John Chapter Ten
I. Content of the Chapter
The Son of God the Savior is the Shepherd of the Sheep
A. He is the True Shepherd:
1. The true shepherd enters by the door (v.1-2).
2. The true shepherd knows the sheep (v.3-6).
B. He is the Good Shepherd:
1. The good shepherd is the door, through which the sheep may obtain life (v.7-10).
2. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep (v.11-15, 17-18).
C. He is the Great Shepherd:
1. He has other sheep which are not of this fold. Both of them will be one flock and one shepherd (v.16).
2. All those who do not believe in Him are not the sheep of the great shepherd (v.19-26).
3. The great shepherd protects the sheep with the Father together (v.27-30).
4. Those who believe Him are the sheep of the great shepherd, but those who do not believe Him will persecute Him (v.31-42).
II. Verse by Verse commentary
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.”
YLT: “Verily, verily, I say to you, He who is not entering through the door to the fold of the sheep, but is going up from another side, that one is a thief and a robber;”
the “sheepfold” in the
Sometimes, the thieves climbed up the wall and stole the sheep when the doorkeeper was sleep in the night. Having not known their voice, the sheep would be therefore frightened and escape away.
Literal Meaning: “most assuredly, I say to you”, in the background of chapter nine ---- the Lord opened the blind man’s eyes ---- the Lord continued His speaking in this chapter, so the word “you” here referred to the Pharisees (see 9:40).
“The same is a thief and a robber”, “thief”, who steals secretly, employs trickery; “Robber”, who robs openly and wantonly, uses violence.
Spiritual Meaning: “sheepfold”, represents the law
in the Old Testament and the Judaism, namely,
the religion of the law. God
granted the law to the
Meanwhile, the sheepfold was nothing but a place for keeping the sheep temporarily. The true eternal dwelling place for the sheep is the “pasture” ---- which typifies the Christ. When the Christ had not come, God prepared the law as the sheepfold to guard and keep His people temporarily (see Gal 3:24-26).
However, when Christ came, the
is also the “door” of the sheepfold (see v.7, 9). Christ is end of the law (see
Rom 10:4). Statutes and customs in the Old Testament are a shadow of things to
come, but the body of Christ (see
Enlightenment in the Word: there is only one way to the truth, but there arise many unorthodox ways.
John. 10:2 “But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.”
YLT: “and he who is entering through the door is shepherd of the sheep;”
Spiritual Meaning: the “door” refers to the door of the sheepfold, i.e. the Christ (see v.7, 9).
The “sheep” refers to the people of God ---- in the times of the Old Testament, only the people of Israel were the sheep of God (see Ps 95:7), but in the times of the New Testament there were plus the Gentile believers (see v.16; 1Pet 2:25).
“The shepherd” refers to the true servant of God, especially refers to the Christ here.
Enlightenment in the Word: if one does not believe the Lord, he will be unworthy of teaching the people of God. They are not only unable to help others, but rather harmful to others.
John. 10:3 “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
YLT: “to this one the doorkeeper doth open, and the sheep hear his voice, and his own sheep he doth call by name, and doth lead them forth;”
The Background: the shepherd usually gave names to every sheep according to its feature and character, and every sheep knew its name.
Literal Meaning: “doorkeeper” referred to the one who was entrusted with the work of guarding a big sheepfold.
“And the sheep hear his voice.” ---- The sheep knew the voice of their master and could only respond to his voice.
“And he calls his own sheep by name.” ---- The shepherd gave every sheep different names and called his own sheep by name everyday when he entered or went out of the sheepfold. The shepherd never called the sheep randomly, but called those who are of him.
Spiritual Meaning: “doorkeeper” typifies the Holy Spirit, who opens the door of one’s spirit and let the Lord Jesus enter one’s life and heart. There are also some other Bible exegetes who think it refers to John the Baptist ---- the forerunner of the Lord.
“He calls his own sheep by name.” ---- It shows the Lord knows who are of Him (see 1Cor 8:3; Gal 4:9) and calls the one who has been preordained to be His sheep individually.
“And leads them out”, to release those who are imprisoned in the religion of the law.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The reason that the believers receive the savior is because of the working of the Holy Spirit in them. When the Holy Spirit opens one’s understanding and ears, we will hear the calling of the Lord.
2) What the Lord has spoke to us is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path (Ps 119:105), which will lead us in the right way.
