In verses 1-5 Jesus gave the basic elements of The

Parable of The Sheepfold.  In verse 6 John tells us that the

people who heard Him speak this parable did not understand

its meaning.  In verses 7-9 Jesus started His explanation of

the meaning of the parable.

      He spoke first about the door of the sheepfold

representing Himself.  The sheep enter the door of the

sheepfold in the evening for protection during the night.

Then they go out through that same door in the morning to

find pasture and water.  Jesus said, "I am the door."  That

is if anyone will come to Jesus and place his faith and

trust in Jesus that will be like entering the door that

leads to heaven.

      In other words, he will be saved.  Then after being

saved, he will go out the door on a daily basis to feast on

the green pastures which the Lord will provide and to drink

of the thirst quenching waters to which the Lord will lead.

That is, after he is saved, he will enjoy the daily

blessings which the Lord has in store for him.  He will

enjoy good things from Jesus both in this life and also in

the life to come.

      In verse ten, which is our text today, Jesus enlarges

upon that thought of the Christian enjoying the green

pasture and enjoying the cool waters and enjoying all the

great blessing of God now that he is saved.  In this verse

Jesus shows a great contrast between the thief in the

parable and Himself.


I.  The coming of a thief


            V. 10, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and

to kill, and to destroy..."   Jesus points out that the

thief does not come into the sheepfold for the purpose of

helping the sheep in any way, shape, fashion or form.

      You will recall that in the parable the thief does not

enter in through the door.  Rather, the thief sneaks into

the sheepfold at night by climbing the wall.  In His

explanation of this part of the parable, Jesus points out

that the thief is not there to help the sheep.  He is not

there to doctor the sick sheep.  He is not there to pull

thorns out of their feet.  He is not there to feed hungry

sheep.  He is not there to give water to thirsty sheep.

      Jesus gives three reasons why the thief comes into the

sheepfold.  Jesus said first of all that the thief is there

to steal.  He does not own one single sheep within that

fold.  He is there to steal sheep which belong to somebody

else.  He is there to take the property which rightly

belongs to somebody else and use it for his own selfish

purposes.  This is the chief reason that he climbs over the

wall into the sheepfold --- to steal.

      But Jesus said also that he is there to kill.  He knows

when he goes in that he is going to have to kill.  He will

climb the wall into the sheepfold and then he will kill one

or more sheep depending on how many helpers he has outside

the wall to help him carry them away.  He will kill the

sheep and put them over the wall to his comrades.

      In addition to killing the sheep that he plans to carry

away, he is prepared, to kill the porter if the porter tries

to stop him.  He will not hesitate a moment to commit murder

in order to get what he wants.

      In addition to killing and stealing sheep and possibly

killing a human, the thief is there to destroy.  He may

cripple several sheep.  He may overturn feed troughs and

water troughs.  He may set fire to something inside the

sheepfold.  He pretty well knows what he is going to destroy

when he goes in.  He is there to steal and kill and destroy.

      Please keep in mind, that while, Jesus does not mention

anyone specifically which the thief in the parable

represents.  Yet , He intends that the people should see

that this is the kind of evil hearted people that His

opponents were.  They really were not very secretive about

their efforts to kill Jesus.  They made it clear to all that

they would try to destroy the lives of all who believe that

Jesus is the Christ.  At the very least, they would expel

them from the Jewish synagogue.


II.  The coming of Jesus


      But the life and ministry of Jesus stands in sharp

contrast to the scribes and Pharisees who opposed Him.  (V.

10), "...I am come that they might have life, and that they

might have it more abundantly."  Instead of coming for

selfish, murderous, destructive purposes, Jesus had come to

benefit mankind.

      He said, first of all, that He had come that men might

have life.  He was not talking about mere physical human

life.  That kind of life would soon come to an end.  Jesus

came that men may have everlasting life.  John 3:16 says,

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten

Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but

have everlasting life."

