Garden City Christian Union Church

The Good Shepherd and The Bad Shepherds

Scripture Reading; Isaiah 40:10-14

As we move into John 10 we are still actually continuing the discussion from chapter 9 with Jesus, the blind man who was healed and the Pharisees.

  • At the end last time we saw that Jesus used the man and his healing to provoke the Pharisees because their rituals kept them from seeing their need for Him.

  • Now Jesus steps up the attack.

    John 10:1 “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 they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

  • Jesus begins to speak of sheep and shepherds.

  • A common sight in Israel even to this day.

  • But He speaks of those who come into the place, the sheepfold, without authority.

  • The one who comes into the sheepfold by any other way than the door is up to no good.

  • The one who enters through the door, the proper way is the shepherd.

  • He is admitted by the doorkeeper.

  • He is able to go in and take care of the sheep and they are willing to be cared for by him.

  • But the Pharisees just stared at Jesus, probably with a blank look. They didn't get it.

John 10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

  • Jesus takes this parable and now He applies it to Himself and to the Pharisees.

  • Jesus says, “I am the door of the sheep.”

  • All the teachers who were here before Me were thieves and robbers.

  • I wonder if they are starting to catch His drift?

  • If you want to find God's favor, to be “saved” you must come through Me! THE DOOR

  • The fold out in the country was made of large stones that were rolled up into a circle and where the door was the shepherd would sleep at night to keep the sheep in and the wolves out.

  • The Shepherd was literally the door to the sheepfold.

  • Then you will find God's provision, you will “go in and out and find pasture.”


  • These thieves come to “steal, kill and destroy.”

  • Remember the ones who entered the sheepfold by another way?

  • If one was to steal the sheep he would have to climb over the wall.

  • This metaphor should be easily recognized by the Jews.

  • They knew the culture and saw the shepherds doing their job every day.

  • God had spoken of Himself as the shepherd of the people of Israel in the Old Testament.

  • We all know the 23rd Psalm

  • We have seen in Isaiah 40 as well.

  • This designation is often used in the Bible, either for God the Father, Genesis 49:24; Psalm 80:1, for His Son Jesus Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 7:17, or for divinely appointed human leaders 2 Samuel 7:7; Numbers 27:15–17.

  • The image is one of intimate, caring leadership

  • There are also those shepherds in the Old Testament that God does not approve of.

  • Those who have the position of leadership but do not actually care for the flock.

  • Ezekiel 34:7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8as I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— 9‘therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.” 11 ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12“As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day

  • It sounds as though this very passage is being fulfilled as we read in John 10.

  • God is removing the shepherds who are not doing their job and taking the responsibility Himself.

  • Zechariah 11:17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword shall be against his arm And against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded.”

  • IF they didn't get it before they have to get it by verse 10,

  • Jesus began at the end of chapter 9 calling these men blind and now He has escalated the language to thieves and robbers.

  • These men had really usurped God's order and imposed a false system of religion on God's people.

  • They had not come in through the door where the Shepherd comes in.

  • They were in it for power, prestige and a fat paycheck.

  • Read Matthew 23 some time.

  • This is really an indictment of all self styled religion,

  • That is, of all religion that is not based upon God's revealed will, the Bible.

  • If we come through Jesus we are God's sheep and He sets over us under-shepherds or pastors.

  • This is another word for a herdsman or a shepherd.

  • These men must meet the Biblical qualification for that position of leadership.

  • They must be focused on caring for the flock,

  • Feeding it with God's Word

  • Caring for its problems

  • Strengthening its weaker members

  • John 21:15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

  • Jesus was restoring him not only to a right relationship with Himself...

  • But to his office as an Apostle, a leader in the Church.

  • What does He use as a metaphor for this job?

  • Feed My lambs.

  • Three times Jesus asks him

  • each time Jesus tells him

  • Feed My lambs

  • Tend My sheep

  • Feed My sheep

  • Later Peter writes this to other pastors 1 Peter 5:1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 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; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

  • Anyone who is more concerned about outward appearances than real godliness is a worthless shepherd.

  • Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 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.

  • Good Shepherd in contrast to the worthless shepherds who will be removed....

  • The hireling (one who is in it for the money)

  • IN this case it seems that the hireling and the thieves and robbers or here the wolves are all one.

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know 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 will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

  • There is only One Chief Shepherd and all true sheep belong to Him, Jew or Gentile

  • These sheep hear the voice of the Shepherd as He calls them in the the fold

John 10:17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 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 again. This command I have received from My Father.”

  • And so again we see that Jesus cares so much for His sheep that He is willing to die for them.

  • He gives to them all that they need – the worthless shepherd extorts money from them and devours them.

John 10:19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?”

21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

  • And so here we are again....

  • Some say, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?”

  • Others say, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

  • Here Jesus not only shows us what His Church ought to be, (this Sheepfold)

  • But how to enter it, through the DOOR.

  • What the under shepherds should look like.

  • Unfortunately we still have worthless shepherds in the sheepfold to this day.

  • Many of them lead people astray.

  • Jesus tells us that all must enter through the DOOR, that is Jesus Himself.

  • That true religion is about caring for people.

  • That is not to say that caring for people makes you a Christian, but that those who know that Shepherd will care for people.

  • And that Jesus calls His sheep and we hear His voice and follow Him.

  • As with the Pharisees there are plenty who try to climb in another way,

  • Good Works,

  • Religious Activity,

  • These are not the way into the fold, but trusting in Jesus, God's provision is to enter through the door.

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