Summary: The fifth 'I AM' saying of Jesus in John. Describes His eternal care for His Sheep.


JN 10:11-17 Dr. M Pope

This is the fifth of our Lord’s I AM statements in John’s Gospel. Certainly in making this statement, He is contrasting Himself to the false shepherds who were in charge of the Jewish religion of that day. He had already labeled them “thieves and robbers,” and now He would describe them as “hirelings.”

The word translated “good” means “intrinsically good, beautiful, fair.” It describes that which is the ideal, the model that others may safely imitate. Our Lord’s goodness was inherent in His nature. To call Jesus “good” is the same as calling Him “God” (Mark 10:17–18).

Some of the greatest patriarchs in the Bible were shepherds by occupation: Abel, Moses, and David, to name a few. Even today in the Holy Land, you may see shepherds leading flocks and revealing how intimately they know each sheep, its individual traits, and its special needs.

** ILLUS: People are like sheep! The Bible tells us this (Ps. 100:3). You cannot drive sheep. You have to lead them.

** Likewise, you cannot drive non-Christians into becoming Christians--you must lead them. You cannot drive Christians into obedience--you must lead them! (1 Pet. 5:1-5). In our dealings with family and friends (both inside and outside the church), let's learn this valuable lesson. To Lead others means we live by example in following Christ. People will follow in your footsteps, especially children. Leading is teaching with both our words and our actions. --Larry Fitzgerald

1. v 10:11 The Good Shepherd. Jesus pointed out four special ministries that He performs as the good Shepherd

a. vv. 11–13 He Dies for the Sheep. Under old testament law, the sheep died for the shepherd in the yearly sacrifices; but under the Grace of N.T. the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep!

b. vv. 14–15 He Knows His Sheep. In the Gospel of John, the word know means much more than intellectual awareness. It speaks of an intimate relationship between God and His people (see John 17:3). The Eastern shepherd knows his sheep personally and therefore knows best how to meet their needs.

c. v. 16 He Brings other Sheep into the Flock. The “fold” is Judaism (John 10:1), but there is another fold—the Gentiles who are outside the covenants of Israel (Eph. 2:11ff). In our Lord’s early ministry, He concentrated on the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:5–6; 15:24–27). The people converted at Pentecost were Jews and Jewish proselytes (Acts 2:5, 14), but the church was not to always remain a “Jewish flock.” Peter took the Gospel to a Gentile named Cornelius (Acts 10–11), Paul carried the message to the Gentiles in the far reaches of the Roman Empire (Acts 13:1ff). Paul called himself the Apostle to the Gentiles.

d. v 17 The Good Shepherd takes up His life again (vv. 17–21). His voluntary death was followed by His victorious resurrection. From the human point of view, it appeared that Jesus was executed; but from the divine point of view, He laid down His life willingly. When Jesus cried on the cross, “It is finished!” He then voluntarily yielded up His spirit to the Father (John 19:30). Three days later, He voluntarily took up His life again and arose from the dead. The Father gave Him this authority in love.

2. Heb. 13:20–21 THE GREAT SHEPHERD: THE RESURRECTION: Experiencing Spiritual Lordship

When we wander through a graveyard and look at the tombstones, or go into the church and examine the old monuments, we see one heading to them all, "Here lies..." Then follows the name with the date of death, and perhaps some praise of the good qualities of the deceased. But how different is the epitaph on the tomb of Jesus! It is not written in gold nor cut in stone, it is spoken by the mouth of an angel; and it is the exact reverse of what is put on all other tombs: "He is not here."

a. Jn v 26-27 The Great Shepherd Leads His Sheep: and the true Sheep follow Him.

b. Jn v 28-29 The Great Shepherd Gives Eternal Life to His Sheep.

c. Heb. 13:21 The Great Shepherd Equips His Sheep to Live for Him

to “make you perfect” is the translation of one Greek word, katartidzo. This is an unfamilar word to us, but it was familiar to the people who received this letter. The doctors knew it because it meant “to set a broken bone.” To fishermen it meant “to mend a broken net” (see Matt. 4:21). “To REPAIR THAT WHICH IS BROKEN”; To sailors it meant “to outfit a ship for a voyage.” To soldiers it meant “to equip an army for battle.”

Our Saviour in heaven wants to equip us for life on earth. Tenderly, He wants to set those “broken bones” in our lives so that we might walk straight and run our life-races successfully.. He wants to equip us for battle and outfit us so that we won’t be battered and beaten in the storms of life. In brief, He wants to mature us so that He can work in us and through us that which pleases Him and accomplishes His will.

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