      To put it another way:  Jesus came that lost sinners may

stay out of hell and go to heaven.  He came to give Himself

a sacrifice for the souls of men so that men can repent of

their sins and trust in Him for the salvation of the soul

and go to heaven when they die.

      But there is more.  Jesus said also that He had not only

come that men may have life, but that they may have life

more abundantly.  One who comes to Jesus and places his

faith and trust in Jesus and enters the door that leads to

heaven, he immediately starts having life more abundantly.

      I am not talking merely about getting material things,

although it is true that the Lord will provide.  Let me

point this out while I am at it.  No matter how much grass

is in the pasture, the sheep benefits only from what grass

he eats.  The Lord will provide His sheep with green grass

sufficient for their needs.  In Psalm 37:25 the psalmist

said, "I once was young and now I am old.  Yet have I not

seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread." The

psalmist David, in the Twenty-third Psalm, said, "The Lord

is my Shepherd; I shall not want."  That is, "I shall not go

lacking what I really need."  The Lord takes care of His

sheep.  He feeds them.  He clothes them.  He provides their

every need.

      But what Jesus is saying in His explanation of this

parable is that He will provide more than the mere

necessities of His people.  He will provide for them a great

many of the niceties of life.  The Lord enjoys seen His

people have things to enjoy just as a parent or grandparent

enjoys seeing their children have more than just the bare

necessities of life.

      I think that many of you can testify to this in your own

life.  I know that I can.  I can truthfully say that God has

been good to me.  He has been very good to me.  He has

supplied not only my every need, but He has been extremely

generous to me in providing over and above the mere

necessities.  Can you not say the same?

      But the Lord provide much more for His people in this

life than just the material things of life.  First of all He

provides a home for us in heaven.  That is by far, more

important than anything else.  He provides a mansion that

does not cost us a penny.  We will never have to pay any

rent, taxes, insurance or upkeep.  Let me tell you that by

keeping us out of hell and giving us a home in heaven, the

Lord is providing an abundant life for us.

      Yet even in this life -- this side of he grave -- He

provides much more than the material things.  There are many

things in life which are worth more than money.  Every good

thing which we have is from the Lord.


III.  How to have the more abundant life


      Now in view of what Jesus said here in this text and in

view of the teachings of this parable, let me tell you how

to have the more abundant life.  You can have the more

abundant life both in this world and also in the world to


      First of all, enter into the door.  Enter into the door

that leads to heaven by coming to Jesus and placing your

faith in Him as your Savior.  You cannot enter into the door

that leads to heaven by getting wealth in life.  You cannot

enter into the door that leads to heaven by turning over a

new leaf.  You cannot enter into the door that leads to

heaven by works of righteousness on your part.  In Ephesians

2:9 Jesus said that salvation is not of works lest any man

should boast.  You cannot enter into the door that leads to

heaven by merely joining a church.  Judas Iscariot was a

member of the Lord's church, but church membership did not

get him into heaven.  You must place your faith in Jesus

Christ to take care of your eternal destiny.  Stop trying to

save yourself and trust Jesus to save you.

      Then after you have trusted Jesus and you have entered

into the door, travel with the Shepherd on a daily basis.

Listen to His voice through the Bible, the word of God.

Follow where the Shepherd leads.  Let Him lead you to the

green pastures.  Let Him lead you to the still waters.  Let

Him lead you in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Let Him lead you into the paths of worship and into the

paths of service to the Master.

      Let me assure you that if you do these things you will

be able to say with the Psalmist David, "The Lord is my

Shepherd; I shall not want."  You will be able to say with

him, "My cup runneth over."  You will be able to say with

Him, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days

of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord





      The Lord has done His very best to convince you that

coming to Him and trusting Him and living for Him is in your

best interest.  I have done my best to convince you that

trusting in Jesus is in your best interest.

      But it's up to you.  Only you can turn your heart to

Jesus and place your faith in Him to save your soul.  Will

you do it while we have an invitation hymn?  Who will come?

Will you also surrender to Him to serve Him and let Him have

His way with your life?