John - Lesson 17 - John Chapter 10:1-21


Memory verse for this week: Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;.

Introduction: Last week we saw Jesus give sight to a blind man. You would have thought those Pharisees, the leading religious group, would have been rejoicing to see a man blind from birth receive his sight. But because it was done on the sabbath, all they did was find fault. But Jesus taught that it was lawful to do good on everyday, including the sabbath. When they brought the blind man in and said Jesus was a great sinner, and asked them who healed his eyes, his response was great. John 9:24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.

John 9:25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. This man knew that Jesus was the one who healed him. We who know Jesus as Savior now have spiritual eyesight and are no longer blind to the tricks of Satn.


  1. Christ the Good Shepherd, the Door of the Sheep

    John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

    John 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

    John 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

    The important thing in these first three verses is to understand that Jesus came to lead the Jews out of Judaism, and they refused to hear him. The porter that openeth has a two fold meaning. The first being John the Baptist who came proclaiming that Jesus was the Messiah sent from God. The second, larger meaning of the porter that openeth is the Holy Ghost No one will be saved unless the Holy Spirit opens his or her eye of understanding and draws them to God. Christ is clearly the door of the sheep. Many want to come to God on their own terms or come a different way than the way God set up for salvation. But if we don’t come through Jesus, we will never enter heaven. It says that anyone who tries to come up another way is a thief and a robber.

    Jesus first entered into heaven, and we now come to God through him. He is the true door.

    Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

    Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

    Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

    Heb 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

    Heb 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

    Heb 10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

    Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

    Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

    1 Pet 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.


II.  The Leader of the Sheep 

John 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

John 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

J. Vernon McGee said that when he was in Bethlehem, he spent some time looking over a sheepfold. A sheepfold is an enclosure where shepherds put their sheep for the night. The porter has charge of it. Then the shepherd spends the night in his own bed. When he comes to the sheepfold in the morning, his sheep are all mixed up with somebody else’s sheep—there are no brands or markings on sheep. How does he get the sheep that are his? He calls them by name. The sheep don’t know their name, but they know the shepherd’s voice. Same is with us. We who know Christ are kept by the porter, the Spirit of God. If the porter opens, the sheep hear.

We see that Jesus is the door way to heaven to His sheep, and that his own sheep follow Him. We that know Christ as Savior are led by the Holy Spirit of God who has come inside and dwells inside the believer. We are temples of the Holy Ghost today. And when we are spoken to by the Lord, it may be a quiet inner voice, but God talks to us. And He, Jesus, will lead us to go wherever he beckons. You can watch even a normal herd of sheep, and when the shepherd, the master of the sheep calls, they will come to that one voice. Even raising cattle on the farm taught me how the animals come to know their masters voice. If my dad was sick, or for some reason the feeding of the cattle fell to me in the winter time, I had a very difficult time getting the cows and calves to come to my voice. But if they were hungry enough, they normally would eventually come. The scripture says in verse 5 that the Christians will not follow the voice of a stranger. Are you following that inner voice, the leadership of the Holy Spirit today? Or has Satan blinded your eyes and you follow that false voice and do the works of the deceiver. God help us to be spirit led people. Notice that the true shepherd does not drive the flock, but walks before them and leads them. If God is not leading in our lives, we are getting ahead of God. But if we will go slowly, at God’s speed, He will direct our every path.

Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

John 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

John 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Jesus was the true door. In Isaiah 11 it said that He was a rod out of the stem of Jesse. By the time Jesus came, the royal line of David had dropped back to the level of the peasant. There was no more royalty. Jesse had been a farmer down in Bethlehem. He raised sheep for a living. His son, David, had the anointing oil poured on him, and that line became the kingly line. But when the Lord Jesus was born, He was just a branch out of the stem of Jesse, the peasant. Jesus came as a servant, a humble carpenter in a carpenter’s robe. How accurately the prophecy was fulfilled.

When we are walking in God’s Will, we are being led by Jesus. God is clear that only those who come in by the door, and Jesus is that door, will be saved and go in and out and find pasture. God wants us to have a full and complete life. He will provide for us if we will look to him.

