10:7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am [Jesus controls access to the sheepfold] the gate [or “‘door”; the access to the place of safety (eternal security); Jesus is the gate or avenue to salvation] for the sheep.
10:8 All [specifically those who falsely claimed to speak for God; included messianic pretenders (cf. Acts 5:37); likely included prominent religious leaders who were not concerned about the welfare of the people] who ever came before me were thieves [use trickery and deception] and robbers [often use violence; “thieves and robbers” are those without a legitimate claim of ownership], but the sheep did not listen to them.
10:9 I [Jesus alone is the entrance] am the gate [cf. Jn. 14:6]; whoever enters through me [cf. Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5] will be saved [there is safety and security in Christ]. He will come in [safety in the sheepfold] and go out [nourishment out in the pastures], and find pasture [essential for the life and health of the sheep].
10:10 The thief [false shepherds; any person who hinders others from knowing Jesus] comes only to steal and kill and destroy [these actions show a disregard for the sheep and for the owner of the sheep; these actions threaten security of flock]; I [in contrast to the thief] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full [beyond what is necessary; a surplus].
Note: Who do you think are some of the thieves and robbers who come today to kill, steal, and destroy?
10:11 “I am the [note use of definite article: only Jesus can make such a claim] good [excellent, virtuous, competent, noble, praiseworthy; good in contrast to worthless shepherds who abandon flock (Zech. 11:17)] shepherd [indicates Jesus’ care for believers]. The good shepherd lays down [suggests a voluntary and sacrificial death] his life [implies great value shepherd places on sheep] for [for the benefit or sake of] the sheep.
10:12 The hired hand [paid laborer; has no vested interest in the sheep; does not have same level of commitment as owner of sheep] is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf [could signify anything that threatens God’s people] coming, he abandons [leaves the sheep in a defenseless and vulnerable position; indicates lack of care for welfare of sheep] the sheep and runs away [not willing to risk life or limb]. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
10:13 The man runs away [lack of allegiance reflected in action] because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
10:14 “I am the good [totally different from uncaring hirelings] shepherd; I know [implies more than intellectual or factual knowledge; denotes loving, caring, and trusting relationship; Jesus knows us intimately] my sheep and my sheep know me–
10:15 just as [note close relationship between Father and Son] the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.
10:16 I have other sheep [among the Gentiles] that are not of this [refers to Jewish believers] sheep pen. I must bring [or “lead”] them also. They [Gentile believers] too will listen [this is what identifies the sheep as His] to my voice, and there shall be one flock [a flock that previously did not exist; cf. Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:14] and one shepherd [Jesus].
Note: All people deserve an opportunity to hear the gospel. Today, over 2,000 people groups in the 10/40 Window are still waiting to hear the gospel. The 10/40 Window is a rectangular shaped area located 10 to 40 degrees north of the equator stretching from North Africa all the way to East Asia.
10:17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life [expresses Jesus’ obedience to the Father and great love for humanity]–only to take it up again [reference to the resurrection].
10:18 No one takes it from me [Jesus could have easily frustrated the plans of those who executed Him (cf. Matt. 26:53)], but I lay it down of my own accord [stresses voluntary nature of Jesus’ death]. I have authority [power] to lay it down and authority [power] to take it up again. This command [charge or commission; involved both Jesus’ death and resurrection] I received from my Father.”
10:19 At these words the Jews were again divided.
10:20 Many [the unbelieving Jews] of them said, “He is demon-possessed [cf. Jn. 7:20; 8:48] and raving mad [common belief that insanity and demon-possession were linked]. Why listen to him?”
10:21 But others [those impressed with Jesus’ words and miracles] said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
10:22 Then came the Feast of Dedication [known today as Hanukkah; commemorated the cleansing of the temple in 164 BC on the 25th day of the month of Kislev (roughly equivalent to our month of December); sometimes referred to as the Feast of Lights; a patriotic and religious celebration] at Jerusalem. It was winter,
10:23 and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade [a covered portico or walkway near the gate called Beautiful (cf. Acts 3:2) located on the east side of the temple].
10:24 The Jews [likely refers to the religious leaders rather than the common people] gathered around [encircled or cornered] him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ [Gr. equivalent of the Heb. word for Messiah], tell us plainly [Jesus’ enemies were looking for an occasion to accuse Him of blasphemy].”
10:25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you [refers to Jesus’ teachings; Jesus’ teachings and miracles provided sufficient proof of His identity], but you do not believe [they failed to comprehend the meaning of His teachings; they did not want to believe]. The miracles [should have been sufficient to cause them to understand that He was indeed the Messiah] I do in my Father’s name speak for me,
10:26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.
10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know [implies more than intellectual knowledge; denotes loving and caring relationship] them, and they follow [continual action] me.
Note: How do you go about listening for your Shepherd’s voice every day so you can follow His lead?
10:28 I [Jesus alone is the source of eternal life] give them eternal life, and [eternal life expressed from a negative standpoint…] they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand [secure and protected by Jesus’ power].
10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one [no power, no person, no organization, no thing] can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
Note: On what or whom do you rely to “keep you saved”?
10:30 I [“I alone”] and the Father are one [a claim of equality with God; a claim of deity; cf. Jn. 1:1; both are distinct persons in the Trinity yet identical in will and purpose (cf. Jn. 5:19-23)].”