John. 10:4 “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
YLT: “and when his own sheep he may put forth, before them he goeth on, and the sheep follow him, because they have known his voice;”
Meaning: “he goes before them”, in the areas of
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “He goes before them”, the Lord, who never fails, will lead the way of a believer’s whole life, so we can follow Him at ease.
2) If one does not follow the Lord, it indicates that he is not of the Lord (see 12:26; Matt 16:24), for He who is of God hears God's words (see 8:47).
3) The shepherds of the flock of God should not be the lords over those entrusted to you, but examples to the flock (see 1Pet 5:2-3).
4) The freedom of the sheep depends on the action of the shepherd, so it is restrained. Believers are called to enjoy the true liberty, but it should not be considered an opportunity to the flesh (see Gal 5:13).
5) The true shepherd can know the voice of the shepherd. Likewise, he who has been truly saved also has an instinct of life, which enables him to judge what is of the Lord, and what is of the devil.
John. 10:5 “Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." ”
YLT: “and a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him, because they have not known the voice of strangers.'”
Meaning of Words: “stranger” refers to the Pharisees and the leaders of the Judaism.
John. 10:6 “Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.”
YLT: “This similitude spake Jesus to them, and they knew not what the things were that he was speaking to them;”
Literal Meaning: “Jesus used this illustration”, “illustration” refers to a parable embracing an allegoric meaning. The Lord Jesus said these words in the background that the blind had been healed, and He used the parable of the good shepherd to illustrate His mission.
John. 10:7 “Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”
YLT: “Jesus said therefore again to them, `Verily, verily, I say to you -- I am the door of the sheep;”
Background: “I am the door of the sheep.” ---- The doorkeepers in the areas of the
Literal Meaning: “I am the door of the sheep.” ---- Some Bible expositors think it should be translated in this way ---- “I am the shepherd of the sheep.” But according to the Scriptures Codex, such translation was proved to be wrong.
The Lord Jesus is that door ---- He is the only access to everything of God. This door has the functions as follows: (1) to distinguish between true and false shepherd ---- he who enters only through Him is the shepherd, otherwise he is the thief (see v.1, 8). (2) To protect and keep the sheep’s life ---- he who enters only through Him shall be saved (obtain the protection) and go in and out and find pasture (see v.9).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The right of accepting one into the sheepfold (the assembly) or refusing the force out of the sheepfold lies in the Lord Jesus, not in any leader of the Christianity.
2) “The door of the sheep”, the noun “door” is singular. The Lord is the only door, and there is none other door besides Him. God has prepared the only salvation for men, for only Jesus Christ can redeem the sin for men.
3) God has ordained only one door for believers ---- the Christ. But actually, believers have been unto so many things ---- much knowledge, works or some spiritual giants ---- which have become the factors producing divisions among Christians. It has greatly sinned against God.
John. 10:8 “All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.”
YLT: “all, as many as came before me, are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them;”
Literal Meaning: “all who ever came before Me”, it did not refer to all men before the coming of the Lord Jesus (see 5:33, 46; 8:56), but the “false prophets” and the “false teachers” in that generation and the previous ones, as well as those who considered themselves as the “false Messiah” who came to save the people of Israel (see Jem 23:1-2; Ezek 34:2-3), including the political leaders who did not believe Him (see Matt 9:36; 23:11-36).
“Are thieves and robbers”, it indicates that they never consider for the sheep, only scheming to make their own profit by making use of the sheep.
Enlightenment in the Word: all the philosophy, culture and traditions in the world are not the door for us to enter the spiritual things. They are not only unable to give us life, but rather harmful to us (for they are robbers). Therefore, we should always refuse such involvement in these teachings.
John. 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. ”
YLT: “I am the door, through me if any one may come in, he shall be saved, and he shall come in, and go out, and find pasture.”
Literal Meaning: “If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.” ---- It indicates that once the sheep enter the sheepfold, they have got the protection.
“And will go in and out and find pasture.” ---- Go in first, and then go out. The sheep should enter the sheepfold and establish the relationship with the shepherd first, and then go out and follow the shepherd to go to the pasture and obtain all that they need.
This verse mentions three kinds of benefits that the “door” has provided for the sheep: (1) the sheep will be saved ---- being delivered out of the danger. (2) The sheep will go in and out ---- obtaining the liberty. (3) They find pasture ---- being satisfied.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Christ is the door. The belief of the Christ is neither a series of doctrines nor a house of the church, but a person ---- the savior the Lord Jesus.
