The Best Shepherd Ever – John 10

Jesus continues to speak to the people of Jerusalem, including the Pharisees.

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

   “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.

 (skip to)  9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.  They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.  (skip to) 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

 17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again.   Key Verse: 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”


(John 10:19-21)  The people were again divided between those that thought Jesus was demon-possessed and those that thought he was who he claimed to be.  This second group considered his miracles, pointing out that demons can’t heal the blind. 

(22-27)  Setting:  winter in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, in the Temple.  The people surround him and say, “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”  Jesus replies that they don’t believe what he has already told them.  They don’t believe because they are not his sheep (his followers). 

Important Passage:    28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else.  No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.     30 The Father and I are one.”

(31-33)   The nonbelievers picked up stones to kill Jesus for committing what they considered blasphemy.

   34 Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods! (Scroll down to Notes…)    35 And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’ 36 why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world.

 (39-42)  Jesus escapes arrest (it was not yet his time), goes to the Jordan River near the place where John had been baptizing.  A crowd followed him and admitted that everything John had said about Jesus had come true.  Many of them became believers right then and there. 

 Note on Bible Gateway:  You can choose different versions in the dropdown box on the right.  Reading several translations is advantageous to our understanding.   The Message is one that paraphrases Scripture and is popular with those that are newly familiarizing themselves with the Bible.

Link to full chapter of John 10 at Bible Gateway:


(John 10:1-16)   Jesus is the gate for the sheep.  Those who go through him will be saved.  He is also the good shepherd leading the sheep, who know only him.

A shepherd also functions as a gate.  He would often sleep across the gate or doorway of the sheepfold.  Sheepfold:  open area, a shed, or a cave.  Refers to the church. 

John 1 – The thieves are those who mislead and lie, who believe there is a way to avoid the gate.  These would be his prosecutors to whom Jesus was just speaking.

10:16   The other sheep are the Gentiles (non-Jews).

11-12   The ‘hired hand’ refers to false prophets and false teachers that do not have Jesus’ level of commitment.  Jesus is not merely doing a job.  He, like a good shepherd, tends us out of love, not money. 

14b   I know my sheep and they know me.  This is only possible when we intentionally accept Christ as our Savior.

Prophecy fulfillment:  Ezekiel 34:23 predicts the Messiah as a shepherd.

30 – The Father and I are One.   This is the clearest statement of divinity that Jesus ever made. 

34-38  This passage includes a reference to God calling the Israelite rulers and judges ‘gods’.  Certain other religions have taken this out of context and used it to stand on the idea of humans as gods, which is false.  Overall knowledge and complete context empower us with the truth.

My Life Application Study Bible said only that God means ‘agents of His will’ when he addressed the Israelite judges.    I searched online for a concise, clear explanation.  The short explanation, next, was copied from the website given below it.

” In context Jesus is alluding to Psalm 82 where human judges are called “gods,” and His reasoning communicates the following idea: “If God even called human judges ‘gods’ (with a small ‘g’), then how much more is it appropriate that I call myself the Son of God.”


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