John 10:11-21 The Good Shepherd & The Hirelings

by | May 21, 2024 | John, New Testament

I. Shepherds & Hirelings: A Comparison

A. The Idea Of Shepherds As Religious Leaders

1. Remember that Jesus is speaking to the religious leaders of Israel.

a. They were supposed to be shepherding (feeding and caring for) the people of God.
b. By way of contrast, Jesus is showing them that they are only hirelings.

2. The idea of a shepherd being a spiritual overseer was a well-known idiom to the rulers.
3. The Old Testament described God as the Shepherd over Israel.

a. Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
b. Isaiah 40:11 He (God) will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.

4. David was an example of a good shepherd
1 Samuel 17:34-36 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”
5. God had previously reprimanded the failure of the spiritual leaders of the nation
Ezekiel 34:1-6 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”

a. God disapproves of ungodly spiritual leaders. He did then, and He does now.

B. Hirelings Vs. 12, 13

1. Israel had had many false prophets and false Messiahs at this time.
2. In these days, there are false shepherds who constantly ask for money, who demand unquestioning allegiance, who manipulate and control people and families, who pretend to do miracles and intimidate people into making false claims of healings.
3. 1 Peter 5:2, 3 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock… (Christ like example)

C. The Uniqueness Of Jesus, The Good Shepherd

1. V. 11 Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gave His life for His sheep. Why was that necessary?

a. Galatians 1:4  who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…

b. Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
c. Hebrews 9:13, 14 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

2. V. 14 The Good Shepherd knows His sheep and is known by them.

a. 2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

3. V. 15 For Jesus to know the Father “as” the Father knew Him indicates the highest level of communion and oneness. It is a claim of absolute authority and oneness with God.

a. I lay down my life- The death of Jesus was completely voluntary. He was no victim.
b. For the sheep- for the benefit of the sheep, because of love for the sheep.

4. V. 16 The Good Shepherd (and His church) holds no racial or cultural prejudices

a. Jesus alluded that the Gentiles that would be included in the Church.
b. The Church of Jesus Christ has no national, racial, or ethnic divides. (Shouldn’t)
c. The Jewish leaders of that day hated the Gentiles, and were quick to reject people.
d. It was unimaginable to the Jews that God would accept Gentiles into the Church.
e. We must be open and unbiased about who God might bring to Himself & this church.
f. Acts 10:28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

5. Vs. 17, 18 The “Unique” love that the Father had for Jesus, the Good Shepherd

a. Hirelings have personal agendas.
b. They know some things about sheep, but they don’t have the heart of a shepherd.
c. There are people that look like shepherds, but the greatest test is their love for the sheep and their willingness to lay down their lives for the sheep.
d. Hirelings might make some sacrifices, but not because of their love for the Father.
e. Within Christendom, there are people that know things about sheep, but they don’t have pastor’s hearts. Their ministry has no involvement with pastoring, but only teaching or advising from a distance.
f. Jesus was the consummate Shepherd. The Father had a special love for Jesus

II. The Disagreement Vs. 19-21

A. Disagreements In General

1. We shouldn’t take it personally if someone disagrees with us about Jesus.

B. What About Disagreements Regarding Jesus?

1. Don’t be surprised that people reject Jesus in the face of overwhelming evidence.
2. V. 20 If you follow Jesus, don’t be surprised to be challenged about following Him.
3. Like the people in V. 21, simply present the facts about Jesus and then reason with people
4. Some of these people were starting to believe in Jesus, but they had been taught by hirelings their while life. They are getting de-programmed. That can be messy.
5. The people that went on to believe in the evidence considered what they heard and saw.
6. Someday, this agreement will be settled forever. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Life Group Questions

1. Go around the room and introduce yourself.
2. How long have you been at Cornerstone?
3. What was the thing that stood out to you the most from Sunday’s Bible study?
4. What was the most challenging thing you got from Sunday’s Bible Study?