John 10:1-21 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jesus, The Good Shepherd
Comments for Study 13

John 10:1-21
Key verse: 10:11


I. I am the Good Shepherd (1-13)

>1. To whom is Jesus speaking?

* Chapter 10 is most likely an extension of chapter 9. It seems to be written so that 10:1 is the next sentence of 9:41. If this is not the case, at least the author wanted to connect the allegory to chapter nine.

* According to verse 10:19-21 Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees. Probably the blind man is also there as well as the disciples.

* The Pharisees were suppose to be shepherds of Israel. (Zech. 11:1-17, Jer. 23:1-6)

* We are to be shepherds too. (Acts 20:28-29; and 1 Peter 5:1-3; John 21:15c, 16:c, 17c; and 1 Cor. 9:7)

>Who acted as a good shepherd to the man born blind? (chapter 9)

* Jesus was a good shepherd to the man born blind.

* Jesus is the Chief Shepherd. (1 Peter 5:4)

* The Lord is often described as the shepherd of Israel. (Psalm 23:1, 80:1; Isaiah 40:10-11; Ezek. 34:1-31 especially 23 & 24; Micah 2:12)

* Jesus says a lot of "I AM's" in this chapter, saying he is the Lord, the shepherd of Israel from of old.

* How is Jesus the good shepherd to this man?
    1) He noticed the man at his own cost. (9:1)
    2) He encouraged him with God's word, got involved. (9:3)
    3) Gave an opportunity to act by faith. (9:6, 7a)
    4) Healed him. (9:7b)
    5) Search for him when he was in trouble. (9:35a)
    6) Strengthened his faith. (9:35b-37)

* In short Jesus had a personal relationship with him.

>Who did not?

* The Pharisees.


* Jesus gave the man life.

* The Pharisees destroyed his life.

* The Pharisees only thought about themselves.

* Conclusion: Jesus is teaching in chapter 10 how he is a good shepherd and how the leaders of Israel should be good shepherds.

>2. When a man climbs over the fence, what does this reveal about him?

* "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber." -John 10:1

* "I tell you the truth..." -means: this is an absolute that needs to be paid close attention too.

* "sheep pen" -in this parable it is Israel (see 16 for confirmation of this fact). Now, after Jesus death and resurrection we can say that it is the spiritual Israel.

* "sheep pen" -there were two kinds in Israel:
    1) A public sheep pen. Usually outside of a town. When the shepherd would go into town or to his house he would keep his sheep there temporarily. There was a man there who was known as a "porter" or a "watchman".
    2) A temporary sheep pen. Made in the open field as sheep where grazing. Usually made at night when the shepherd slept.

* Verses 1-6 talk about the first sheep pen. Verses 7-18 talk about the second sheep pen.

* Sheep were vary valuable in those days.

* "climbs in by some other way" -cunning, clever, not easily noticed, sneaky. No lawful way to enter sheep pen.

* "thief and robber" -selfish, doesn't care for sheep, only to destroy, destroys directly.

>What does entering by the gate mean?

* "The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep." -John 10:2

* He the shepherd.

* He has good intentions.

* He has authority.

* He has rightful entry.

* He owns the sheep. He cares for the sheep.

* He does not abandon them for good. (Ezek. 34:13-16)

>How are the motives of the one who does not enter by the gate different from those of one who does?

* The motives of the one who enters by the gate is out of love for the sheep. He care for the sheep. He protects them.

* The one who does not loves himself.

* There are different kind of people who are not the shepherd here:
    1) A thief and a robber-destroy directly.
    2) A hired hand-doesn't destroy directly, but does in the end.

* Sometimes thieves (later called wolves in verse 12) are in sheep clothing. (Matt. 7:15-20)

* In our shepherd life motives are important. Do we shepherd sheep for ourself or for God and the sheep?

>3. What does the shepherd know about his sheep?

* "The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." -John 10:3

* Their names.

>What is the significance of this? (Ps. 139:2,3)

* "You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out an my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways." -Psalm 139:2,3

* Names are important in a Jewish society.

* He has a personal love relationship with them.

* He knows their good points and bad points, strengths and weaknesses.

