I Am the Good Shepherd
10 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go 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. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own 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 cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
I and the Father Are One
At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there.
John 10 Commentary
by Hank Workman
A shepherd’s job is quite a task. They have the responsibility of making sure their sheep are safe; must know how many they have; must ensure there are pastures with plenty of food to be found. He constantly is watching the horizon looking toward where he was leading them and what dangers or precarious elements he would lead them through.
Often at night sheep were gathered into their pen, which many times were simply caves or sheds or even open areas surrounded by walls of stones and branches. This was to keep them safe from thieves, weather or wild animals. He would become the gate as he let sheep in and protected them. Many a night the shepherd himself slept with the sheep to protect them.
Jesus being the Good Shepherd is a beautiful picture. He indeed cares for His sheep, protects, provides opportunity for growth through nourishment to the soul. Like a shepherd, He is with us throughout all of our days and has His eyes on the horizon as He leads us.
There is assurance in this picture and hope of Jesus as our Good Shepherd. He is always with us; has the best in mind for each of us personally and provides a way no matter what the elements toward safety.
John 10 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
The entire book of John has drawn us into the reality that Jesus is His own person, yet, is one with God. We have also witnessed the Jewish leaders trying to catch Jesus in a trap. In John 10, Jesus plainly states exactly what they have wanted from Him; He says He is God in the flesh.
“The Father and I are one.”John 10:30 HCSB
In one sentence, Jesus confirms both thoughts. He and the Father are separate (Father and I), yet, they are one. This not only speaks to the immediate context of ancient times but it also refutes modern theories that Jesus was not fully divine or that He was not fully man. Some would argue Jesus only meant He was one in purpose or mission. But why would the Jews pick up stones intending to kill Him if He was only claiming to have the same purpose and mission as God? Their reaction helps us understand exactly what He was claiming.
Furthermore, Jesus asks them which of His works He is being stoned for and the religious leaders are crystal clear with their response; we are stoning you for being a man and claiming to be God!
Then, Jesus goes into a somewhat bizarre teaching about gods…
Jesus answered them, “Isn’t it written in your scripture, I said, you are gods? 35 If He called those whom the word of God came to ‘gods’—and the Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say, ‘You are blaspheming’ to the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, because I said: I am the Son of God? 37 If I am not doing My Father’s works, don’t believe Me. 38 But if I am doing them and you don’t believe Me, believe the works. This way you will know and understand that the Father is in Me and I in the Father.”John 10:34-38 HCSB
It’s all about inconsistency and hypocrisy. In the OT, (Psalm 82, Exodus 21 & 22) God referred to judges as “gods.” This title was handed down because of the role they had and the authority which was given to them. Jesus is logically questioning why these religious leaders would accept these flawed men as “gods” but would reject Him as God even when His works far exceeded the judges and prophets of old.
Jesus challenges his enemies to consider His works. The Pharisees wanted to stone Jesus for His words without considering if His works were authentic. This again demonstrated that they did not know God, because if they did, they would recognize His works.
Even though Jesus’ words are true, He continually redirects the conversation to His actions.
- Which of these works are you stoning me for?
- If I am not doing my Father’s works, then don’t believe me.
- If I am doing the works of My Father, and you don’t believe (what I say), then believe the works.
In other words, the heart of the issue is a lack of belief. John uses the word “believe” 99 times in His Gospel. To believe in something means it has been demonstrated in such a way that you are completely confident of it. Talk is cheap. We cannot merely believe based on words. Jesus’ logic naturally follows this truth; we also cannot condemn based only on words. Evaluate the fruit (the works) and then come to a decision. If there is good fruit, and we choose to condemn based on a lack of belief, we too will be given over to our pride just like the Pharisees.
Many of us are guilty of making a quick assessment of someone based on their words (or the words of someone else about them) rather than evaluating their fruit with our own eyes. I have been guilty of this on many occasions. Jesus’ interaction with the religious leaders is a sobering reminder for those of us who come with preconceived ideas and are quick to judge others based only on words.