The Good Shepherd
A. John 10:1-6 is an allegory (slight difference between a parable…)
1. Jesus gives a two-fold explanation.
1) 7-10: Jesus is the Door of the Sheep – only rightful place of entrance.
2) 11-18: Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
B. The duties of Christ are so great and varied that no one parable, allegory or
teaching can encompass them all.
1. He not only is the entrance or means of salvation as taught in the figurative term
of a door.
1) He is not only the means of salvation but He also calls us and guides us.
1. Means beautiful.
1) This shows an inherent quality of excellence and doesn’t just state that He
does a good job.
1. In both the OT and NT, the CLOSE RELATIONSHIP of God and His people is
projected in the figure of the Shepherd and His sheep.
1) Because sheep were by nature defenseless and wayward, it was necessary
that they have CONSTANT SUPERVISION.
2. The OT abounds in this figurative speech showing that God and the Messiah
would be the good shepherds leading the sheep in the right way.
1) Ps 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd…”
2) Ps 77:20: “Thou didst lead Thy people like a flock, by the hand of Moses
3) Ps 80:1: “Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel, Thou who dost lead Joseph like
4) Ps 95:7-8: „For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and
the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, do not harden
your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness;”
5) Ps 100:3: “Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us,
and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
6) Isa 40:11: “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arms He will
gather the lambs, and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the
7) Mic 7:14: “Shepherd Thy people with Thy scepter, the flock of Thy
possession (inheritance) which dwells by itself in the woodland, in the midst
of a fruitful field, let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old.”
3. Other scriptures show that false shepherds (leaders of the people) would arise to
lead the sheep astray – “hireling”
1) Zech 11:4-5: “Thus says the LORD my God, „Pasture the flock doomed to
slaughter.‟ Those who buy them slay them and go unpunished, and each of
those who sell them says, „Blessed be the LORD, for I have become rich!‟
And their own shepherds have no pity on them.”
2) 16-17: “For behold, I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will
not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken, or sustain the
one standing, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their
hoofs. Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock!...”
3) Ezek 34:1-10: Prophecy against the shepherds of Israel.
“lays down His life for the sheep.”
1. Ezek 34:11-31: Messianic prophecy – Christ fulfilled: John 10.
1) Luke 15:3-6: Looks for the lost sheep.
2) Heb 13:20: “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead, the
great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even
Jesus our Lord.”
3) 1 Pet 2:25: “For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have
returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”
2. No one cares for us like He does – Gave His life for the sheep.
1) He leads without ever going astray – did it for the good of the flock.
2) In His crucifixion, we see the characteristics of a sheep (Matt 26:39;
3) As a sheep trusts the shepherd, Jesus trusted God.
4) Jesus followed (obeyed) the voice of God as a sheep follows the shepherd.
5) Since Jesus lived as a sheep, He both understands our lives as sheep and His
life shows us how to live as sheep.
6) Sheep do not lead the Shepherd.
7) We do not tell God how to save us or where to lead us.
1. He looks out only for his own good.
1) He cares for the sheep just for the wage he will receive.
1. An enemy who will destroy sheep to fill his own satisfaction.
13: 1) “Hireling flees” – Doesn’t care.
14: “I know My own”
1. Jesus knows his sheep as He knows the Father (15).
1) He knows their strengths and weaknesses (Heb 2:17-18).
“My own know Me”
1. Describes the close relationship one has with Christ.
1) As a shepherd will not overlook a sheep, neither will Christ overlook one of
2) Sheep will not venture off on their own. It’s the exception when it does.
3) Trust at all times, not waver in times of trouble (Prov 3:5-6).
4) Seek a close relationship with Christ – not keep at arm’s length (2 Cor 9:6).
5) His sheep know only the shepherd (Eph 4:14-15).
15: “I lay down My life for the sheep.” – What is involved in giving Himself?
1. He gave up the pleasures, joys and glory of heaven for a life time.
1) Power to command legions (Matt 26:53) [legion = 6000].
2) legion = in the time of Augustus consisted of 6826 men (i.e. 6100 foot
soldiers, and 726 horsemen).
3) Angels constantly attend Him (Matt 18:10; Ps 91:11-12).
In the hospital there is a control switch which summons nurses for any
need you might have.
2. He gave up the honor that He deserved. Sometimes we all feel unappreciated.
1) Life is full of - employers/employee; husband/wife; friend/friend;
2) John 1:11 – Note: “his own” creation.
3. He gave his life.
1) There was a billboard that shows a rough picture of a fireman after the attack
on the World Trade Towers. The caption read - “He ran in when everyone
else ran out”
2) The fireman running into the building is only a sacrifice if the building is on
3) That is just what Jesus did!
4) Jesus did not come and die for nothing – that would have been suicide.
16: “And I have other sheep”
1. This is prophetic in the sense of every nation – Gentiles (Gen 12:3 – Matt
1) Jesus wants to be the shepherd of all (Gal 3:26-29).
“one flock” – under ONE SHEPHERD
1. Jesus has one flock made up of more that one kind of sheep (Jews & Gentiles).
1) There will be no difference between them (Acts 10:34-35; Eph 2:11-16).
2. Col 1:18: They are called His BODY, with Christ as the Head.
1) CHURCH – A united body to do a particular task.
2) Col 1:13-14: KINGDOM – United group in reference to a king.
3. John 10:9: SAVED = BODY=CHURCH=KINGDOM.
1) So what is said about the flock applies to Christ’s body, His church and His
2) It is clear from Jesus’ words that He does not intend for there to be many
different flocks under the other shepherds – but ONE – flock, body, church,
17-18: “authority (power, Lit. means authority) to take it up again. This
commandment I received from the Father.”
1. Sacrifice My life for the benefit of the sheep.
1) The end result was the resurrection, because this is where the real power was
to be (Rom 1:4).
2) He raised to free us from death (Heb 2:14) and to ascend to rule over His
kingdom – flock – sheep.
“No one has taken it from Me”
1. His death was voluntary.
1) We must be willing to become His sheep (Matt 11:28-30).
2) 3: “Hear His voice”; 16: “Hear My voice”
3) 4: His sheep – “follow Him” and “know His voice.”
4) How wonderful it is to be a sheep in God’s flock under the watch and care of
the “Good Shepherd.”
2. How do we hear Christ’s voice today?
1) John 14:25-26; 16:13: Jesus gave the apostles the Holy Spirit to teach in His
2) We hear Jesus’ voice through His word that is taught in the Scripture.
3) 1 John 4:1-6; 2Jn.9: His flock follows His word as it is taught in Scripture.
4) His sheep test what we do, say or hear and “flee” from strangers.
5) We should stay as far away from error and falsehood as possible.
1. What has the Shepherd said about how to become one of His flock – sheep?
1. Believe – Jesus is the only door of the sheep.
2. Repent – Luke 13:3; Mt.3:8 – bear fruit worthy of repentance.
3) Confess – Matt 10:32-33.
4) Be baptized – John 3:3-5; Mark 16:16.
Which one can we leave out? Which one is not His voice?
Which one is the voice of a stranger?
2. Continue to hear His voice.
1. Do you follow Him - to guide and protect you?