2) Door is used to go in or out. If a man wants to obtain the salvation, he should enter the door, i.e. receive Christ by faith.
3) “Go in” first, and “go out” afterwards. Believers should come to God to enjoy Him, and then go to bear witness before men.
4) We believers should go into the veil to enjoy the sweet fellowship with the Lord, and go forth to him without the camp to bear his reproach (see Heb 13:11-13).
John. 10:10 “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. ”
YLT: “`The thief doth not come, except that he may steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and may have abundantly.”
Meaning of Words: “kill”: slay; “destroy”: die, lose; “have”: find, hold; “more abundantly”: exceeding abundantly above, beyond measure, super abundantly;
Literal Meaning: “the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” ---- The thief purposes to steal the sheep of others, bringing destruction to the sheep eventually.
“That they may have life”, “life” refers to the eternal life (see 3:16, 36; 5:40; 6:33; 14:6; 20:31).
“And that they may have it more abundantly.” ---- “Have it more abundantly”, it does not mean another life, but means the spiritual life will increase unto the state of full age.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Lord Jesus came to grant His life to men, not to obtain anything from men.
2) All the religions require men’s work. Only is the Lord Jesus the one who bestows life upon men and makes them have it more abundantly.
3) He is responsible to give life to men in the beginning and give one abundant one afterwards, for it is His mission. Praise the Lord ---- He is the leader and completer of faith (see Heb 12:2).
4) At the outset, believers can enjoy only a little of the life. The more one enjoys the life later, the more one’s measure of enjoying the life will be enlarged. The increasing enjoyment will lead a man into fullness.
5) The grace of the Lord’s life is full and abundant. He is willing to grant all the fullness that keeps the life to those who are of Him (see Ps 23:1).
6) For in Him dwells
all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and we are complete in him (
John. 10:11 “"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. ”
YLT: “`I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd his life layeth down for the sheep;”
Meaning of Words: “good”: fair, honest, meet, well, worthy; “give”: advise, appoint, bow, commit, conceive; “life”: soul.
Meaning: “I am the good shepherd.”
---- In the Old Testament, God Himself was the shepherd of the people of
“The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” ---- The Lord Jesus revealed that He was the good shepherd who gave life for the sheep. His death was voluntary. The meaning in the original of “giving life” is not losing life really, but a sacrificing spirit of throwing the helve after the hatchet or taking risks of losing life when the danger is impending, so “giving life” could be interpreted as “in the danger of taking risks of losing life”.
There are three stages of being the good shepherd of the Lord Jesus: (1) the word became the flesh, and gave life for the sheep ---- the good shepherd (see v.11, 15, 17). (2) He had risen from dead and is looking after the flock ---- the great shepherd (see Heb 13:20). (2) He will come again and judge the entire shepherds ---- the chief shepherd (see 1Pet 5:4).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Lord said in the previous verse: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” In this verse He said: “the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” Assuredly, the salvation of Christ who has given His life to us is purposed to bring us into His fullness.
2) One should give his life first before providing life for others. The death on the cross is always the merely way of giving life.
3) He who is willing to receive the death of the cross ---- “give life” and provide life ---- is the “good shepherd”.
John. 10:12 “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. ”
YLT: “and the hireling, and not being a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, doth behold the wolf coming, and doth leave the sheep, and doth flee; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep;”
Meaning of Words: “leave”: forgive, forsake; “catch”: pluck, pull, take (by force); “scatter”: disperse abroad;
The Background: according to the Jewish traditional sayings, if the shepherds who were hired to look after the flock saw the sheep were eating by the wild beasts, they should take the responsibility of compensation. Therefore, when they saw such condition, most of them would slip away.
Enlightenment in the Word: all those who are easily moved when meeting difficulties and escape the cross ---- “sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees” ---- are only hirelings. But the shepherds are willing to confront the cross without escaping. Even though we serve God and look after brothers, the attitude towards the cross will eventually prove whether we are “shepherds” or “hirelings”.
John. 10:13 “The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.”
YLT: “and the hireling doth flee because he is an hireling, and is not caring for the sheep.”
