John 10

Parable of the Good Shepherd

1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is 1a thief and a robber.
2 "But he who enters by the door is 2a shepherd of the sheep.
3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear 3his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and 4leads them out.
4 "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know 5his voice.
5 "A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know 6the voice of strangers."
6 This 7figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
7 So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am 8the door of the sheep.
8 "All who came before Me are 9thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
9 "10I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go * in and out and find pasture.
10 "The thief comes only * * to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they 11may have life, and have it abundantly.
11 "12I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd 13lays down His life for the sheep.
12 "He who is a hired hand, and not a 14shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
13 "He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.
14 "15I am the good shepherd, and 16I know My own and My own know Me,
15 even as 17the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and 18I lay down My life for the sheep.
16 "I have 19other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become 20one flock with 21one shepherd.
17 "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I 22lay down My life so that I may take it again.
18 "23No one has taken it away from Me, but I 24lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. 25This commandment I received from My Father."
19 26A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words.
20 Many of them were saying, "He 27has a demon and 28is insane. Why do you listen to Him?"
21 Others were saying, "These are not the sayings of one 29demon-possessed. 30A demon cannot * open the eyes of the blind, can he?"

Jesus Asserts His Deity

22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem;
23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of 31Solomon.
24 32The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, "How long * will You keep us in suspense *? If You are the Christ, tell us 33plainly."
25 Jesus answered them, "34I told you, and you do not believe; 35the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me.
26 "But you do not believe because 36you are not of My sheep.
27 "My sheep 37hear My voice, and 38I know them, and they follow Me;
28 and I give 39eternal life to them, and they will never * perish; and 40no one will snatch them out of My hand.
29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
30 "41I and the Father are one."
31 The Jews 42picked up stones again to stone Him.
32 Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?"
33 The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for 43blasphemy; and because You, being a man, 44make Yourself out to be God."
34 Jesus answered them, "Has it not been written in 45your 46Law, '47I SAID, YOU ARE GODS '?
35 "If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot * be broken ),
36 do you say of Him, whom the Father 48sanctified and 49sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, '50I am the Son of God '?
37 "51If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;
38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe 52the works, so that you may know and understand that 53the Father is in Me, and I in the Father."
39 Therefore 54they were seeking again to seize Him, and 55He eluded their grasp.
40 And He went away 56again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there.
41 Many came to Him and were saying, "While John performed no 57sign, yet 58everything John said about this man was true."
42 59Many 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 59

  • 1. John 10:8
  • 2. John 10:11
  • 3. John 10:4f, 16, 27
  • 4. John 10:9
  • 5. John 10:5, 16, 27
  • 6. John 10:4, 16, 27
  • 7. John 16:25, 29; 2 Peter 2:22
  • 8. John 10:1f, 9
  • 9. Jeremiah 23:1; Ezekiel 34:2f; John 10:1
  • 10. John 10:1f, 9
  • 11. John 5:40
  • 12. Isaiah 40:11; Ezek 34:11-16, 23; John 10:14; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 7:17
  • 13. John 10:15, 17, 18; John 15:13; 1 John 3:16
  • 14. John 10:2
  • 15. John 10:11
  • 16. John 10:27
  • 17. Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22
  • 18. John 10:11, 17, 18
  • 19. Isaiah 56:8
  • 20. John 11:52; John 17:20; Ephesians 2:13-18; 1 Peter 2:25
  • 21. Ezekiel 34:23; Ezekiel 37:24
  • 22. John 10:11, 15, 18
  • 23. Matthew 26:53; John 2:19; John 5:26
  • 24. John 10:11, 15, 17
  • 25. John 14:31; John 15:10; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:8
  • 26. John 7:43; John 9:16
  • 27. John 7:20
  • 28. Mark 3:21
  • 29. Matthew 4:24
  • 30. Exodus 4:11; John 9:32
  • 31. Acts 3:11; Acts 5:12
  • 32. John 1:19; John 10:31, 33
  • 33. Luke 22:67; John 16:25
  • 34. John 8:56, 58
  • 35. John 5:36; John 10:38
  • 36. John 8:47
  • 37. John 10:4, 16
  • 38. John 10:14
  • 39. John 17:2; 1 John 2:25; 1 John 5:11
  • 40. John 6:37, 39
  • 41. John 17:21f
  • 42. John 8:59
  • 43. Leviticus 24:16
  • 44. John 5:18
  • 45. John 8:17
  • 46. John 12:34; John 15:25; Romans 3:19; 1 Corinthians 14:21
  • 47. Psalms 82:6
  • 48. Jeremiah 1:5; John 6:69
  • 49. John 3:17
  • 50. John 5:17; John 10:30
  • 51. John 10:25; John 15:24
  • 52. John 10:25; John 14:11
  • 53. John 14:10f, 20; John 17:21, 23
  • 54. John 7:30
  • 55. Luke 4:30; John 8:59
  • 56. John 1:28
  • 57. John 2:11
  • 58. John 1:27, 30, 34; John 3:27-30
  • 59. John 7:31

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Or "have abundance"
  • [b]. Lit "do You lift up our soul"
  • [c]. I.e. the Messiah
  • [d]. One early ms reads "What My Father has given Me is greater than all"
  • [e]. Or "a unity;" or "one essence"
  • [f]. Lit "know and continue knowing"

John 10 Commentaries

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