Psa 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

III. Christ is the Safety of the Sheep

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

John 10:12 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.

John 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

Who is the thief? It is Satan. He doesn’t want us to experience all the blessings of God that He has in store for those who love Him. Jesus said that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came as the Great Shepherd to love and restore. He says he came to give us life, and to have it more abundantly. I was reading one of John Wesley’s sermons last week, and he said each of us can choose which life we want in the Lord. We can go the low road, and only know Jesus as Savior and never experience the abundant life that only He can give. Sure, we may know Him as Savior, but if you never read the Word, you don’t grow in the Word, you become spiritually a dwarf. But if you’ll go the high road in Wesley’s term, you can experience a life that is full and abundant. What a great blessing to not have just salvation, but a life overflowing with blessings down here. And that all begins by submission to God’s Will, and giving of ourselves. Not just our money, but our time and our talents. God can take a little and make it go a long, long way.

Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Jesus is the Good shepherd. He knows the true sheep, and the true Christians know Him.

So what have we learned so far in these verses. Let’s review.

  1. "Door into the sheepfold" in verse 1. The sheepfold is the nation of Israel Jesus came to lead His sheep out of Judaism, out from the legalistic system. (But they would not hear)
  2. "Door of the sheep" in verse 7. Jesus is the Door for those coming out of Judaism and to all who will come to God for salvation.
  3. "The Door" in verse 9. Jesus Christ is the Door for both Jew and Gentile. He is the Door of salvation. Freedom to go in and out and find pasture is the liberty of the sons of God in Christ Jesus.
  4. Jesus is the Good Shepherd.


IV.  Jesus Lays Down His Life for the Sheep

John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

This verse speaks of the deity of Jesus. Both He and God and the Holy Spirit make up the trinity, the perfect God-Head. But they are distinct in name and part. But the three always have the same mindset. Like God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost have all the same mind of God, we as Christians are commanded to be like-minded, and that is to have the mind of Christ. Christ was separate in that he was the one who came in the flesh and gave his life a sacrifice for our sins.

Matthew Henry had this to say about verse 15. "I lay down my life for the sheep" Jesus declares his purpose of dying for his flock. He not only ventured his life for them (in such a case, the hope of saving it might balance the fear of losing it), but he actually deposited it, and submitted to a necessity of dying for our redemption; I put it as a pawn or pledge; as purchase-money paid down. Sheep appointed for the slaughter, ready to be sacrificed, were ransomed with the blood of the shepherd. He laid down his life, not only for the good of the sheep, but in their stead. Thousands of sheep had been offered in sacrifice for their shepherds, as sin-offerings, but here, by a surprising reverse, the shepherd is sacrificed for the sheep. When David, the shepherd of Israel, was himself guilty, and the destroying angel drew his sword against the flock for his sake, with good reason did he plead, "These sheep, what evil have they done? Let they hand be against me. But the Son of David was sinless and spotless; and his sheep, what evil have the not done? Yet he saith, "Let thine hand be against me." What love Jesus showed to you and me.

John 10:16 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.

John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

What other sheep did Jesus have here that he speaks of that are not of this fold? Most likely, according to John Calvin, Jesus spoke of the Gentiles. We know that the vast majority of the Jews rejected Christ as Messiah. We know Jesus came to do the very Will of God, and that Will was for him to live the sinless life, and then come and die on the Cross. Remember what John said when Jesus came on the scene.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

In Revelation, it says he was a lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Our sins did not catch God by surprise. Even before we were created, God the Father and the Son set up the way of salvation for fallen man.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

John 10:19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.

John 10:20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?

John 10:21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

There were many who simply could not believe. But some were wise and asked a good question.

"Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?" I know Satan has great powers to deceive, but I doubt even if he could that he would. He is the ultimate liar and deceiver, and does not want to help anyone, but to bring all who he can to the pit of hell.

2 Cor 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge. The lessons may not be sold without consent. If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.

Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Home Page:


Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will be blessed.