John 10

Listen to John 10

I Am the Good Shepherd

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 1A 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 2used with them, but they 3did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, 4I 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, 5he will be saved and will go in and out and 6find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and 7kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
11 8I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd 9lays down his life for the sheep.
12 He who is 10a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and 11leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and 12scatters them.
13 He flees because 13he is a hired hand and 14cares nothing for the sheep.
14 15I am the good shepherd. 16I know my own and 17my own know me,
15 18just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and 19I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And 20I have other sheep that are not of this fold. 21I must bring them also, and 22they will listen to my voice. So there will be 23one flock, 24one shepherd.
17 25For this reason the Father loves me, 26because 27I lay down my life that I may take it up again.
18 28No one takes it from me, but 29I lay it down 30of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and 31I have authority to take it up again. 32This charge I have received from my Father."
19 33There was again a division among the Jews because of these words.
20 Many of them said, 34"He has a demon, and 35is insane; why listen to him?"
21 Others said, "These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. 36Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"

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, 37in the colonnade of Solomon.
24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are 38the Christ, 39tell us plainly."
25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. 40The works that I do 41in my Father's name bear witness about me,
26 but 42you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.
27 43My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
28 44I give them eternal life, and 45they will never perish, and 46no one will snatch them out of my hand.
29 My Father, 47who has given them to me,[a]48 is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of 49the Father's hand.
30 50I and the Father are one."
31 51The 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 52for blasphemy, because you, being a man, 53make yourself God."
34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in 54your Law, 55'I said, you are gods'?
35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came--and Scripture cannot be 56broken--
36 o you say of him whom 57the Father consecrated and 58sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because 59I said, 'I am the Son of God'?
37 60If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;
38 but if I do them, 61even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that 62the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
39 63Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place 64where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained.
41 And many came to him. And they said, "John did no sign, but 65everything that John said about this man was true."
42 And 66many believed in him there.

John 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

The parable of the good shepherd. (1-5) Christ the Door. (6-9) Christ the good Shepherd. (10-18) The Jews' opinion concerning Jesus. (19-21) His discourse at the feast of dedication. (22-30) The Jews attempt to stone Jesus. (31-38) He departs from Jerusalem. (39-42)

Verses 1-5 Here is a parable or similitude, taken from the customs of the East, in the management of sheep. Men, as creatures depending on their Creator, are called the sheep of his pasture. The church of God in the world is as a sheep-fold, exposed to deceivers and persecutors. The great Shepherd of the sheep knows all that are his, guards them by his providence, guides them by his Spirit and word, and goes before them, as the Eastern shepherds went before their sheep, to set them in the way of his steps. Ministers must serve the sheep in their spiritual concerns. The Spirit of Christ will set before them an open door. The sheep of Christ will observe their Shepherd, and be cautious and shy of strangers, who would draw them from faith in him to fancies about him.

Verses 6-9 Many who hear the word of Christ, do not understand it, because they will not. But we shall find one scripture expounding another, and the blessed Spirit making known the blessed Jesus. Christ is the Door. And what greater security has the church of God than that the Lord Jesus is between it and all its enemies? He is a door open for passage and communication. Here are plain directions how to come into the fold; we must come in by Jesus Christ as the Door. By faith in him as the great Mediator between God and man. Also, we have precious promises to those that observe this direction. Christ has all that care of his church, and every believer, which a good shepherd has of his flock; and he expects the church, and every believer, to wait on him, and to keep in his pasture.

Verses 10-18 Christ is a good Shepherd; many who were not thieves, yet were careless in their duty, and by their neglect the flock was much hurt. Bad principles are the root of bad practices. The Lord Jesus knows whom he has chosen, and is sure of them; they also know whom they have trusted, and are sure of Him. See here the grace of Christ; since none could demand his life of him, he laid it down of himself for our redemption. He offered himself to be the Saviour; Lo, I come. And the necessity of our case calling for it, he offered himself for the Sacrifice. He was both the offerer and the offering, so that his laying down his life was his offering up himself. From hence it is plain, that he died in the place and stead of men; to obtain their being set free from the punishment of sin, to obtain the pardon of their sin; and that his death should obtain that pardon. Our Lord laid not his life down for his doctrine, but for his sheep.

Verses 19-21 Satan ruins many, by putting them out of conceit with the word and ordinances. Men would not be laughed out of their necessary food, yet suffer themselves thus to be laughed out of what is far more necessary. If our zeal and earnestness in the cause of Christ, especially in the blessed work of bringing his sheep into his fold, bring upon us evil names, let us not heed it, but remember our Master was thus reproached before us.

