Book of John 10:1-18

Book of John 10:1-18 Good Shepherd

John 10 is the famous “Good Shepherd” chapter. This chapter may be so well known that we do not really listen to what it is saying.

We are still in Jerusalem at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Pharisees were the shepherds of Israel.  They supported themselves in their opposition to Christ with this principle, that they were pastors of the church {Israel}; and that Jesus, having no commission or authority from them, was an intruder and an impostor, a false shepherd to the people.

I Am the Good Shepherd

Contrast between the Good Shepherd and the false shepherds of Israel. 

John 10:1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.

The sheep pen of the Middle East are large enclosures, open to the sky, but a high wall around made with reeds or stones or brick and sometimes the enclosure was a cave in order to afford a protection against robbers, wolves, and other beasts of prey. There is one large door at which the shepherd enters and leaves with the sheep.

The Pharisees had secured their power not by legal means.  A thief steals in secret and a robber plunders openly with violence.

John 10:2 The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.

In contrast to the thief the true shepherd would come through the gate or door with the sheep.

Hebrews 13:20 Now may the God of peace, who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep,

Political and Spiritual leaders were often called shepherds of the nations and people.

*Isaiah 56:11 They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain.

Look at the Sheep and their Shepherd 

John 10:3 It is to him the gatekeeper opens the gate, and it is his voice the sheep hear. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

  • The naming of sheep was a practice done in Israel by the Shepherd.
  • Do we not name our horses, dogs and cats?
  • Jesus call each of us by name. Our pet Name.

In the spiritual picture Jesus spoke of, the door for the sheep pen had a doorkeeper; one who watched who came in and who went out. The doorkeeper knows the true shepherd and appropriately grants him access. 

Isaiah 40:26 Look up into the heavens! Who created all these stars? As a shepherd leads his sheep, calling each by its pet name, and counts them to see that none are lost or strayed, so God does with stars and planets!

**John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him to life on the last day. 

Interesting allegory, gatekeeper {Father?} opens and closes the gate, the shepherd is Jesus, sheep are those who the Father draws for the elect; and Jesus leads with His Word.

John 10:4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

  • Jesus’s sheep will never follow a stranger voice.
  • A false shepherd tries to rid themselves of trouble; as the Pharisees did by casting out the man born blind
  • The true shepherd feeds His sheep.

Supposedly, a true story, how the sheep know the shepherd voice

During World War I, some soldiers tried to steal a flock of sheep from a hillside near Jerusalem. The sleeping shepherd awoke to find his flock being driven off. He couldn’t recapture them by force, so he called out to his flock with his distinctive call.

The sheep listened, and returned to their rightful owner. The soldiers couldn’t stop the sheep from returning to their shepherd’s voice.

John 10:5 They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”

A stranger is anyone the sheep do not know, not necessarily a thief and a robber. Sheep would not follow a stranger’s voice even if he used the shepherd’s call and matches his tone.

It is not possible to deceive the elect.

Matthew 24:24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 

John 10:6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Matthew 13:13-14 That’s why I speak to them in parables, because ‘they look but don’t see, and they listen but don’t hear or understand.’  (14)  “With them the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says: ‘You will listen and listen but never understand. You will look and look but never comprehend,

1 Corinthians 2:14-15 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.  (15)  The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,

The individual who does not have the Holy Spirit of God cannot understand Spiritual things, but a Believer who has the Holy Spirit can understand Spiritual things. 

I Am the Good Shepherd

John 10:7 So again Jesus said, “Truly, I tell all of you with certainty, I am the gate for the sheep.

Jesus just said, I am, meaning it is only through Jesus that mankind can be saved.   Saying He is God “I AM”

John 10:8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits, but the sheep didn’t listen to them.

Severest criticism in the Scriptures are reserved for false teachers, false prophets (Mt 23:14; Mt 3:7; 2 Cor 11:13; 2 Pet 2:17; Jude 12,13).  The Holy Spirit will instruct the elect what to look for in the false individuals.

Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD.

John 10:9 I am the gate. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture.

  • Pasture means to eat, feeding or food, Bread of Life
  • “I am” the gate or the door”:
  • Remember, there was only One door in the ark of Noah to be saved
  • In the Tabernacle was only one entrance to God
  • Jesus is the only way through Him to be saved
  • Jesus gives Spiritual Life and access to Spiritual Food and to the Holy Spirit

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  (14)  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  (15)  It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

1 John 3:8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

I am”  the good shepherd”: One of service to individuals and especially for His people, the Saints. Jesus laid down His physical life in order to give us eternal life.

John 10:12-13 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  (13)  The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

When a hired shepherd sees the wolf {Satan} coming he flees, not caring about the sheep.

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

John 10:14-15 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me (15) just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 

Jesus knows all His sheep, as they are the choice of his Father, as his Father’s gift to him; and as his own purchase with His life;

Through our prayers Jesus our hearts, our wishes, our purposes, and our circumstances and we know Jesus by His Words.

How do we know about Jesus by studying His Words.

John 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 

Where is Jesus working with groups we do not know about.

We know there is only one Church and one door into it, and one Shepherd over it.  Jesus.

Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

John 10:17 This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it back again.

As the good shepherd, Jesus has the power and authority not only to voluntarily lay down His life for the sheep {that is us}, but also to take it up {or back or receive} again. No one but Almighty God can do that.  By raising Himself from the dead and glorified.

John 10:18 No one is taking it from me; I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This is what my Father has commanded me.

John 10:19 Once again there was a division among the Jews because of what Jesus had been saying


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