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. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
The Doctrine of Discipleship: This section seems to be dealing with a child of God following Jesus (sheep/shepherd). Though, some believe it to be teaching on salvation or on ecclesiology. There were saints alive when Jesus was beginning His ministry and those true ‘sheep’ would hear the “Shepherd’s” voice and recognize it being from God and would follow Him. There were many false teachers before Christ, ‘strangers’, and the true sheep (truly born again) would not follow them, but rather they would flee from him. Thus, true Christians today should be noted for not following false teachers, but, rather, following the truth. Those that say they are saved, but are not, will easily follow these false shepherds…they don’t Jesus’ voice (via Holy Spirit).
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 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. 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. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 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. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
The Doctrine of the Pastor: There are a lot of ‘thieves’ and ‘hirelings’ that are serving as pastors, these days. They don’t care about sheep; they care about getting good things for themselves, at the expense of the sheep (church). They ‘steal’ by getting a fairly good wage for working about 2 hours on Sunday and maybe 1 or 2 hours during the week (hospital visits); and, in return, don’t give much of anything (spiritually). They are so flesh-centered that they are spiritually hurting (killing) the sheep, and many will stop going to church, and many times the church is destroyed. The hireling doesn’t really take ‘responsibility’ or ‘care’ of the church folk that he has been ‘hired’ to ‘pastor’. It’s just a job; he signs a contract for 2 to 3 years; if the sheep like him, then maybe they will extend his contract. They are just ‘working a job’. When trouble comes (wolf) then they flee and go find greener pastures (an open pulpit).
A good pastor (shepherd) will give his life for the sheep. A pastor needs to care deeply for the flock that he is overseeing.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 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. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 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.
The Doctrine of Churches: I assume that verse 16 is speaking of other churches that He would be the “Head” of in the future; initially it was just that church (fold) in Jerusalem. The ‘one fold’ would be once in Heaven; the ‘Church of the Firstborn’; the Bridal Church.
The Doctrine of the Crucifixion: Jesus layed own His life for the sheep; this was an act of His own volition. No-one murdered Jesus; He allowed them to kill Him; He was in control all the time; He had the power to lay it down, and to take it up again (resurrection).
19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. 20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? 21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? 22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
The Doctrine of Blasphemy: The worst of all blasphemies is to accuse Jesus Christ of having been devil possessed.
The Doctrine of the Deity of Christ: Apparently, Jesus Christ had told these unbelieving Jews very plainly that He was indeed the Christ, but they would not believe Him. By His statements in verse 25 it appears that He was essentially stating that He was indeed the Christ.
The Doctrine of Salvation: ‘Ye are not of my sheep’ (v. 26) seems to speak of ‘electionism’; but is it? “But ye will not hear: my sheep follow me; but ye will neither follow nor acknowledge me. Any person who reads without prejudice may easily see, that our Lord does not at all insinuate that these persons could not believe because God had made it impossible to them, but simply because they did not hear and follow Christ, which the whole of our blessed Lord’s discourse proves that they might have done. The sheep of Christ are not those who are included in any eternal decree, to the exclusion of others from the yearnings of the bowels of eternal mercy; but they are those who hear, believe in, follow, and obey the Saviour of the world.” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
Those that ‘hear His voice’ and ‘follow Him’ are His sheep (disciples of Christ, truly saved) and thus are given ‘eternal life’.
The Doctrine of Eternal Security: Those that become ‘sheep’, a child of God, one who follows God, are given eternal life and shall never perish. No human can take this eternal life away, no, not even the person themselves (i.e. thru unbelief or gross sin). Some might say here, though, that you must continue being Christ’s disciple in order to have the eternal life… Remember, that all the disciples fled when they came for Jesus in the Garden; did they all then lose eternal life?!…. I trow not.
30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. 39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,
The Doctrine of the Deity of Christ: The statement ‘I and my Father are one’ was understood by those unbelieving Jewish leaders as Him saying that He (Jesus) was God (v.33) (Son of God, v.36). The ‘works’ which Jesus had done proved that He was not only from God, but that He was God (v.38). “Ye are gods” (Ps 82:6) is referring to men being made in the image of God (D. Cloud). We are ‘sons of God’. We are little Christs (Christians). We have the Holy Spirit, God Himself, dwelling within us.
The Doctrine of Blasphemy: To the Jews it was blasphemy for someone to call anyone else God except the Father; the punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning.
40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. 41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. 42 And many believed on him there.