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) A hireling cares about himself, not the sheep. If an evangelist cares about what he has obtained (e.g. money, the respect shown from others), he is just proved to be a hireling. When he forgets himself and cares about the flock of God only, he will be a good shepherd.
2) Today, there are many hirelings in the assembly who serve God nominally ---- they covet after a comfortable job only, but have no love to the flock of God at all.
John. 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”
YLT: “`I am the good shepherd, and I know my , and am known by mine,”
Meaning of Words: “good”: fair, honest, meet, well, worthy;
Literal Meaning: “and I know My sheep, and am known by My own”, “know” refers to the profound inward knowledge, which derives from the fellowship of life.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) In the age of the New Testament, believers shall not teach each his brother, how to know the Lord. Because all shall know the Lord in themselves, from little one unto great among them (see Heb 8:11).
2) The Lord has an intimate relationship concerning the union and fellowship of life with us.
John. 10:15 “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
YLT: “according as the Father doth know me, and I know the Father, and my life I lay down for the sheep,”
Literal Meaning: “I lay down My life for the sheep.” ---- Such expression has appeared four times in this chapter (see v.11, 17, 18).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The shepherd and the sheep know each other (v.14) ---- this is the very epitome of the profound relation between the Father and the Son.
2) The Lord lay down His life for the sheep in order to give His risen and full life. The more sufferings one bears, the more provision of life he can give to others.
YLT: “and other sheep I have that are not of this fold, these also it behoveth me to bring, and my voice they will hear, and there shall become one flock -- one shepherd.”
Spiritual Meaning: “and other sheep I have”, it refers to the Gentile believers (see Acts 11:18).
“Which are not of this fold”, it refers to those who are not of the Judaism.
“And there will be one flock”, it indicates that the Jewish believers and Gentile believers will be one in Christ (see 11:52; 17:20-21; Is 56:8; Eph 2:13-18; 1Pet 2:25).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Lord Jesus guides men individually, but brings them into “one flock” finally. All the divisions among the Christians are on account of having not received His guidance absolutely.
2) There is more than one fold, but the flock should be only “one flock”.
3) Christ who has given His life provides His full life to fulfill the universal union ---- “be one” ---- the assembly, namely, His full body. It unveils that the ministry of Christ is universal, He cares about not only those are of the fold ---- the Jews who are orthodox, but also those who are out of the fold ---- the Gentiles who are scattered, and the Lord will bring them back to the fold.
4) The assembly should be one, and there shall not be the distinction between “inside” or “outside” the fold any longer. The only factor concerning the union of the assembly is the Son of God ---- the full Christ. When the Christ, who has risen from the dead and thus has become the great shepherd of the sheep (Heb 13:20), becomes the common and concentrated focus of the whole assembly ---- “there will be one shepherd”, the church will reach the true oneness.
5) Today we believers have only one orientation, i.e. “to become one flock”. If one acts independently, he will become a lost lamb.
John. 10:17 “"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.”
YLT: “`Because of this doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that again I may take it;”
Literal Meaning: “because I lay down My life that I may take it again”. ---- The word “because” indicates why the Father loves the Son. The Lord Jesus keeps the will of God and is willing to give His life, so the Father loves Him.
It also unveils that the Lord’s death is not an accidental matter which is on account of being unable to withstand the formidable environmental conditions. He is voluntary to give His life, and has the authority to take it again ---- which refers to His resurrection.
John. 10:18 “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." ”
YLT: “no one doth take it from me, but I lay it down of myself; authority I have to lay it down, and authority I have again to take it; this command I received from my Father.'”
Literal Meaning: “no one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.” ---- It is free grace that Christ has died for the sinners ---- it is divine grace from God, and men makes none contribution.
“This command I have received from My Father.” ---- It indicates that: (1) the resurrection from the dead of the Lord Jesus is the will of the Father. (2) The resurrection from the dead of the Lord Jesus is the key point of fulfilling the will of God.
Enlightenment in the Word: Christ, the originator of life, has the authority of life in His hand. Therefore, he gave His life voluntarily in his suffering of death so as to manifest His fullness.
John. 10:19 “Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings.”
YLT: “Therefore, again, there came a division among the Jews, because of these words,”
Meaning of Words: “division”: schism, split;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) When someone has received Christ, there always arise divisions in his family or among the members in the social organizations. The fire is usually unavoidably kindled among men because of Him (see Luke 12:49-53).
