“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
(a) A thief and a robber is any false prophet or false teacher who tries to steal or fleece the sheep. He is not a misguided minister because he is unacquainted with Jesus the door (John 10:7). “In their greed they will exploit you with false words” (2 Pet. 2:3).
In context, Jesus is addressing those Pharisees who were offended that he had healed on the Sabbath. The Pharisees threatened to put out of the synagogue anyone who followed the Lord (John 9:16, 22).
“Beware the religious leaders,” said Jesus. “They are not true shepherds but thieves who devour widows’ houses and try to frighten those whom God loves.” See also the entry for Matt. 7:15.
(b) Robber. The original word (lestes) means armed brigands of the kind who robbed and beat the traveler on the road to Jericho (Luke 10:30), and who also menaced Paul in his travels (2 Cor. 11:26). Two such brigands were crucified beside Christ (Matt. 27:38), and Barabbas was also a brigand (John. 18:40).
“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
His own sheep. We are not his sheep because we go to church and act like Jesus. We are his sheep if we have been born of the Spirit. “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him” (Rom. 8:9).
“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
Thieves and robbers. Jesus is not talking about the patriarchs and prophets, but the Pharisees and religious leaders who use fear to intimidate and rob the sheep (see entry for John 10:1).
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
(a) The thief refers to Satan who came to steal, kill, and destroy humanity.
In context, the thieves and robbers are false prophets and false teachers who seek to fleece the sheep (see John 10:1). Jesus is talking about the Pharisees who threatened to kick out of the synagogue anyone who followed Christ (John 9:22). Just as the murderous Pharisees had the same spirit of the devil who was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44), they were extortionate thieves who belonged to their father the Thief.
(b) I came that they may have life. “To give us eternal life” is the answer to the question, why did Jesus come (John 3:16, 10:28, Rom 6:4, 1 Tim. 1:16).
Jesus did not come principally to free us from sin or to give us a new nature. He came to give us a new life which includes those other things. When we preach the gospel, we are telling people about the new life that Jesus offers to all (Acts 5:20).
(c) And have it abundantly. Eternal life is not more of the same old life, but a brand new life of wholeness and health and living in union with the Author of Life. See entry for New Life.
“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
Other sheep. The Jews understood that the Messiah would be the Shepherd of Israel (Eze. 34:11–15, Matt. 2:6), but Jesus is the Shepherd of all (Matt. 25:32).
“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.
(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.
(b) The Father loves Me. The God that Jesus revealed is a loving Father (John 14:21, 23, 15:9, 16:27, 17:26), who loves us as much as he loves his Son (John 17:23).
(c) I lay down My life. Since Jesus was not of Adam’s fallen line, he was not subject to the law of sin and death. Sin couldn’t touch him and death couldn’t take him. The only way Jesus could go to the cross and die on our behalf was if he chose to.
“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
I lay it down. On several occasions people plotted or tried to murder Jesus (Matt. 26:59, Mark 14:55, Luke 4:30, 22:2, John 5:18, 7:19, 25). But none succeeded. Jesus would freely lay down his life for all. No one would take it from him.
it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.
The portico of Solomon was a porch that ran along the eastern wall of the temple precinct. Jesus probably walked there in winter because it was covered. Later, the early church would meet there (Acts 3:11, 5:12).
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.
(a) My Father; see entry for John 4:21.
(b) You do not believe. Some of the Jews did not believe that Jesus was the Christ (see previous verse).
(c) In My Father’s name. Jesus shows us how to live in total dependence on the Father (see entry for John 5:19).
“But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
(a) You do not believe. The Jews heard the Lord’s testimony (see previous verse), but they did not believe it. They did not believe he was the Christ.
This verse is not saying that God only saves some people or that only sheep can believe. God loves the whole world (John 3:16). He is not willing that any perish but desires all to come to repentance and be saved (2 Pet. 3:9, 1 Tim. 2:4). Whoever believes or calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (John 3:16, Rom. 10:13).
(b) My sheep. “You are not my people. You don’t follow me” (see next verse).
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
(a) My sheep. We are not his sheep because we go to church and act like Jesus. We are his sheep if we have been born of the Spirit. “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him” (Rom. 8:9).