* Sometimes their strengths or weaknesses becomes a hindrance to them. But since the shepherd knows them he can take care of them.

* He responds to us.

* Jesus knows all about each one of us.

>How does he care for them? (Ps. 23:1, 2)

* "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters." -Psalm 23:1,2

* "The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." -John 10:3

* "his own sheep by name" -individually, one at a time.

* "leads them out" -the sheep do not know the way out. He has to lead them out.

* "leads" -he's ahead of them.

>What does it mean that he goes ahead of them? (4)

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

* He breaks the way.

* He prevents any mischief.

* He protects from outside danger that is ahead.

* He looks for green pastures.

* There is order. But in the order, the shepherd is a servant. Example: Jesus died, suffered, engaged in spiritual battle first. (Hebrews)

>What is the spiritual lesson?

* The shepherd leads the sheep. He does not push them from behind.

* The shepherd faces the dangers and difficulties first.

* He leads by example.

* The shepherd should not go to fast and loose the sheep. He must go the sheep's pace. Need to know their speed.

* The green pasture is not for the shepherd, but for the sheep. Shepherd must have this clear objective.

* Think of what Jesus, the Good Shepherd does for us as our shepherd when he came down to earth.

>4. What do the sheep know about the shepherd?

* "The sheep listen to his voice" -just like instinct because they have heard it so much. This takes time.

* "The sheep follow him" -they trust him.

* "...because they know his voice" -for us this is study of the word.

* "But they will never follow a stranger" -for awhile yes, but not for long. Think of Paul's saying, "Who lead you astray?" to the Corinthians.

* " fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."

* "stranger" -anybody but the shepherd.

* "Sheep" -not smart, know one thing well-the shepherds voice.

* "Sheep" -defenceless, meek, quiet, patient under sheerer, useful, profitable, sociable with one another.

* "voice" -his words which reflects his shepherd's heart.

* For us this is Jesus' teachings; the truth.

>Why is this important? (4, 5; Ps. 100:3)

* "Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his we are his people, the sheep of his pasture."-Psalm 100:3

* He made us.

* It is God who chose us and Jesus who called us.

* Human shepherd may be weak, but still the sheep can grow because Jesus is the shepherd and they study his word. The Holy Spirit plants it in our hearts.

>How can we know the voice of our Shepherd, God? (Ro. 1:18-21; Ps. 53:1)

* "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be know about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."-Romans 1:18-21

* "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God. They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; these is no one who does good."-Psalm 53:1

* Innate knowledge.

* Evidence in the universe.

* The word of God

* In Jesus Christ.

>Did Jesus' listeners understand him?

* "Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them." -John 10:6

* No

>Why? (8:44, 47)

* "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." -John 8:44

* "He who beings to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."-John 8:47

* Similar to Matthew 13:14 (Isaiah 53).

* Behind all thieves and robbers is Satan.

* This is any corrupt leader.

>5. What claim does Jesus make in verse 7?

* "Therefore Jesus said again, 'I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.'" -John 10:7

* "Therefore Jesus said again" -if they did not understand it the first time he explained it to them again in another way. He did not give up on them to easily. This shows his shepherd heart.

* "again" -same

* "I tell you the truth" -said again as did in verse 1.

* Remember, this parable is talking about a different kind of sheep pen.

>What did he mean? (1; 14:6)

* "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen in the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a their and a robber." -John 10:1

* "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." -John 14:6

* A gate is to keep out robbers and thieves, security.

* A gate open is to let sheep in and out. (Zech. 10:12, Matt. 25:34, Isa 62:10, Matt. 7:13-14, Psalm 118:19-21, Luke 13:24)

* A gate is the only passage way in or out to the kingdom of God. (Rom. 5:1-2)

>What does he promise to those who enter through him? (7, 9, 10b)

* "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." -John 10:9

* "...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b

>What does this mean?

* "saved" -from sin and hell, to God and his kingdom.

* "come in and go out" -into the kingdom of God and out of the world

* "find pasture" -good things that keep us well and help us grow. Also the kingdom of God.

* "have life" -spiritual life, eternal life, a new creation.

* "to the full" -full of spirit, exciting, best possible life. There's never a dual moment for the faithful.