2) There are great struggles and uneasiness in the men who are unwilling to receive the savior. But he who is willing to receive the Lord will enjoy the divine peace inwardly.
John. 10:20 “And many of them said, "He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?" ”
YLT: “and many of them said, `He hath a demon, and is mad, why do ye hear him?'”
John. 10:21 “Others said, "These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?" ”
YLT: “others said, `These sayings are not those of a demoniac; is a demon able blind men's eyes to open?'”
Literal Meaning: “can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” ---- It proves that the speaking in chapter ten is in the background of the sign of healing thee blind man in the previous chapter, so these two chapters have connections therein.
John. 10:22 “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in
the dedication in
The Background: “the Feast of Dedication”, there was not this feast in the law of the Old
Testament. It had been established during the period between the two
testaments. In the 168 BC, the king of
Meaning: “now it was the Feast of
“It was winter”, it was an explanation for those who were not familiar with the Jewish calendar. According to the solar calendar, the Feast of Dedication was held around December 25th ---- that was exactly winter.
John. 10:23 “And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch.”
YLT: “and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the porch of Solomon,”
Literal Meaning: “in Solomon's porch”, there were porches around the outer court of the temple, and Solomon's porch lay eastwardly.
“Walk”, it contains a meaning of teaching.
John. 10:24 “Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, "How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." ”
YLT: “the Jews, therefore, came round about him, and said to him, `Till when our soul dost thou hold in suspense? if thou art the Christ, tell us freely.'”
Literal Meaning: “how long do You keep us in doubt?” ---- “doubt” in Greek is the same word as “take (v.18)”, so it can also be translated: “how long do you take my life”. It suggested that the Jews had realized that the safety of their whole kingdom depended on the ministry of the Christ.
YLT: “Jesus answered them, `I told you, and ye do not believe; the works that I do in the name of my Father, these testify concerning me;”
Literal Meaning: “I told you”, the Lord Jesus had never said He was the Messiah in public, except for that in the individual situation (see 4:26; 9:35). However, what He had focused on in His teaching was sufficient enough to manifest His being (see 8:56, 58).
“And you do not believe.” ---- They could not know He is the Messiah from His words and works because of their unbelief.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) What the Lord has done reveals His being (see v.32, 38). He manifests His fullness through His being.
2) Only God, not men, can do what the Lord Jesus has done.
John. 10:26 “But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.”
YLT: “but ye do not believe, for ye are not of my sheep,”
Literal Meaning: they could not believe because of their nature.
John. 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
YLT: “according as I said to you: My sheep my voice do hear, and I know them, and they follow me,”
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Christians have the life of Christ, so they can enjoy the life of fellowship with Christ. We should not live the Christian life for the purpose of being a Christian. We live the Christian life, for we are Christians.
2) It is highly natural that believers hear the voice of the Lord everyday and follow the guidance of His words.
John. 10:28 “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
YLT: “and life age-during I give to them, and they shall not perish -- to the age, and no one shall pluck them out of my hand;”
Literal Meaning: “and I give them eternal life.” ---- Eternal life is a gift granted by Christ.
“Neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand”. ---- It teaches believers to know the trustworthiness of eternal life, but it does not mean we can be slack in watching and seeking spiritual things.
Controversial Clarification: when believers have been saved, they have obtained the eternal life. The Lord has also promised in His words: “they shall never perish”. However, it seems to suggest in some others verses of the Scripture (e.g. 6:4-8) that even the one who has been saved yet may fall away from grace and perish forever. There are lengthy controversies concerning eternal life among the Bible expositors. As to the verses with “controversies”, we will present the detailed explanations. Here, we have the evidences as regards the phrase “never perish”:
1. God saves us according to His will (1Tim1:9), and His will is unchangeable (Heb 6:17). Therefore, our salvation shall never lose (John 6:39).
2. We have been saved ---- we have not chosen the Lord, but He has chosen us (John 15:16), and the gifts and the calling of God are not subject to repentance (Rom 11:29). Therefore, our salvation will always be stable.
3. We have been saved for God loves us, not we love God (1John 4:10). Nothing shall separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39), so He will save us to the uttermost.
4. Our salvation is not according to our works, but His grace (2 Tim 1:9). And the riches of God’s grace (Eph 1:7) are sufficient enough to satisfy our need.
