Jesus has a command from his Father (Jn 10:18-10:18)

“No one takes

My life

From me.

But I lay it down

Of my own accord.

I have power

To lay it down.

I have power

To take it up again.

I have received

This command

From my Father.”

οὐδεὶς ἦρεν αὐτὴν ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλ’ ἐγὼ τίθημι αὐτὴν ἀπ’ ἐμαυτοῦ. ἐξουσίαν ἔχω θεῖναι αὐτήν, καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἔχω πάλιν λαβεῖν αὐτήν· ταύτην τὴν ἐντολὴν ἔλαβον παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός μου.

John uniquely told this allegorical story about the good shepherd.  Jesus said that no one could takes his life (οὐδεὶς ἦρεν αὐτὴν) from him (ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  He would lay down his life (ἀλλ’ ἐγὼ τίθημι αὐτὴν) of his own accord or from himself (ἀπ’ ἐμαυτοῦ).  He had the power or authority (ἐξουσίαν ἔχω) to lay it down (θεῖναι αὐτήν).  However, he also had the authority or power (καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἔχω) to take it up again (πάλιν λαβεῖν αὐτήν).  He had received this command (ταύτην τὴν ἐντολὴν ἔλαβον) from his Father (παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός μου).  God, the Father, had given Jesus this command.  Thus, he had the authority or power to lay down his life and to raise it up again.  He had control over his death and resurrection.  No one could make him do or not do this.  He had chosen this of his own accord to follow the will of his Father.  Do you choose to do the will of God?

Jesus will lay down his life (Jn 10:17-10:17)

For this reason,

The Father

Loves me.

I lay down

My life,

In order

To take it up again.”

διὰ τοῦτό με ὁ Πατὴρ ἀγαπᾷ ὅτι ἐγὼ τίθημι τὴν ψυχήν μου, ἵνα πάλιν λάβω αὐτήν.

John uniquely told this allegorical story about the good shepherd.  Jesus continued with his relationship to the Father.  For this reason (διὰ τοῦτό), the Father loved him (ε ὁ Πατὴρ ἀγαπᾷ).  Thus, he was going to lay down (ὅτι ἐγὼ τίθημι) his life (τὴν ψυχήν μου), in order to take it up again (ἵνα πάλιν λάβω αὐτήν).  Once again, Jesus as the Good Shepherd was willing to die for his flock.  Only God controlled life and death.  Jesus was going to give up his human life for the Father, so that he and many others would have eternal life.  Do you expect to live an eternal life?

One flock, one shepherd (Jn 10:16-10:16)

“I have other sheep

That do not belong

To this fold.

I must bring them also.

They will listen

To my voice.

Thus,

There will be one flock,

With one shepherd.”

καὶ ἄλλα πρόβατα ἔχω ἃ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τῆς αὐλῆς ταύτης· κἀκεῖνα δεῖ με ἀγαγεῖν, καὶ τῆς φωνῆς μου ἀκούσουσιν, καὶ γενήσεται μία ποίμνη, εἷς ποιμήν.

John uniquely told this allegorical story about the good shepherd.  Jesus said that he had other sheep (καὶ ἄλλα πρόβατα ἔχω) that did not belong to this sheepfold (ἃ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τῆς αὐλῆς ταύτης).  He had to bring them also (κἀκεῖνα δεῖ με ἀγαγεῖν).  They would listen to his voice (καὶ τῆς φωνῆς μου ἀκούσουσιν).  Thus, there would be one flock (μία ποίμνη) and one shepherd (εἷς ποιμήν).  Now suddenly, there is more than this one flock of sheep.  Most people see this an allusion to these other sheep as the gentiles, the non-Jewish people.  They too would follow Jesus, the good shepherd, because they listened to his voice.  In what sense were these various Christian groups one?  They would not be separate flocks, since Jesus insisted on one flock and one shepherd.  Thus, the various early local Christian communities saw themselves as all unified followers of Jesus, the one shepherd.  They were willing to put aside their personal differences and backgrounds to become the one flock, the one community, the one Church of the one good shepherd.  Structurally, they began to develop around one leader, a local bishop, and what later came to be called the bishop of bishops, one universal leader as the successor of Peter.  Jesus remained the one leader over this one holy universal apostolic church.  However, this spiritual authority was delegated to the human leaders who made up this emerging Church community.  Do you believe in one Christian community church?

