John 10.2-14 – The Good Shepherd & his sheep
Posted: 9 August 2010 in John

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers….. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture….. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 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….. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

In this parable the sheep obviously represent the disciples of Jesus, and one of the interesting things about the parable is the reason given for Jesus’ sheep following him – namely that they recognise his voice. Other sheep, which are not his, do not recognise his voice, and do not come to him. So how does it come to pass that Jesus possesses these sheep, who can recognise his voice? The answer to that question is given in John 10.29, where it is said that they are given to him by the Father.

“My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

In other words they were pre-existing, and the way in which people respond to Jesus reveals whether they are amongst those given him or not. The mission of Jesus is a two edge sword. It reveals those who are amongst his sheep, and, coming to him, are saved, whereas those not chosen for salvation refuse to come, and are condemned:

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3.18)

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