John 10:11-18  THE GOOD SHEPHERD




      In our previous text Jesus contrasts Himself to a thief

who kills and steals sheep.  In our text today He proclaims

Himself to be The Good Shepherd.

      Let us keep in mind that a sheepfold was designed to

hold the sheep of many shepherds.  The shepherds of the

whole area would all bring their sheep into the sheepfold

late in the evening for safe keeping during the night.  Then

they would all come back the next morning and call their

sheep out of the fold and take them out into the pasture to


      The shepherds in the parable represented spiritual

leaders from God.  For instance, the shepherds represented

the prophets of old who prophesied of the coming of the

Christ.  They also represented the prophet and prophetess

who sat at the temple of God in Jerusalem when Jesus was

brought there as a babe and they identified baby Jesus as

the Christ.  They likewise represented John The Baptist,

who, at the baptism of Jesus, identified Jesus as "the Lamb

of God that taketh away the sin of the world." John the

Baptist also identified Him as "the Son of God."  The

shepherds also represented eleven of the twelve apostles who

preached to Israel that Jesus is the Christ of God whom the

prophets had promised.


I.  Jesus proclaimed that He is The Good Shepherd.


      In earlier verses Jesus said that He is represented in

the parable by the Door of the sheepfold.  That is, He is

the Door which leads to heaven.  When one trusts in Jesus to

be his Savior, that is like entering the door that leads to

heaven.  But in addition to being the Door, in this text

Jesus proclaims Himself to be The Good Shepherd.  V.  11, "I

am the good shepherd..." But notice that He did not say, "I

am a shepherd."  Rather He said, "I am the Shepherd."  He

said, "I am The Good Shepherd.

      You will recall that in the parable there is more than

one shepherd.  All of the shepherds of the area bring their

sheep into the fold.  There is more than one shepherd, but

there is One Shepherd who stands out over and above all the

others.  Of all the shepherds that God has ever sent to the

human race, this Shepherd is the greatest of them all.

There is none other like Him.

      Other shepherds could tend the sheep, but He is the One

who created the sheep.  He created the green grass.  He

created the pastures.  He created the whole world.

      He is the Good Shepherd.  He is good in every sense of

the word.  He is good in the sense of being sinless.  He

lived about 33 years in this world and yet without sin.  He

lived 33 years in human flesh and yet without sin.  No other

shepherd who ever lived was without sin.  No other spiritual

leader lived without sin.  No other human being ever lived

without sin.

      He is good in the sense of being tender and kind and

compassionate.  The hundreds and perhaps thousands of people

whom He healed from all manner of diseases show Him to be

kind and compassionate.

      He is good in the sense of being generous.  He came to

the world to give life.  He came to give eternal life.  He

came to give life more abundantly.  He had come to give the

more abundant life even here on this side of the grave.

      (V. 11), "...the good shepherd giveth his life for the

sheep."  He had come to give Himself as a sacrifice for the

sins of the world.  He had come to give Himself to die on

the cross of Calvary so that lost sinners could be saved and

have everlasting life.


II.  Jesus contrasts Himself to a hireling shepherd


      I repeat:  No other shepherd was ever like this

Shepherd.  Even in the natural realm, the shepherd who had

been hired was not like the shepherd who owned the sheep.

The shepherd who had been hired would flee for his life when

his life was threatened.  But the shepherd who owned the

sheep would risk his life for the sheep.  He was willing, if

necessary to give his life for his sheep, not for what he

could get out of the sheep, but because he loved the sheep.

Jesus mentioned this in His explanation of the parable.  V.

12, "But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose

own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth

the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and

scattereth the sheep."  Even so, Jesus had come to this

world to give His life in order that men might be saved.

      V. 13, "The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling,

and careth not for the sheep."  Jesus cares for His sheep.

He cares even for the lost sheep.  He loves them.  The

Scripture says, "Greater love hath no man than that a man

lay down his life for a friend."  That is the kind of love

that Jesus has for every man, woman, boy and girl.


III.  The close bond between Jesus and His sheep


      V. 14, "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep..."

Back in verse 3 as Jesus was giving the parable, you will

remember that He said that the shepherd calls his sheep by

name.  He knows them all by name and he calls them all by


      That is the kind of Shepherd that Jesus is.  He knows

each one personally.  He knows each one by name.  He knows

everything he ever does and everything he ever says.  He

knows his every thought.  He knows his likes and dislikes.

He knows his faults and failures.  He knows his every need.

He knows every detail.  He knows every hair of his head.

      (V. 14), "...and am known of mine."  He makes Himself

known to His sheep.  They can go to the Bible and read about

Him.   They may have never seen His face as of yet, but they

know Him well through the pages of God's word.  They can

speak to Him.  They can talk to Him in prayer whenever they

wish day or night.  They can know Him well.


IV.  The close bond between Jesus and God The Father


      Not only does Jesus know His sheep and they know Him,

but this is one Shepherd who has an intimate acquaintance

with God the Father in heaven.  V. 15, "As the Father

knoweth me, even so know I the Father..."  He can speak to

God the Father in Heaven on a personal acquaintance basis on

behalf of His sheep.  And He does.  Jesus loves His people

and prays for His people that God the Father may grant them

His special care and special blessings.  If you want an

example of Jesus praying for His sheep then later on read

the 17th chapter of John.  Jesus will not put in a good word

for you with the President of the United States, but He will

put in a good word for you with God the Father in heaven.

      You will see that just as Jesus prayed for the apostles

and other disciples who followed Him in that day, even so He

prays for all His people today.  He knows God the Father

well and He talks to the Father constantly about His sheep.

He is the Mediator between God and man.  He constantly makes

intercession for His sheep.