The Father knows me (Jn 10:15-10:15)

“Just as the Father

Knows me,

I also know

The Father.

I lay down

My life

For the sheep.”

καθὼς γινώσκει με ὁ Πατὴρ κἀγὼ γινώσκω τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ τὴν ψυχήν μου τίθημι ὑπὲρ τῶν προβάτων.

John uniquely told this allegorical story about the good shepherd.  Jesus extended this comparison of how he and the sheep knew each other to that of the Father and himself, the Son.  Jesus said that just (καθὼς) as the Father (ὁ Πατὴρ) knew him (γινώσκει με), he also knew (κἀγὼ γινώσκω) the Father (τὸν Πατέρα).  Once again, this knowledge was more than a mere intellectual knowledge, it was a true experiential deeply lived personal knowledge.  The unity of the Father and the Son was clear and obvious.  Thus, Jesus was willing to lay down his life (καὶ τὴν ψυχήν μου τίθημι) for the sheep (ὑπὲρ τῶν προβάτων).  This is an obvious allusion to the fact that Jesus would die for his sheep, the newly forming Christian community.  Would you give up your life for anybody?

The good shepherd knows his flock (Jn 10:14-10:14)

“I am

The good shepherd.

I know my own.

My own know me.”

ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλός, καὶ γινώσκω τὰ ἐμὰ καὶ γινώσκουσί με τὰ ἐμά,

John uniquely told this allegorical story about the good shepherd.  Jesus said that he was (ἐγώ εἰμι) the good shepherd (ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλός), using the divine phrase “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι) to show his power and authority.  He knew his own sheep (καὶ γινώσκω τὰ ἐμὰ) and they or his own sheep knew him (καὶ γινώσκουσί με τὰ ἐμά).  This is the famous statement where Jesus explicitly said that he was the good shepherd, without any ambiguity, just as he had said earlier in verse 11.  He knew his sheep and he was known by them, since they really knew each other.  This knowledge was more profound than a mere intellectual knowledge, it was a true experiential deep personal knowledge.  Do you really know anybody in your life?

The hired servant does not care about the sheep (Jn 10:13-10:13)

“The hired hand

Does not care

About the sheep.”

ὅτι μισθωτός ἐστιν καὶ οὐ μέλει αὐτῷ περὶ τῶν προβάτων.

John uniquely told the allegorical story of the good shepherd.  Jesus said that the hired hand (ὅτι μισθωτός ἐστιν) does not care (καὶ οὐ μέλει αὐτῷ) about the sheep (περὶ τῶν προβάτων).  The hired hand has no concern about the flock of sheep.  He is, after all, just a hired servant.  Why should he care?  Are owners the only people who care about things?

The hired shepherd (Jn 10:12-10:12)

“The hired hand,

Is not a shepherd,

Because he does not own

The sheep.

He sees

The wolf coming.

He leaves

The sheep.

He runs away.

The wolf snatches them.

The wolf scatters them.”

ὁ μισθωτὸς καὶ οὐκ ὢν ποιμήν, οὗ οὐκ ἔστιν τὰ πρόβατα ἴδια, θεωρεῖ τὸν λύκον ἐρχόμενον καὶ ἀφίησιν τὰ πρόβατα καὶ φεύγει, — καὶ ὁ λύκος ἁρπάζει αὐτὰ καὶ σκορπίζει·—

John uniquely told this allegorical story of the good shepherd.  Jesus pointed out that the hired hand (ὁ μισθωτὸς) was not a shepherd (καὶ οὐκ ὢν ποιμήν), because he did not own the sheep (οὗ οὐκ ἔστιν τὰ πρόβατα ἴδια).  This word ὁ μισθωτὸς for a hired servant or hired hand was unique to Mark, chapter 1:20, and John here.  When this hired hand saw (θεωρεῖ) a wolf (τὸν λύκον) coming (ἐρχόμενον), he would leave (καὶ ἀφίησιν) the sheep (τὰ πρόβατα).  He would run away (καὶ φεύγει).  Then the wolf (καὶ ὁ λύκος) would snatch (ἁρπάζει αὐτὰ) and scatter (καὶ σκορπίζει) them.  The hired hand was an allusion to the Pharisees and the other Jewish leaders.  The wolf was the symbol of evil spiritual enemies.  This was a swipe at the Jerusalem Jewish leaders as being merely hired hands, not owning the Israelite religious traditions.  They would not protect the Jerusalem Jews from the evils to come upon them.  Are you a hired hand?

