The Good Shephard Knows His Sheep

Relationships
Some of the greatest people named in the Bible were shepherds by occupation. Abel, the patriarchs, Moses, and David to name a few. Besides being the only door into the sheepfold, Christ is also the good shepherd (v. 11). He is good because He giveth his life for the benefit of the sheep (Ps 23). He is contrasting Himself to the false shepherds who were in charge of the Jewish religion of that day. The scribes were merely hirelings (hired people) who had  no true love and concern for the welfare of the sheep (vv. 12-13). In the moment of danger the hireling runs away. The Pharisees are strangers, but Christ knows His sheep (vv. 14-16). The Pharisees have no love for the sheep, but Christ gives His life for them. Christ has a relationship to the sheep similar to His relationship with His Father. Christ now states that His fold will include both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 10:28). In this passage Jesus explains four special ministries that He performs as a Good Shepherd:
  1. He dies for the sheep  (vv. 11-13). Under the old dispensation, the sheep died for the shepherd; but now the Good Shepherd dies for the sheep.
  2. He knows His sheep (vv. 14-15). He knows his sheep personally and therefore knows best how to minister to them.
  3. He brings other sheep into the flock (v.16). This refers to the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
  4. He takes up His life again (vv. 17-18). His voluntary death was followed by His  resurrection.

Since Christ is “the Door,” we would expect a division. The Jews were divided according to their opinion (vv. 19-21). Some thought Jesus was mad and demon-possessed, while others were impressed by His miracle on behalf of the blind man.

 

Application

Just think about the fact that Jesus knows everything about me! Is there anything that I wish He didn’t know? Am I ready to respond to His voice in every area of my life?

John 10:14-21 (English Standard Version)

"I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father." There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, "He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?" Others said, "These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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