The Good Shepherd Knows His Sheep

Relationships help to keep us alive. Single men have more illnesses and die at a younger age than married men. Married men with cancer live 20% longer than single men with the same cancer. Women, who often have more close friendships than men, survive longer with the same cancers … More

Relationship

The Pharisees were strangers, but Christ knows His sheep (vv. 14-16). Christ has a relationship with the sheep similar to His relationship with His Father. Jesus will bring other sheep (both Jews and Gentiles) into his flock (v. 16). Jesus will take up his life again. His death will be followed by His resurrection (vv. 17-18). Jews were divided in 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 (John 9). 

There is a two-month gap between verses 21 and 22. The “feast of the dedication” (Hanukkah) (v. 22) takes place in December. This feast celebrates the rededication of the temple by Judas Maccabaeus in 164 B.C., after it had been desecrated by the Romans. The leaders surrounded Jesus in the Temple, looking for a “showdown.” They said, “If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly” (v.24). Jesus, knowing that it would only give these religious leaders more reason to oppose Him (vv. 25-29), gave them a “plain answer” saying, “I and my Father are one” (v. 30).

 

Christ pointed out that they were not “of His sheep” and therefore could not believe. He gave a beautiful description of true Christians. They are His sheep. Sheep are clean animals, just as Christians have been cleansed from their sin. Sheep flock together, and so do true believers. Sheep are harmless, and Christians should be blameless and harmless. Sheep are prone to wander and so are we! Sheep need a shepherd for protection, guidance, and food; and we need Christ for spiritual protection, daily guidance, and spiritual food. Sheep are useful and productive; so are true Christians. Finally, sheep were used for sacrifices; and Christians are willing to yield themselves to Christ as “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12:1).

 

Application

Just think about the fact that Jesus knows everything about you! Is there anything you wish He didn’t know? Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (10:27). Am I ready to respond to His voice and follow Him in every area of my life?

John 10:14-30 (English Standard Version)


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