The good shepherd (Jn 10:11-10:11)

“I am the good shepherd.

The good shepherd

Lays down his life

For the sheep.”

ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλός. ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλὸς τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ τίθησιν ὑπὲρ τῶν προβάτων·

John uniquely told this allegorical story of the good shepherd.  Here Jesus explicitly said that he was (ἐγώ εἰμι) the good shepherd (ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλός), using the divine phrase “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι) to show his power and authority.  He explained that the good shepherd (ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλὸς) lays down (τίθησιν) his life (τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) for his sheep (ὑπὲρ τῶν προβάτων).  Like Psalm 23, the good shepherd led his flock away from dangers into safe green pastures.  Jesus was willing to die for his flock of sheep.  David, the great Israelite king, was also a shepherd.  Thus, Jesus took the Davidic psalm and transposed it to himself.  Jesus proclaimed that he was the messianic descendant of King David in the end times.  The theme of the good shepherd had strong roots among the early Christians in their various rural settings.  Have you ever met a shepherd?

I come to give life (Jn 10:10-10:10)

“The thief

Comes only

To steal,

To kill,

And to destroy.

I came

That they may have life,

And have it abundantly.”

ὁ κλέπτης οὐκ ἔρχεται εἰ μὴ ἵνα κλέψῃ καὶ θύσῃ καὶ ἀπολέσῃ· ἐγὼ ἦλθον ἵνα ζωὴν ἔχωσιν καὶ περισσὸν ἔχωσιν.

John uniquely told this allegorical story of the good shepherd.  Jesus said that the thief (ὁ κλέπτης) came only (οὐκ ἔρχεται) to steal (εἰ μὴ ἵνα κλέψῃ), kill (καὶ θύσῃ), and destroy (καὶ ἀπολέσῃ).  Jesus came (ἐγὼ ἦλθον) that they might have life (ἵνα ζωὴν ἔχωσιν).  Thus, they might have an abundant eternal life (καὶ περισσὸν ἔχωσιν).  Jesus contrasted the good shepherd with the thief who only came to steal, kill, and destroy.  Jesus, as the good shepherd, was bringing abundant eternal life to his flock.  Do you get your life from Jesus?

I am the gate (Jn 10:9-10:9)

“I am the gate.

Whoever enters

By me,

Will be saved.

They will go in.

They will go out.

They will find pasture.”

ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ θύρα· δι’ ἐμοῦ ἐάν τις εἰσέλθῃ, σωθήσεται, καὶ εἰσελεύσεται καὶ ἐξελεύσεται καὶ νομὴν εὑρήσει.

John uniquely told this allegorical story of the good shepherd.  Jesus said clearly that he was (ἐγώ εἰμι) the gate (ἡ θύρα), using the divine phrase “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι) to show his power and authority.  Everything had to pass through him.  Whoever entered (ἐάν τις εἰσέλθῃ) by Jesus (δι’ ἐμοῦ) would be saved (σωθήσεται).  They would be able to go in (καὶ εἰσελεύσεται) and go out (καὶ ἐξελεύσεται) of the sheepfold.  They would find (εὑρήσει) a good pasture (καὶ νομὴν).  Jesus brought salvation to his flock of sheep.  He was the door or gate, so that everything going or coming had to go through Jesus, particularly finding the good pasture to graze on.  Jesus was the gate and the gatekeeper, as well as the voice of the good shepherd.  Salvation came through the one gate, Jesus.  How are you saved?

John uniquely told this allegorical story of the good shepherd.  Jesus said clearly that he was (ἐγώ εἰμι) the gate (ἡ θύρα), using the divine phrase “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι) to show his power and authority.  Everything had to pass through him.  Whoever entered (ἐάν τις εἰσέλθῃ) by Jesus (δι’ ἐμοῦ) would be saved (σωθήσεται).  They would be able to go in (καὶ εἰσελεύσεται) and go out (καὶ ἐξελεύσεται) of the sheepfold.  They would find (εὑρήσει) a good pasture (καὶ νομὴν).  Jesus brought salvation to his flock of sheep.  He was the door or gate, so that everything going or coming had to go through Jesus, particularly finding the good pasture to graze on.  Jesus was the gate and the gatekeeper, as well as the voice of the good shepherd.  Salvation came through the one gate, Jesus.  How are you saved?