John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 10:4 - 10:4

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 10:4 - 10:4


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4.Because they know his voice. Though he speaks here of ministers, yet, instead of wishing that they should be heard, he wishes that God should be heard speaking by them; for we must attend to the distinction which he has laid down, that he alone is a faithful pastor or shepherd (283) of the Church, who conducts and governs his sheep by the direction of Christ. We must attend to the reason why it is said that the sheep follow; it is, because they know how to distinguish shepherds from wolves by the voice This is the spirit of discernment, by which the elect discriminate between the truth of God and the false inventions of men. So then, in the sheep of Christ a knowledge of the truth goes before, and next follows an earnest desire to obey, so that they not only understand what is true, but receive it with warm affection. And not only does he commend the obedience of the faith, because the sheep assemble submissively at the voice of the shepherd, but also because they do not listen to the voice of strangers, and do not disperse when any one cries to them.



(283) The word pastor signifies shepherd, but, for the sake of the reader, who may not be aware of its etymology, it has been found necessary, in some cases, to employ both of the words, especially where the figure holds so prominent a place in the discussion. — Ed.