* All because they have a life and love relationship with Jesus.

* Paul learned the secret to living life to the full. (Gal. 5:16-25, Phil. 4:11-13)

>Is there any other way to God?

* No. (John 14:6)

>What does he say about all others?

* "All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them." -John 10:8

* This is not in the time sense, but in the spirit sense. In other words imposture Messiah's and anti-Christ.

* This implies that the thieves and robbers had some credentials because people wandered if the were or weren't.

* They may not claim to be the Messiah, but subconsciously they do and therefore act like they are.

* "the sheep did not listen to them" -sheep can "smell" them out. They may listen for awhile, but in the end they know.

>What proves his charge? (8, 10a)

* "All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them." -John 10:8

* "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." John 10:10a

* The Pharisees in chapter 9 is an example.

II. "I am the Good Shepherd" (11-21)

>6. What does Jesus claim about himself? (11a, 14a)

* "I am the good shepherd..." -John 10:11a

* "I am the good shepherd..." -John 10:14a

>What shows that Jesus is the good shepherd? (11b; and 1 Samuel 17:34-36, 45-47)

* "...the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." -John 10:11b

* "But David said to Saul, 'Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it." -1 Sa. 17:34-36

"David said to the Philistine, 'You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll stick you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is nor by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands." -1 Samuel 17:45-47

* Jesus died on the cross.

* Lion's always attack in a group.

* Being a good shepherd needs courage, fishing spirit.

* Wolves that try to kill sheep are unbelievers.

* At time of a crisis a shepherd must work especially hard.

* Jesus risked his life for the blind man.

* We are not trained dogs, but dumb sheep.

* Jesus received persecution because of sheep.

>How does the hired hand act in time of crisis?

* Lays down sheep for self. The Pharisees dealing with the blind man in the previous chapter is a good example of this.

* A hired hand makes money.

* Temporary care like a baby-sitter.

>Why? (12, 13)

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

* The hired hand and the thief are similar because they get a benefit from the sheep.

* The blind man's parents were hired hands.

* The neighbors and friends were similar to hired hands.

* Both hired hands and thieves run well.

>How does he resemble the shepherd?

* He takes care of the sheep as the shepherd does.

* He feeds them and waters them.

>How and why is he basically different?

* In his motivation.

* The shepherd loves the sheep.

* By God's grace we can be good shepherds.

III. One Shepherd and One Flock (14-42)

>7. In what respect is he a good sheep to God? (14b-15, 17, 18b)

* "I know my sheep and my sheep know me-just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-and I lay down my life for the sheep." -John 10:14b-15

* "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to 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 authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." -John 10:17-18

>Why is this important?

* In order to be a good shepherd we have to be a good sheep of Jesus.

>8. What did Jesus say about "other sheep"? (16)

* "I" -Jesus is the one who brings them in.

* "must" -do or die attitude.

>Who is he talking about?

* The Gentiles.

>Why do all people need a shepherd?

* "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way..." -Isaiah 53:6

* "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." -Matt. 9:36

* "For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." -1 Peter 2:25

* Psalm 23:4, Jer. 50:6.

>Why did Jesus lay down his life for the sheep? (17, 18; Isa. 11:6)

* "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to 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 authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." -John 10:17-18

* "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them." -Isa. 11:6

* To go ahead.

* To bring into the kingdom of God.

>What does this teach about God? (Isa. 42:6; 49:6; 56:6)

* "I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles." -Isa. 42:6

* "he says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." -Isa. 49:6

* "And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him all who keep the Sabbath without desecration it and who hold fast to my covenant" -Isa. 56:6

* This is Jesus' world mission vision.

>How can there be one flock and one shepherd?

* Because Jesus laid down his life.

>9. How can we be good sheep of Jesus, and good shepherds of his flock?

* Know Jesus personally.

* Know sheep.

* Learn from Jesus.

* According to this passage: have a shepherd heart.

>10. How did those listening respond to Jesus' words?

* "At these words the Jews were again divided. Many of them said, 'He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?' But others said, 'These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?'" -John 10:19-21

>What was the undeniable evidence that he is the good shepherd?

* His words. (21)

* He opened the eyes of a blind man. (21)