John 10 Focus: Jesus is our Good Shepherd Who lays down His life for His sheep and leads us to everlasting life!
JOHN 10: Insights, Highlights and Points to Ponder:
Let’s WATCH & LISTEN to a beautiful GOOD SHEPHERD Song by our wonderful Immanuel Music Team, Mr. Andrew Schempf and Dr. Rachel Hahn. Please go to this LINK:
1. NOTE: John 10 is FILLED with more “I AM…” statements by Jesus! Again and again (in John 10:7,9,11,14,36,38) our Lord and Savior uses the “I AM” title to demonstrate He is the same One Who spoke to Moses at the burning bush--the Great I AM (Exodus 3).
2. Have you noticed what is MISSING in the Gospel of John? John’s Gospel does NOT record any parables of Jesus. Most of the parables of Jesus are recorded by Matthew and Luke. John uses vivid visual language, analogies, and enigmatic sayings of Jesus. John often communicates in a spiral type motion, repeating and building on powerful themes such as light and life.
Before we read John 10, let’s speak Psalm 23 out loud from the King James Version:
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
We now read: John 10 (interspersed with commentary and insights)
I Am the Good Shepherd
[Jesus says]: John 10:1 “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. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So Jesus again said to them, “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 listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by 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. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
NOTE: Compare the two powerful images in John: Jesus is both the “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) as well as the Good Shepherd who dies for His sheep.
12 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. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 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. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 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.”
19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
NOTE: In verses 19-21 some of the Jewish religious leaders are referring back to John 9 when Jesus healed the man born blind on the Sabbath (using some of His spit and dirt to make miraculous Messianic mud). All the healings and signs of Jesus show and clearly point out that He IS the Chosen One, the Anointed One (Messiah in Hebrew; Christ in Greek)!
I and the Father Are One
22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.
NOTE: The Feast of Dedication is also known as Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights. This festival recalled the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple in 164 BC, after it had been desecrated and destroyed. (CPH.org, Lutheran Study Bible p. 1802):
24 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.” 25 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, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 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. 30 I and the Father are one.”
NOTE: It is interesting in verse 30 that the Greek verb for “are” is plural which brings to mind our One God in three persons--the Trinity. Once again Jesus states His equality with God the Father. Once again (as in John 8:58-59) the authorities recognize His Divine claim of Divinity and consider it blasphemy and worthy of death by stoning.
31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 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.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 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’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 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.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.
NOTE: John concludes chapter 10 by highlighting that the Holy Spirit remains active bringing more people to saving faith in Jesus.
In conclusion, please reflect on this devotion I wrote based on John 10 (and Psalm 23):
The LORD is My (Good) Shepherd
Jesus says: 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 (John 10:14-15).
Psalm 23, David’s Divinely inspired powerful poem paints a picture of our loving Lord as a Shepherd of His sheep. We are God’s sheep, and the benefits and blessings of being one of our Shepherd’s sheep are amazing! Our Shepherd guides us, provides for us, protects us, removes our fears, finds us when we stray, and even leads us through and beyond “the valley of the shadow of death” to eternal life.
Jesus fulfills, unites and personifies God’s Old and New Testament promises. The Shepherd of Psalm 23 is far more than a beautiful poetic portrayal; our Shepherd is a person. Jesus, our Good Shepherd, provides us with a precious promise: 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 (John 10:27-28).
The LORD our Shepherd(in Psalm 23) sent us, His sheep, a Savior who is our personal Good Shepherd(in John 10). Jesus knows us by name, calls us to follow Him, loves us throughout life, lays down His life for us, forgives our sins, and overpowers death--proving the promises of our Shepherd are trustworthy and true:
Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Thank You, LORD, for being our Good Shepherd. Watch over us, Your sheep. Guide us, protect us, forgive us, and save us now and even forever through Jesus, our crucified and resurrected Good Shepherd. Amen.
Pastor Scott Schmieding