John 10

1 "Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he's up to no good - a sheep rustler!
2 The shepherd walks right up to the gate.
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice.
5 They won't follow a stranger's voice but will scatter because they aren't used to the sound of it."
6 Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about.
7 So he tried again. "I'll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep.
8 All those others are up to no good - sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn't listen to them.
9 I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for - will freely go in and out, and find pasture.
10 A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
11 "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary.
12 A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf.
13 He's only in it for the money. The sheep don't matter to him.
14 "I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me.
15 In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary.
16 You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They'll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd.
17 This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again.
18 No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father."
19 This kind of talk caused another split in the Jewish ranks.
20 A lot of them were saying, "He's crazy, a maniac - out of his head completely. Why bother listening to him?"
21 But others weren't so sure: "These aren't the words of a crazy man. Can a 'maniac' open blind eyes?"
22 They were celebrating Hanukkah just then in Jerusalem. It was winter.
23 Jesus was strolling in the Temple across Solomon's Porch.
24 The Jews, circling him, said, "How long are you going to keep us guessing? If you're the Messiah, tell us straight out."
25 Jesus answered, "I told you, but you don't believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words.
26 You don't believe because you're not my sheep.
27 My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me.
28 I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand.
29 The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him.
30 I and the Father are one heart and mind."
31 Again the Jews picked up rocks to throw at him.
32 Jesus said, "I have made a present to you from the Father of a great many good actions. For which of these acts do you stone me?"
33 The Jews said, "We're not stoning you for anything good you did, but for what you said - this blasphemy of calling yourself God."
34 Jesus said, "I'm only quoting your inspired Scriptures, where God said, 'I tell you - you are gods.'
35 If God called your ancestors 'gods' - and Scripture doesn't lie -
36 why do you yell, 'Blasphemer! Blasphemer!' at the unique One the Father consecrated and sent into the world, just because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?
37 If I don't do the things my Father does, well and good; don't believe me.
38 But if I am doing them, put aside for a moment what you hear me say about myself and just take the evidence of the actions that are right before your eyes. Then perhaps things will come together for you, and you'll see that not only are we doing the same thing, we are the same - Father and Son. He is in me; I am in him."
39 They tried yet again to arrest him, but he slipped through their fingers.
40 He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and stayed there.
41 A lot of people followed him over. They were saying, "John did no miracles, but everything he said about this man has come true."
42 Many believed in him then and 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.

John 10 Commentaries