John 10

1 Jesus said, "I am telling you the truth: the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2 The man who goes in through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him; the sheep hear his voice as he calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out.
4 When he has brought them out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice.
5 They will not follow someone else; instead, they will run away from such a person, because they do not know his voice."
6 Jesus told them this parable, but they did not understand what he meant.
7 So Jesus said again, "I am telling you the truth: I am the gate for the sheep.
8 All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9 I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life - life in all its fullness.
11 "I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep. 1
12 When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away; so the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them.
13 The hired man runs away because he is only a hired man and does not care about the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them. 2
16 There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
17 "The Father loves me because I am willing to give up my life, in order that I may receive it back again.
18 No one takes my life away from me. I give it up of my own free will. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it back. This is what my Father has commanded me to do."
19 Again there was a division among the people because of these words.
20 Many of them were saying, "He has a demon! He is crazy! Why do you listen to him?"
21 But others were saying, "A man with a demon could not talk like this! How could a demon give sight to blind people?"
22 It was winter, and the Festival of the Dedication of the Temple was being celebrated in Jerusalem. 3
23 Jesus was walking in Solomon's Porch in the Temple,
24 when the people gathered around him and asked, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense? Tell us the plain truth: are you the Messiah?"
25 Jesus answered, "I have already told you, but you would not believe me. The deeds I do by my Father's authority speak on my behalf;
26 but you will not believe, for you are not my sheep.
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never die. No one can snatch them away from me.
29 What my Father has given me is greater than everything, and no one can snatch them away from the Father's care. 4
30 The Father and I are one."
31 Then the people again picked up stones to throw at him.
32 Jesus said to them, "I have done many good deeds in your presence which the Father gave me to do; for which one of these do you want to stone me?"
33 They answered, "We do not want to stone you because of any good deeds, but because of your blasphemy! You are only a man, but you are trying to make yourself God!" 5
34 Jesus answered, "It is written in your own Law that God said, "You are gods.' 6
35 We know that what the scripture says is true forever; and God called those people gods, the people to whom his message was given.
36 As for me, the Father chose me and sent me into the world. How, then, can you say that I blaspheme because I said that I am the Son of God?
37 Do not believe me, then, if I am not doing the things my Father wants me to do.
38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, you should at least believe my deeds, in order that you may know once and for all that the Father is in me and that I am in the Father."
39 Once more they tried to seize Jesus, but he slipped out of their hands.
40 Jesus then went back again across the Jordan River to the place where John had been baptizing, and he stayed there. 7
41 Many people came to him. "John performed no miracles," they said, "but everything he said about this man was true."
42 And many people there believed in him.

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 7

  • 1. +210.11Ben Sira 18.13.
  • 2. 10.15Matthew 11.27;Luke 10.22.
  • 3. +210.221 Maccabees 4.36, 52-59;2 Maccabees 1.18; 10.5.
  • 4. +210.29Wisdom 3.1.
  • 5. 10.33Leviticus 24.16.
  • 6. 10.34Psalms 82.6.
  • 7. 10.40John 1.28.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. they will become; [some manuscripts have] there will be.
  • [b]. What my Father has given me is greater; [some manuscripts have] My Father, who gave them to me, is greater.

John 10 Commentaries