Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
Jesus, the master Teacher, used many figures to get across ideas concerning truth. In John 10 he uses the idea of the “the shepherd,” “door of the sheep,” “the good shepherd,” “the hireling,” and the “wolf.”
The doorkeeper opens to the shepherd – he knows the shepherd, and the shepherd knows him. There has to be someone who protects the sheep at night and guards them.
The sheep know the shepherd. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out!
He leads the sheep to pasture, and they follow him because they trust him and they know his voice. (how well do you know the voice of the good shepherd?)
Jesus is also the door of the sheep. Doors keep things in and keeps other thing out. Jesus, being the door, offers the protection to the sheep that is necessary for them to rest and grow. We must enter by the door to be saved. We know that the only way we enter Jesus is by being baptized into his death (Romans 6:1-6). He is the only way by which men can be saved (Acts 4:12).
Jesus discusses the thief. We know the figure applies to Satan, and what Satan does to all of us if we allow him. LET US UNDERSTAND – Satan wants to steal, kill, and destroy us. We think about missions in that we all have missions; things to accomplish in a day, something that we want to accomplish in our lives. Satan’s mission is to destroy our relationship between God and man, and to kill us. He wants to destroy us! Let us realize what he is doing – let us realize that when we fail to be united as God’s people, we play into his hands and souls are lost.
In verse 12, Jesus talks about the one who is hired to watch out for the sheep. The hireling does his job just for the money. He does not own the sheep, nor does he care for the sheep. When the wolf comes, he flees. The wolf then catches the sheep and scatters them He divides the sheep. He runs them away, and the shepherd then has to find them and bring them back. According to one source, if a sheep is not found and brought back within three days, they become wild. They will be skittish of everything and everyone. They will live in suspicion and distrust. When we scatter, Satan has the advantage because he can hunt us down one by one.
Satan is out to destroy our faith and wants to steal our peace and our joy. He does not want us to have confidence in God. He wants us to question if God has abandoned us; he wants to destroy our hope – how many have left the faith because they have lost hope? How many have left the church because they trusted in people and not God? How many have asked, “Does God continue to love me?”
What does a good shepherd do?
He gives his life for the sheep. Jesus died for all mankind, and for those who follow him he develops a relationship with them. He loves them, they love Him; and they show that love for the shepherd by obeying his word, by being obedient to him.
The Father knows the Son, and the Son knows the Father. The Father loves Jesus, because of his willingness to die for man and to save us from our sins. We note that the Father gave the Son the authority to take his life again. Jesus laid down his life because it was his decision, and he had the power to take it again. So when Jesus died, he did so voluntarily to save us. He could have ended it any time he wanted, but he committed himself to the Father, and trusted the Father to do what needed to be done. The Father watched his Son die for all of us.
What a Savior! What a Shepherd!
What kind of sheep are we? How closely do you follow the Lord?