“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.“ John 10:27-28
Jesus is our Good Shepherd.
In the verses preceding John 10:27-28, Jesus with a parable, explains one who doesn’t enter by the door into the sheep fold is a thief and a robber. But one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out of the corral and they follow him for they know his voice. His sheep will not follow a stranger, for they don’t know the voice of strangers.
1 Most certainly, I tell you, one who doesn’t enter by the door into the sheep fold, but climbs up some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 But one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don’t know the voice of strangers.” 6 Yeshua spoke this parable to them, but they didn’t understand what he was telling them. John 10:1-6
So, Jesus identifies himself as the sheep’s door and the way of salvation.
7 Yeshua therefore said to them again, “Most certainly, I tell you, I am the sheep’s door. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out and will find pasture. 10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. John 10:7-10
Now, Jesus identifies himself as the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who doesn’t own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and flees. The wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand and doesn’t care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I’m known by my own; 15 even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father. John 10:11-17
Jesus identifies the gatekeeper he spoke of in John 10:3 as John the baptist.
2Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
7As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is he of whom it is written,
“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’ Micah 2:13
11Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. 13For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 14and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:2-15 ESV (Mt 3:1-2; 11-12; Mk 1:4-7; Lk 3:15-17)
Micah 2:13 further identifies John the baptist: “He who breaks open the way goes up before them.They break through the gate, and go out.”
In view of that, Matthew 11:12 should read: “that since the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing and forceful men lay hold of it”. Bob Dodson posted on the web in 2010.
We hear our shepherds voice by the Spirit for we are born of the Spirit.
By the Spirit, we see and enter God’s kingdom and believe in Jesus as he explained in John 3:3-7; 16-18 and Paul explained in Romans 8:9-11.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Messiah, he is not his. 10 If Messiah is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him who raised up Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:9-11 (Col 1:13-14; 1 Cor 15:20-28; Heb 10:10).
Scripture quoted is from the World Messianic Bible unless otherwise noted.