Verses 22-30 All who have any thing to say to Christ, may find him in the temple. Christ would make us to believe; we make ourselves doubt. The Jews understood his meaning, but could not form his words into a full charge against him. He described the gracious disposition and happy state of his sheep; they heard and believed his word, followed him as his faithful disciples, and none of them should perish; for the Son and the Father were one. Thus he was able to defend his sheep against all their enemies, which proves that he claimed Divine power and perfection equally with the Father.

Verses 31-38 Christ's works of power and mercy proclaim him to be over all, God blessed for evermore, that all may know and believe He is in the Father, and the Father in Him. Whom the Father sends, he sanctifies. The holy God will reward, and therefore will employ, none but such as he makes holy. The Father was in the Son, so that by Divine power he wrought his miracles; the Son was so in the Father, that he knew the whole of His mind. This we cannot by searching find out to perfection, but we may know and believe these declarations of Christ.

Verses 39-42 No weapon formed against our Lord Jesus shall prosper. He escaped, not because he was afraid to suffer, but because his hour was not come. And He who knew how to deliver himself, knows how to deliver the godly our of their temptations, and to make a way for them to escape. Persecutors may drive Christ and his gospel our of their own city or country, but they cannot drive him or it out of the world. When we know Christ by faith in our hearts, we find all that the Scripture saith of him is true.

Cross References 66

  • 1. [ver. 12, 13]
  • 2. John 9:40
  • 3. See Mark 9:32
  • 4. ver. 9; [John 14:6; Ephesians 2:18]
  • 5. [John 5:34]
  • 6. Psalms 23:2; Ezekiel 34:14
  • 7. [Jeremiah 23:1; Ezekiel 34:3]
  • 8. Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:12, 23; Ezekiel 37:24; Zechariah 13:7; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25; 1 Peter 5:4; [John 21:15-17; Psalms 23; Revelation 7:17]
  • 9. ver. 15, 17; John 15:13; 1 John 3:16; [Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45]
  • 10. [Ezekiel 34:2-6]
  • 11. Zechariah 11:17; Zechariah 13:7
  • 12. [Jeremiah 23:1-3]
  • 13. [1 Peter 5:2]
  • 14. Zechariah 11:16
  • 15. See ver. 11
  • 16. ver. 27; Nahum 1:7; 2 Timothy 2:19
  • 17. ver. 4
  • 18. See Matthew 11:27
  • 19. See ver. 11
  • 20. Isaiah 56:8
  • 21. [Ezekiel 34:11-13; Matthew 8:11, 12; Ephesians 2:13-18; 1 Peter 2:25]
  • 22. John 5:25; John 18:37; [Acts 28:28]
  • 23. [John 11:52; John 12:32; John 17:11, 21, 22]
  • 24. Ezekiel 34:23; Ezekiel 37:24
  • 25. Philippians 2:9; See John 5:20
  • 26. Isa. 53:7, 8, 12; Hebrews 2:9
  • 27. ver. 11
  • 28. [Matthew 26:53]
  • 29. [See ver. 17 above]
  • 30. [John 5:30]
  • 31. John 2:19; [Philippians 2:7]
  • 32. John 12:49; John 14:31; John 15:10
  • 33. John 7:43; John 9:16
  • 34. See John 7:20
  • 35. [Mark 3:21]
  • 36. [Exodus 4:11; Psalms 146:8]; See John 9:33
  • 37. Acts 3:11; Acts 5:12
  • 38. John 1:41
  • 39. Matthew 26:63; Luke 22:67
  • 40. ver. 38; See John 5:36
  • 41. See John 5:43
  • 42. [John 8:47]
  • 43. ver. 14, 16
  • 44. [1 John 2:25; 1 John 5:11]
  • 45. John 17:12; John 18:9
  • 46. John 6:37
  • 47. John 6:37; John 17:2
  • 48. [John 14:28]
  • 49. [Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 49:2; Isaiah 51:16]
  • 50. John 17:11, 22; [John 5:19; John 14:9]
  • 51. John 8:59
  • 52. See Leviticus 24:16; Matthew 9:3
  • 53. John 5:18
  • 54. [John 12:34; John 15:25; 1 Corinthians 14:21]
  • 55. Cited from Psalms 82:6
  • 56. [Matthew 5:17, 19]
  • 57. [John 6:27]
  • 58. See John 3:17
  • 59. John 5:17, 18; [ver. 30]
  • 60. John 15:24
  • 61. ver. 25; [John 14:11]
  • 62. John 14:10, 11, 20; John 17:21, 23; [John 8:29]
  • 63. John 7:30, 44
  • 64. John 1:28
  • 65. John 1:7, 29-34; John 3:27-30; John 5:33
  • 66. See John 7:31

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Some manuscripts What my Father has given to me

John 10 Commentaries