Christ versus Religionby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The man received sight. It was wonderful. Again the Pharisees, the religionists, were on hand to condemn. They discouraged this poor man who received his sight from following Jesus. Reviling him, they said, “You are His disciple; but we are disciples of Moses” (v. 28). They called Jesus a sinner because He broke the Sabbath, but the blind man exclaimed, “Whether or not He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (v. 25). The blind man did not care about right or wrong; he only cared that he received his sight. Whether right or wrong, whether yes or no—it mattered nothing to him. He only cared for seeing.
They reviled him. In that day to say that you were a follower of Jesus was a vile thing. Then they cast him out. They cast him out of the synagogue, out of Judaism, out of the Jewish religion. Hallelujah! But we must realize that in that day to be cast out of the Jewish synagogue and religion meant that there was no way to live. You could not keep your job; your living was ended. To be an outcast from the Jewish religion in that day was very serious. But the Lord Jesus met him and asked, “Do you believe into the Son of God?” (v. 35). He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe into Him?” Jesus replied, “You have both seen Him, and He is the One speaking with you,” and he said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped Him (vv. 36-38). Today, when we read the record, we feel that it was so simple and not of too much consequence; but, I tell you, in that day it was not so simple, and it was of tremendous consequence.
Immediately upon the casting out of this man from the synagogue, the Lord Jesus gave the people a message, telling how He is the door of all the sheep within the sheepfold. He said that all who came before Him were thieves and robbers; He is the only One who came to impart life to the sheep. He is the One who leads the sheep out of the fold, through the door, into the pasture—He is the Shepherd. He also told them that He had other sheep which were not of that Jewish fold—them also would He lead, and they would be flocked together with the sheep from the sheepfold to be one flock. It is all so meaningful.
Many dear saints, when reading that Jesus is the door in John 10, conceive of Jesus as the door to heaven. That concept is utterly mistaken. In John 10 Jesus is the door, not of heaven but of the fold. Judaism, the Jewish religion, was the fold. We must realize that this fold was first established by God in the Old Testament. God put all His dear saints into it to be kept, waiting for Christ to come. They were put there, not over the walls but through the door, and that door was Christ. David was put there; Jeremiah was put there; Daniel was put there. They were all put into the fold through the proper gate, Christ. Those Old Testament saints who believed in the coming Christ found entrance into the fold through Him. Christ was the door through which they entered. Then Jesus came; the night was over, and the day had dawned. There was no need for the sheep to be kept in the fold any longer; they must go out and find pasture. The winter was over, and spring had come; Christ, the pasture, was there. Before He came, Jesus was the door by which they all came in. Then when He came, He said in effect, “Now I am the door for you all to get out.” In the Old Testament time Christ was the door for the saints to enter the fold, and now in the New Testament time He is the door for all the sheep who are in the fold to come out. Then when He leads them out, He is not only the door but also the Shepherd. They are the sheep, and He is the Shepherd, leading them to the green pasture. He is the pasture too. He led Peter out of the fold, He led John out of the fold, He led James out of the fold, and He led this blind one who received sight out of the fold.
Then He told the people that He had other sheep in the Gentile world, the heathen world. Later, He came to America, a part of the heathen world. One day, praise the Lord, the Lord Jesus also came to my country, another part of the heathen world. We are all the other sheep, and He brought us all together into His green pasture. We are one flock.
When Jesus walked on earth, Judaism was the fold, but today there are new folds. There are so many denominations, sects, and Christian groups—all these in the eyes of the Lord are today’s folds. Although people within these groups may have good intentions as far as the Lord is concerned, yet the result is disastrous—the result is division. They may intend to keep the people of the Lord as a fold, but eventually they cause a division. The Lord today is doing the same work as He did in John 9: He is opening the eyes of many who are held by the folds; He is leading them out of the folds and putting them together in the green pasture as one flock. After you receive your sight, those who run the folds will no longer be willing to keep you there, and on the other hand, you will be quite willing to come out. Christ is the door for you to come out and join the one flock with the one Shepherd.
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