Summary: A study of the Gospel of John 10: 1 – 21
John 10: 1 – 21
All Together Right Now.
1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 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 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear 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 does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” 19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
The words of God given here continue the theme in chapter 9. Here our Lord Jesus speaks of the whole of Israel as being like a sheepfold, with the Israelites like sheep, some properly shepherded and some led astray, while the false teachers who oppose Him, the blind who lead the blind, are seen as like false shepherds who climb into the sheepfold and lead the sheep astray, finally destroying them. Jesus in contrast has come as a good Shepherd to enable those of them who will respond to Him, to walk with God and enjoy eternal life.
The picture is undoubtedly Messianic. In the Old Testament God was the shepherd of the sheep and He would raise up a new David to be shepherd over them. ‘I will set up one shepherd over them, and He will feed them, even My servant David. He will feed them, and He will be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them’ (Ezekiel 34.23-24). ‘And My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd’ (Ezekiel 37.24).
So the sheepfold is the whole house of Israel, and is under God’s general oversight being full of sheep awaiting the Messianic shepherd to lead them out into pasture. But within it there are different flocks, and these are affected by and respond to different shepherds. God has sought to protect the sheep and has provided a way in and out by which they may be kept safe and know the truth, but sadly many of them disobey Him. They respond to false shepherds who refuse to use God’s way in. These are false shepherds who, instead of taking the sheep in and out to pasture through the correct entrance, which is under God’s approval, are like shepherds who climb over the wall and decimate and harm the sheep.