(b) I know them. Jesus knows his own. On that day Jesus will say, “This one is mine and I know them. They have heard my voice and responded.”
and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
(a) I give eternal life to them. “To give us eternal life” is the answer to the question, why did Jesus come (John 3:16, Rom 6:4, 1 Tim. 1:16).
Jesus did not come principally to free us from sin or to give us a new nature. He came to give us a new life which includes those other things. “I have come that they may have (zoe) life” (John 10:10). When we preach the gospel, we are telling people about the new life that Jesus offers to all (Acts 5:20). See entry for New Life.
(b) Eternal life is living forever in union with Jesus; see entry for John 3:15.
(c) They will never perish. We are not born immortal (Rom. 2:6–8, Eph. 2:1). Eternal life is a gift we receive when come to Christ (John 3:15). The moment you put your faith in Christ you crossed over from death to life (John 5:24). Whoever believes in Christ has eternal life and shall not perish (John 3:16).
(d) My hand. Jesus holds you and he will never let you go.
“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
(a) My Father; see entry for John 4:21.
(b) The Father’s hand. In Christ, you are a son forever (John 8:35). Your heavenly Father will never abandon you (Heb. 13:5), never forget you (Is. 49:15). As an heir of God, your future is eternally secure and wonderfully blessed (Rom. 8:17, Gal. 4:7).
“I and the Father are one.”
I and the Father are one. God the Father and the Son are exactly alike (Heb. 1:3).
What is God like? He is like Jesus. If you have seen the Son, you have seen the Father (John 14:9). Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15).This similarity makes it easy for us to dismiss the silly caricatures of manmade religion. Since Jesus is not a semi-deaf sky-Santa, then neither is God. And since Jesus is not a terrifying punisher, neither is God. Your heavenly Father is exactly like Jesus.
Some imagine God is a bookkeeper recording all your sins. But God is not like that because Jesus is not like that. Jesus didn’t shame sinners. He loved them and had dinner with them and introduced them to his Father.
Some think that God is a passive and ineffectual sovereign who lets the universe run on auto-pilot. But God is not like that because Jesus is not like that. Jesus’ desire was to see the Father’s will done on earth as it is in heaven. This is why he healed the sick and raised the dead.
Some think your sins put you in danger of an angry God. But God is not like that because Jesus is not like that. Jesus is a friend of sinners.
Some imagine that God gives us law while Jesus gives us grace. But the good news declares that Jesus is the embodiment of the Father’s grace. Jesus is fantastically gracious, but he is no more gracious than God himself. They are the dynamic duo of graciousness. There is no good God-bad God routine. There is just grace upon grace radiating from the throne of grace.
Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’?
Written in your Law. Jesus is quoting Psalm. 82:6. The Psalms do not form part of the Law of Moses or the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). Jesus is referring to the Hebrew Scriptures or the Old Testament. For similar examples, see John 12:34, 15:25, and 1 Cor. 14:21.
Further reading: “What is the Law in the Bible?“
“If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),
(a) The word of God in this context is the Old Testament (see previous verse). To be precise, it is Psalm 82:6.
The word of God is the means by which God reveals himself and his will. In the old covenant, God communicated his will to Israel through the law, prophecies, and psalms. In the new covenant, the Word of God has its clearest expression through the revelation of Jesus (Rev. 19:13). See entry for Word of God.
(b) Scripture cannot be broken. In other words, “Don’t try and wriggle your way out of this by changing scripture.”
do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.
(b) Sent into the world. On numerous occasions, Jesus told his disciples that he was not from earth but had come or been sent from heaven. See entry for John 6:38.
(c) The Son of God. Most of the time Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man (see entry for Matt. 8:20). But on a few occasions he acknowledged that he was the Son of God (John 3:18, 5:25, 11:4, Rev. 2:18).
And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there.
(a) The place. When Jesus’ life was threatened in Jerusalem, he went to the place he had been water baptized. John baptized people at Bethabara, which was also known as Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan (John 1:28). This place should not be confused with the Bethany of Martha and Mary which was near Jerusalem.
(b) Baptizing. The original word implies total immersion. See entry for Baptism.
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- John 10:3
- John 10:8
- John 10:10
- John 10:16
- John 10:17
- John 10:18
- John 10:23
- John 10:25
- John 10:26
- John 10:27
- John 10:28
- John 10:29
- John 10:30
- John 10:34
- John 10:35
- John 10:36
- John 10:40