns His disciples into apostles--by giving them His same authority--

Jesus had this authority from God the Father--

"...teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people."

Jesus released this same authority to His disciples as His pastoral ministry to them--

1 ¶ And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

They now are called "apostles" or "those who are sent"--messengers of God to do the will of God in the earth with the authority of God to accomplish this.

It was the pastoral work of Jesus to send people--to wash them in the pool of apostleship--to release the ministry of the apostles to serve the will of God.

Is this the central aspect of pastoral ministry today?