John 10:1-16

Of the many images painted by John in his wonderful gospel, the most descriptive is probably that of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Like a shepherd, Jesus is concerned with the welfare and care of His sheep. Jesus delivered this sermon right after He healed the blind man at the temple, and He clearly declared His identity and plainly stated His purposes and plans. He revealed His great love for sinners and His plan for dealing with their sins.


A. He came properly (verses 1-3a). Jesus used the imagery of the sheepfold to illustrate His message. A sheepfold is a circular wall about 10 feet tall with a single opening that served as a door. Jesus told His audience that only thieves and robbers would seek to enter the sheepfold by a means other than the door. The shepherd, however, always comes in the right way

Jesus proved that He was and is the shepherd of the sheep because He came into the world in the right manner. He entered according to plan. He presented His credentials to His people. Notice the proof that He came in the right way:

1. He was born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:21-23)

2. He was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matt. 2:4-6)

3. He came in the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4)

4. He had been brought out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1; Matt. 2:14, 15)

5. His arrival had provoked the rage of the enemy (Jer. 31:15; Matt. 2:16-18)

He was the right person, born in the right place, arriving at the right time, summoned from the right country, and attended by the right sign. He possessed all the credentials necessary to prove that He was the Good Shepherd (Luke 4:18, 19; Isa. 61:1, 2). When Jesus came with the right credentials, John the Baptist openly introduced Him to the nation and declared His identity (John 1:29).

B. He calls properly. Several flocks can share the same sheepfold; however, when the shepherd of the sheep walks up to the door and calls his sheep, they instantly recognize his voice and respond to him. They know his call.

So it is with lost souls. There are many voices that compete for our attention in this world, but there is a special note to the voice of the Lord. When He calls, everything changes (John 6:44). Lost sinners are dead until they are awakened by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:1). He is the only one that can give us hope.

C. He commands properly (verses 4, 5). When the shepherd calls forth his sheep, he goes before them, and they instinctively follow. He doesn’t have to drive them—that is for goats! He just leads them out, and they follow close behind.

What a truth! When souls are saved by the grace of God, they have a desire to follow the Good Shepherd. They have been called out by the Shepherd and have a burning desire to worship Him (2 Cor. 5:17).


A. His personality (verses 6-18). In these verses, Jesus reveals His identity as “the door.” Remember, there was only one opening going into or out of the sheepfold. It was in this opening that the shepherd slept. Therefore, the shepherd himself became the door of the sheepfold. Nothing could enter or exit the fold without going through the shepherd himself.

If anyone desires entrance into the fold of God, there is only one door. That door is Jesus! He is the only way to God (Eph. 2:18; John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Jesus is the only way to the Father. Any other way leads to death and damnation (Matt. 7:13, 14).

B. His performance (verse 9a). Jesus plainly tells His listeners that He alone is the door to God’s eternal salvation. His promise to those who enter is that they will be saved. That is, they will be rescued from the strongholds of the enemy and will experience the fullness of God’s perfect salvation.

C. His promise (verses 9b-10). The thief is a threat to the sheep. When a thief enters the fold, his primary purpose is to use the sheep for his own personal gain. He doesn’t care about their welfare. The Good Shepherd, on the other hand, comes so that the sheep might experience a life that is immeasurably better. He cares about the sheep and promises them a new and better life.


A. His concern is proven by His sacrifice (verses 11-13). Jesus explains the difference between the concerned shepherd and the hireling. The hireling is there only for a paycheck. When trouble comes, he runs away and leaves the sheep to be devoured by wolves. The shepherd, on the other hand, owns the sheep and has a vested interest in their welfare. He is willing to pay any price to protect his sheep, even if it means he has to give his life for them.

Jesus endured a terrible death on behalf of sinners. Through this sacrifice for His sheep, He deserves the title Good Shepherd!

B. His concern is proven by His sheep (verse 14). Jesus speaks of the bond that exists between the shepherd and his sheep. They know him and will not follow another, and the shepherd knows his sheep. May I remind you that the Good Shepherd also knows His sheep? He knows everything there is to know about you (Matt. 6:8; 10:29-31). He knows every strength and every weakness. He knows every joy and every burden. He knows every mountain and every valley. He knows every victory and every battle, and He stands ready to help you in your time of need (Heb. 4:15, 16).

C. He proves His concern by His salvation (verses 15, 16). Jesus makes it plain that other sheep will come along later. These sheep can be assured of being saved just like those who were there to hear Jesus speak. Therefore, anyone who needs salvation can rest assured that Jesus will provide that salvation when faith is placed in Him (John 1:12).

When faith is placed in Jesus Christ, salvation is always the result. This salvation is complete (Heb. 7:25). All who respond to Him in faith will be brought into the flock and will be saved (Acts 16:31).


There is no question that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. But one question remains: Do you know the Shepherd? How you answer that question determines where you can expect to spend eternity. If you know the Shepherd and follow Him, you can rejoice in the fact that He will always be with you and will always watch over you. If you do not know Him, I invite you to come to Him right now. He will give you a new life and a new birth.