John 10:1-10 Abundant Life

by | May 21, 2024 | John, New Testament

I. True & False Shepherds

A. The Sheep Pen

1. One form of sheep pen was a walled enclosure made of stone, with no roof.
2. In town, several flocks might be mixed together in one pen, and the pen was guarded by the doorkeeper. There was a physical door, and only the doorkeeper had the key.
3. Sheep pens in the wilderness were different. They were stone walled enclosures, but didn’t have doors. They had openings, and the shepherd would lie down in the opening and sleep there. If they sheep tried to escape, or animals or robbers threatened the sheep, they had to go through the shepherd who acted as the door.

B. Jesus, The True Shepherd

1. Vs. 2, 3 Jesus presented Himself as the true shepherd of the people of God, and at that time, the nation of Israel. The doorkeeper would have represented God the father, who recognized the legitimacy of Jesus as being the True Shepherd to the people.
2. V. 3 The sheep were well known by the shepherd, and he called them by name.

a. They recognized His voice. There is a close relationship between them.
b. They are willingly led by Him, not driven by force. They respond to His call.
c. The sheep of God are given a heavenly ability to discern the True Shepherd’s voice.

3. V. 4 The true shepherd(s) go out in front. They lead. They don’t follow.
4. V. 7 Jesus is the door into the flock of God.

a. Ephesians 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

C. The False Shepherds

1. Vs. 1, 8 There are those that pose as shepherds, but they are not recognized by God.

a. They seek to gain access to God’s people, but do not have God’s approval.
b. Such was the case with the Pharisees; the same is true of many today.
c. They are thieves and robbers. They are only interested in personal gain.

2. V. 3 They do not lead the sheep, they drive the sheep.

a. The sheep do not hear the voice of Jesus in these people, and may allow themselves to be driven by force and intimidation instead of led by love.
b. They do not know the sheep, nor care for the sheep. They use the sheep.

3. V. 10 False unauthorized religious leaders then and now harm the people of God.

a. Ultimately, Satan is the force behind that kind of religious damage.
b. 1 Peter 5:8, 9a Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith…

II. The Sheep & Their Blessings

A. The Sheep

1. V. 3 The sheep of God are given the ability to recognize the voice of Jesus. Privilege!
2. V. 4 Because they know His voice they can follow Him. They are given discernment.
3. V. 5 They can also discern an imposter, if they are listening carefully. Pay attention!

a. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15a 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness.

4. We may worry about people not following Jesus. His sheep hear His voice & follow Him.

a. If God uses us to be His mouthpiece, we must be careful that people don’t hear our voice instead of His. We may speak in His name, but deliver our message & not His.
b. Conversely, we ought to be confident that if we are speaking His message, that His sheep will absolutely hear His voice, though God may use us.
c. As a pastor, when people leave this church, if I have been speaking with “Jesus’ voice”, and His sheep have grown accustomed to His voice, I can be confident that they will seek to hear His voice somewhere else.

B. The Blessings From Jesus, The True Shepherd

1. V. 7 Ephesians 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

a. See John 14:6 Jesus is the only way of access for man to be in relationship with God

2. V. 9 Under the shepherd’s care, the sheep could go in and out of the sheep pen.

a. When threatened, they could find refuge and safety, knowing that that she shepherd was the door. Whatever endangered them would have to go through the Shepherd.
b. When it was safe, the sheep could go out and be nourished. The shepherd would lead them to good pastures. They were led to places of enrichment. They were not left to their own resources.
c. William Barclay- Jesus uses a well-known Hebrew phrase. He says that through him we can go in and come out. To be able to come and go unmolested was the Jewish way of describing a life that is absolutely secure and safe. When a man can go in and out without fear, it means that his country is at peace, that the forces of law and order are supreme, and that he enjoys perfect security. Once a man discovers, through Jesus Christ, what God is like, a new sense of safety and of security enters into life. If life is known to be in the hands of a God like that, the worries and the fears are gone.

3. V. 10 Jesus came not to maintain existence, but to give abundant life.

a. Abundant- Over and above, more than is necessary, superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon, more excellent, more remarkable.
b. Psalm 23 is an example and description of the abundant life in God.

4. Why do some people not experience the abundant life?

a. The Lord is not their Shepherd. Either they are not followers of Jesus, or they have a relationship with Jesus, but are not following Him carefully or closely.
b. Some believe that following Jesus is restrictive, and they don’t want to miss out on life. They think that having Jesus as their shepherd will destroy the joy of life.
c. Some may think that they have heard the Shepherd’s voice, but they have heard false shepherds speaking in Jesus’ name.
d. They need to experience Jesus for themselves, not through a false shepherd