V.  Jesus laying down His life for His sheep


      In the later part of verse 15 Jesus gets right back to

the sacrifice that He would make on the cross of Calvary

that men might be saved.  (V. 15), "...and I lay down my

life for the sheep."  Jesus suffered the kind of death that

no other human being has ever suffered.  Oh, its true that

other men have been crucified.  Two other men were crucified

at the same time that Jesus was crucified.  But other men

suffered for their own guilt of sin.  Jesus suffered and

bled and died for our sins.  He died on the cross of Calvary

so that everyone who believes in Him and trusts in Him for

the salvation of the soul will be saved and will not have to

suffer for his sins in eternity.  One great hymn says,

"Jesus paid it all.  All to Him I owe.  Sin had left a

crimson stain.  He washed it white as snow."


VI.  Other sheep not yet in the fold


      V. 16, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this

fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice;

and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."  Jesus was

talking about the many people who were not yet saved whom He

knew would respond to the gospel message and be saved.  He

was particularly talking about the Gentile races of people.

The disciples at that time did not yet know that Jesus

wanted all of the world to be saved.

      They should have.  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."  Jesus, Himself, told them that God loved all the

world.  Jesus, Himself, told them that God sent Him to die

for all the world.  Jesus, Himself, told them that

"whosoever will" may come to Him and be saved.  In giving

His church the Great Commission, He instructed them to go to

all the world and preach the gospel so that all the world

might be saved.  So they should have understood even then

that God loved the Gentile races of people and wanted the

Gentiles to be saved.  Right here in this very verse which

we have just read, Jesus told all that crowd of people that

He wanted people who were not in His present fold to be

saved and to be brought into the fold.

      He was talking about Gentiles.  Let me tell you that I

am most grateful that He loves Gentiles and wants Gentiles

to be saved because I am a Gentile.  This whole congregation

is made up of Gentiles.  I am most happy that Jesus wants

Gentiles to hear the gospel message and be saved.


VII.  The special love which God the Father has for Jesus


      In verse 17 Jesus said that one of the reasons that God

the Father has such a special love for Him is because He was

willing to lay down His life in order that we might be

saved.  Please do not misunderstand.  God the Father would

have loved Jesus whether or not He was willing to die for

us.  But God the Father loves Him all the more because He

was willing to die for us.  God the Father loves us and

wants us to be saved and the willingness of Jesus to die for

us causes Him to love Jesus all the more.  V. 17, "Therefore

doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life..."

      Let me tell you something.  That is also the reason that

I love Jesus the way that I do.  I love Him because He first

loved me and gave Himself to die for me.  I know that He

would have been worthy of my love even if He had never died

for me, but I strongly suspect that I never would have

learned to love Him if He had not died for me.

      Yet there is another good reason why God the Father

loves Him.  "...that I might take it again."  God is so very

happy that Jesus arose from the grave.  He most certainly

did not want His Son, His Only Begotten Son, to spend

eternity in defeat.  He is most pleased that Jesus would be

victorious over the grave and come forth from the grave.

      God knew in advance that Jesus would arise from the

grave.  There was never any doubt about it in His mind.  He

knew for certain that Jesus could arise from the grave.


VIII.  More about the willingness of Jesus to die for us


      Now I want you to see once more the willingness of the

Lord to die for us.  V. 18, "No man taketh it from me, but I

lay it down of myself..."  Jesus informed this great crowd

of people including His disciples that He would die.  He

would die at the hands of men.  He would be crucified at the

hands of men.  But no man could take His life from Him

against His will.  He, as the Good Shepherd, would lay down

His life for the sheep.   He would allow men to crucify Him.

He would allow men to beat Him with the whip.  He would

allow them to drive the nails into His hands and feet.  He

would allow man to pierce His brow with the crown of thorns.

      Yet even after He allowed them to crucify Him, they

still could not take His life.  He had to dismiss His own

Spirit from His earthly body and give up the ghost.  In

every sense of the word, Jesus lay down His life for us.


IX.  His power to take up His life again


      (V. 18), "...I have power to lay it down, and I have

power to take it again.  This commandment have I received of

my Father."  No man had the power to take His life, but He

had the power to both lay it down and also to take it up

again.  And it was all within the will of God the Father.

God the Father had discussed this with Him before the

foundation of the world and God the Son had agreed to do it

before the foundation of the world.  Therefore, God had

given the instructions that He would both lay His life down

and take it up again.  These words of Jesus were spoken

about six months before He was crucified.

      It is His power to take up His own life again that

should assure us that He is able to save us and take us to

heaven.  If He had failed to come forth from the grave then

we would have reason to doubt that He can raise us from the

grave.  But since He came forth from the grave, we should

know that He is able to raise us also from the grave.




      Listen, I want to appeal to every person within the

sound of my voice who has never trusted in Jesus for

salvation to do so this morning.  I want to give you several

good reasons for doing so.

      #1:  You must trust Jesus to save your soul or you will

never make it to heaven.

      #2:  You must trust Jesus to save your soul or you will

be cast into The Lake of Fire and Brimstone.

      #3:  You must trust Jesus to save your soul while there

is time to do so because you have only a limited time in

which to be saved.

      #4:  You must trust Jesus to save you soul while there

is time because you will forever regret it if you don't.

      #5:  Jesus loves you and wants you to be saved and it

would be a shame for you to disappoint Jesus by passing up

the opportunity to be saved.

      #6:  Jesus suffered and bled and died in order to

provide a way for you to be saved.  It would be a shame for

Him to die for you and give you an opportunity to be saved

and for you to wind up in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone

because you neglected to trust Him as your Savior.

      #7:  If you could talk to those who have already died

and gone on to the other side and ask their advice, they

would all advise you to trust Jesus right now and get saved.