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The Parable of The Good Shepherd Made Simple

(John 10:1-18)

Before we look at the passage where the parable of the Good Shepherd is written, we take it up from the verses preceding it to get some context. In John 9:40, Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.

Here, Jesus was describing a person who is spiritually blind. And then in John 10, He spoke about the Good Shepherd. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet by no means will they follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of the strangers.”

Okay, let us have a look at this part of the parable. There are a number of points here. First, the person who isn’t teaching Jesus isn’t the right person. This simply means that everyone else who preaches another way to God is wrong, because in verse 9, Jesus identified Himself as the door. “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

Let us now concentrate on verse 3 which says, “to him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

Let us be aware that Jesus knows everyone of us by name. Jesus knows all Christians by the first name. And so when He is talking to you, He can address you by name at the beginning of the sentence. You can be walking down the road and then have a thought, “Matthew, I want you to go down the shops first before you go to church.” And because He said Matthew at the beginning, you know it’s not your own thought but it’s Jesus speaking to you. Essentially, when you start to practice hearing Jesus speak to you in an audible sentence in your spirit, you can ask Him to address you by name.

Secondly, we see mentioned in the verse, “My sheep hear my voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” There are so many Christians who don’t hear Jesus. Probably 90% of the people who call themselves born-again Christians cannot hear the voice of Jesus. They don’t recognize His voice. This is something that should not be so. I pray right now that Jesus would start to speak in your mind and He would address you by name, “John, I really love you; did you know that?” and just start to speak sentences to you. Jesus, I ask that you start to talk to everyone reading this book and address them by name.

Verse 4 says, “And when he brings out his sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” Now, if you’re a sheep of Jesus, if you’re His true follower, you will obey what He tells you to do. Your life shouldn’t be a mish mash of wrong decisions which are based on your own flesh. A true follower of Jesus follows the steps that He gives. Jesus leads your life by showing you the way to do things and what decisions to make according to His perfect will.

This parable has been preached so many times but very few make an emphasis on the fact that people need to listen to Jesus. Psalm 37:23 says “A righteous man’s steps are ordered by the Lord.” This means that a Christian’s steps are planned and designed by the Lord.

John 10:5 should give us some comfort in these times. “Yet though by no means follow a stranger but will flee from him for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

The point of this is that, as Christians, you know the voice of the Holy Spirit; you know the voice of Jesus. When someone starts speaking, you can recognize if the Holy Spirit is speaking through him. You can recognize the voice of the Saviour through what is being said by a person. Some people can start to speak and suddenly your antenna goes off that this is not really God speaking through them. So, rest assured that you’re protected.

Verse 7 continues, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” In other words, there’s no other door to heaven. There’s no other way that you can be a follower of Jesus but to follow Jesus Himself.

“All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.” (v. 8)

Jesus is not talking about the Old Testament prophets here. Yes, they are all true spokesmen of God. But the people He is referring to here are the teachers of the law and the Pharisees who have come before Jesus. He said they were thieves and robbers. They weren’t preaching the truth of the Word of God. They were teaching in the wrong spirit. They had wrong motives.

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (v. 9)

The sheep gets its nourishment from the pasture. If you give your life to Jesus Christ, you’ll be nourished by Him on the things that are good. So if you’re not a Christian and you’re reading this book, Jesus really is the answer to the true life.

It goes on in verse 10, “the thief does not come except to steal, and kill, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

The Christian life is not only living. It is not only getting by week by week but having such abundance in your provisions, such an abundance in your income that you can give and freely share with others. In fact, the life in Christ should be full of peace, joy, comfort, understanding, personal satisfaction and fulfillment in life. You shouldn’t be wandering around wondering what the will of God is or if you’ll ever find peace. The Christian life is an abundance of all good things. I’m sure that you’ve got that message as you’ve been reading this book and listening to the video series on YouTube.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” (v. 11)

Jesus Christ laid down his life and was willingly crucified on a cross to die for our sins.

“but a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and I’m known by My own.” (vv. 12-14)

The hireling can be likened to a Pastor who does not take the time to go out and help a member of his congregation who is in need. In the last ten years, I personally have not found a Pastor who hasn’t loved me and hasn’t been there when I needed him. A true Pastor isn’t just a hireling; He is a true servant of God and a good shepherd to their congregation.

Bad shepherds and hirelings do exist. This reminder wouldn’t be in the Bible if they don’t. If the Pastor doesn’t have time or doesn’t really care for your concerns, you need to find a church small enough where the Pastor has a vested interest in your life. Robbin, my Pastor (who did the foreword of this book), is deeply interested in my life. If I don’t connect with her once a week, she would want to know what went wrong. If I missed out on our community center for a week or if I was scarce for more than a week, she would ring me at home ask me what’s wrong. That’s what a true Pastor is.

Verse 14 reads, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”

A true Christian knows Jesus personally. He knows Jesus very well. Real Christianity does not only consist of head knowledge of Jesus. You should have an experiential knowledge of Him; knowledge based on experience. You should be able to share many stories about Jesus, about what he did; how He saved you from this, how He showed you that and how your life wouldn’t be the same. You should be able to confess that your life would be totally useless and lost and without meaning if Jesus wasn’t in your life. If your relationship with Him isn’t like that, if it isn’t something supernatural, well then there’s a better life of Jesus that you can experience. I imagine as you’re reading this book, many of you would love the life I have with Jesus. The good news is, you can have that life! We just got to pray that you can move in to that.

“As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for My sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there’ll be one flock and one shepherd.” (vv. 15-16)

Jesus was talking here about the Gentiles who will become Christians one day; and both the Jewish and the Gentile Christians will all be one flock. At present, there may be a lot of denominations in the world. But Jesus is prophesying here that we’ll all be one flock one day and everyone will be in peace and unity.

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.” (v. 17)

Jesus laid down his life, was crucified on the cross for our sins and then miraculously came back to life. This was witnessed by many people.

“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This command I have received from My Father.” (v. 18)

So, a good shepherd will put his life on the line against predators to his sheep. Jesus allowed Satan to kill Him in order to rescue us. He is a tremendous shepherd. He can be your Shepherd – ask Him to be with you and talk to you in a personal way.



For many years, God has been using me to give people personal prophecies. For four years now, I have operated a web site offering free personal prophecy helped by a team of ten prophetic people. During this time I have made thousands of prophecies, and you could say that I cut my prophetic teeth on those virtual pages. I have recently given away that free personal prophecy web site, but I am still available to offer a prophecy to any person who is willing to make a donation to help disburse the expenses of my continuing ministry. Please feel free to go to my video page to see for yourself the quality of my prophetic words over important people in ministry and regular Christians, as well as read the feedback I have received. When you feel satisfied that you would like a video prophecy for yourself, trust the Lord to guide you as to how much you are willing to donate to my ministry, then press the Paypal button below to fill out your details. Please note there is a section where not only can you write your details but also ask any specific questions you might have for the Lord. I sincerely look forward to ministering to you personally.