Faithlife Sermons

The Good Shepherd

Life of Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

John 10:1–2 NASB95
1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 “But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.
So, Jesus is still speaking to the crowd of Jews that has gathered around Him after He has healed the man born blind and he came back to Him. It is not just this man and Jesus’ disciples in attendance here, though. We know from the end of that there are also Pharisees in this crowd. And we learn from that there are other Jews in the crowd, some who believe in Him and some who do not. The Pharisees are virulently opposed to Jesus by this point, but some are believing in Him. Therefore, Jesus is addressing this whole crowd.
He begins by speaking of those who do not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climb up some other way. He says that that person is a thief and a robber. From the pictures of sheep folds, it is very clear that the fold only has one entrance in the small stone wall which is usually located in the corner.
Those that do not enter by that door are clearly a thief or a robber. Why? Because the shepherd and his helpers would go through the door. They have no need to hide or be sneaky. They go through the obvious way; the way in the light. They have nothing to hide.

John 10:3–5 NASB95
3 “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
The doorkeeper opens the door for the shepherd. Why? Because he knows him. He recognizes him. He knows that the shepherd only has good intentions in his heart for the sheep. On the other hand, the thief or robber has to go around another way, because the doorkeeper would not recognize him.
The sheep hear the voice of their shepherd, he calls them by name (because he knows them) and he leads them out. Once he has called them, and he calls them by name (he is personal), he leads them out. Once they are all out of the sheep fold, he goes ahead of them and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. He leads them to wherever he wants to go.
They will not follow a stranger, but instead will flee from him. Why? Because they do not know the voice of strangers. It’s true; I just saw a video where a bunch of people/strangers try to call sheep, but they do not listen to them. But as soon as the shepherd calls their name, they run to him. Why? Because they know his voice.
What does all of this mean? We would not know exactly, if He had not explained in the next part.

John 10:6 NASB95
6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
So, Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they did not understand what He was referring to. Sure, they understood the principles of what He was talking about, as they had seen hundreds of farmers, but they did not understand what He was trying to tell them.

John 10:7–10 NASB95
7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 “All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
So, Jesus goes on to explain it to them, for they had not understood. He says that He is the door of the sheep. In other words, He is the one people have to go through if they want to legitimately get to the sheep and if they have good intentions for them. If anybody seeks to get to the sheep by any other way than Jesus, they are thieves and robbers. Therefore, the sheep did not hear/listen to them.
Who are the sheep? Well, answers this - they are those who are saved. Jesus again reiterates that He is the door. He then says that if anyone enters through Him, that person will be saved and that person will go in and out and find pasture. In other words, the person who goes in to safety through Jesus Christ will be saved and will have nourishment and rest. However, there is only one legitimate way to get in as a sheep, and that is through Jesus Christ.
The thief, the one who tries to get in by another way, only come to steal, kill, and destroy. If someone is trying to get into the sheepfold by any other way than the door, Jesus Christ, he is a thief and a robber. The thief does not want to be saved; he does not want to be a sheep. Instead, he only wants to steal, kill, and destroy.
In opposition to this, Jesus came that the sheep may have life, and have it abundantly. It could also be translated “life and abundance.” He came so that people may live and live abundantly.

John 10:11–13 NASB95
11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.
Not only is Jesus the door, the only way in, but He is also the good shepherd. He is the One who comes and who knows the name of each sheep and they trust His voice. But, do you know what Jesus says defines Him as the good shepherd - the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. The good shepherd is willing to put His life at risk to keep the sheep safe. The good shepherd is willing to give up His life for the life of the sheep.
The hired help, who is not the shepherd or the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming and he leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. Why? Because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. Who are the hired hands in real life? To whom was Jesus referring to? Was he referring to the Pharisees. Well, the hired hands were used when the shepherd couldn’t be there. I guess it would be anyone who is not the good shepherd. It could even be the pastor of your church. Sure, he will care for the sheep, but, at the end of the day, they will run when they see the wolf coming. The only one who actually owns the sheep and will lay down his life for them is the good shepherd, Jesus. Do not put your trust in any man or woman that is not Jesus. They will not lay down their life for your like Jesus did.

John 10:14–15 NASB95
14 “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
Again, Jesus reiterates that He is the Good Shepherd. He knows His own sheep. He is vested in them. He knows everything about Him. And, likewise, His own sheep know Him. He then compares it to something - how the Father knows Him and He knows the Father. How well do they know each other? Well, they have known each other from all eternity. There is a bond between them that is not rivaled anywhere in all of creation. There is love between them.
He is the Good Shepherd and He lays down (present active) His life for the sheep. He reiterates this twice and is even going to speak more about it in the following verses. Jesus lays down His life for the life of His sheep. He will put Himself in deaths way if there is anything that is coming to harm His sheep, if necessary. And guess what, it was necessary, for death was coming for us.
Jesus is using all of this imagery so that we will want to put our trust in Him and in no one else. He wants us to have the level of trust in Him just as the sheep have in the good shepherd. Jesus will protect you from all harm. Jesus will give you everything you need for life, and that abundantly. Jesus will lay down His life for you. Jesus knows you by name, and you know him. Do not listen to any other voice but His, for He is your good shepherd. Anyone else will run, or worse, they will seek to destroy you.

John 10:16 NASB95
16 “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
He then says that He has other sheep which are not of this fold and that He must bring them also, and they will hear His voice, and they will become one flock, with one shepherd. Personally, I think He is talking about those who are not saved yet, but whom He has already chosen. They are already His and He need only call their voice and they will hear Him and come into the fold.

John 10:17–18 NASB95
17 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
Jesus continues to expand on His statement about laying down His life for the sheep. Jesus says that the very reason that the Father loves Him is because He lays down His life so that He may take/receive it again. The Father loves Him because He lays down His life in order to receive it again.
He explains that no one has taken His life away from Him, but that He lays it down of His own initiative. He has the authority to lay down His life and to take it up again. Why? Because the Father commanded it to be this way. First of all, this shows that the Father loves Him because Jesus is the only One whom the Father ever gave this responsibility to. Nobody, aside from Jesus, has ever had authority over their own life, to lay it down and take it again. Secondly, the Father loves Him because He will lay down His life for the sheep, in order to take it up again. Jesus is actually worthy of the love of the Father. Nobody else could ever say that, for no one has been given authority over their own life and nobody has ever laid down their life for the sheep to take it up again. Imagine what you would do if you could decide when you lived and died and lived again. You certainly would not use that right to lay down your life for the sheep. You are not that vested in them. But Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is. And He would do it, and He does do it, if necessary.

John 10:19–21 NASB95
19 A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”
Exactly what Jesus intended occurs - some believe and some reject Him. He presented Himself in a way in which would cause people to trust Him. What will you do today? Will you trust Him like a sheep? If not, you will reject Him.
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