5. Our salvation is to show forth the righteousness of God (Rom3:26), and Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of the throne of God (Ps 89:14). Therefore, He will not forsake us to go against His righteousness.
6. We have been saved for God has consummated a new covenant with us (Heb 8:8-13), and God will never profane His covenant (Ps 89:14). Therefore, our salvation cannot be moved.
7. It is God's power to salvation (Rom 1:16). His power is so great that no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand (John 10:29).
8. We have been saved and have obtained the eternal life of God, so we shall never perish (John 10:28).
9. Our salvation is of God, with whom is no variation (James 1:17).
10. Having been perfected, Christ became the author of eternal salvation (Heb 5:9).
11. No one can snatch them out of the hand of Christ (John 10:28).
12. The Lord has promised that the one that comes to Him He will not at all cast out (John6:37).
John. 10:29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.”
YLT: “my Father, who hath given to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck out of the hand of my Father;”
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all”. ---- The gracious gift that the Father has granted to the Lord Jesus is the eternal life, which is greater than all.
2) The unity of the assembly will produce unbeatable power (see 6:39; 17:2).
John. 10:30 “I and My Father are one." ”
YLT: “I and the Father are one.'”
Literal Meaning: “I and My Father are one." ---- “One”, a neuter in Greek, means the same kind, but not the same one. The Son and the Father are one, but different in person. They have the same nature, life, work, power, i.e. sameness, equality, and the same nature and life, but they are different in person.
This verse indicates that the Son has the same will and power in the matter of protecting believers like the Father (see v.28-29), and they are also the same in nature. Therefore, it evoked strong reactions among the Jews (see v.31, 33).
John. 10:31 “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.”
YLT: “Therefore, again, did the Jews take up stones that they may stone him;”
Meaning of Words: “take up”: bear, carry;
Literal Meaning: “took up stones to stone”, they prepared to execute the law (see Lev 24:16), but lost the necessary procedures.
John. 10:32 “Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" ”
YLT: “Jesus answered them, `Many good works did I shew you from my Father; because of which work of them do ye stone me?'”
Literal Meaning: “many good works”, in the original they refer to good and respectable works, including signs.
John. 10:33 “The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." ”
YLT: “The Jews answered him, saying, `For a good work we do not stone thee, but for evil speaking, and because thou, being a man, dost make thyself God.'”
Literal Meaning: “because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” ---- The Jews regard it as blasphemy (see Mark 14:64).
John. 10:34 “Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, "I said, "You are gods"'? ”
YLT: “Jesus answered them, `Is it not having been written in your law: I said, ye are gods?”
Literal Meaning: “Is it not written in your law”, “law” generally refers to the Law of Moses, but here it represents the whole Old Testament.
“I said, "You are gods"”, it is quoted from the Psalms (82:6). God means Elohim (in the original). “You are gods”, they called those Jewish rulers ---- who walked before the people in the name of God ---- “god”.
John. 10:35 “If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), ”
YLT: “if them he did call gods unto whom the word of God came, (and the Writing is not able to be broken,)”
Meaning of Words: “be broken”: break (up), destroy, dissolve, melt, and put off
Literal Meaning: “the Scripture cannot be broken”, the Lord Jesus here bore witness of the absolute authority and credibility of the Old Testament.
“To whom the word of God came”, it referred to the judges who make the judgment according to the command of God (see Ps 82:2).
“If He called them gods”, they were called gods to a certain degree. Having been entrusted by God, the Jewish leaders received the power and the consecration in service thereby (all these were based on God’s divine words which would in no wise pass away), thus were called gods.
Controversial Clarification: from ancient times to the present, there had been some extreme religious sects who used this verse to emphasize that Christians could also call themselves “gods”, since the Lord Jesus accepted that “men could be called gods”. They developed a series of theology ---- Christ Jesus who is God became a man for the purpose of making men be gods. Those who initiated this concept had other reasons ---- they confessed their so called “god” had the divinity, but had no divine person, so they had not actually blasphemed the only true God. However, such concept is unconsciously eroding the spirit of some Christians, making them unknowingly drop into one of the two extreme results:
1. The one who has obtained some spiritual attainments may regard he is a cut above others, thus recommitting the same error of the fallen Satan.
2. The general believers will sigh for their spiritual immaturity and turn to adore the spiritual giants in their hearts and regard them as gods.
However, it has actually plainly stated in the New Testament that we believers are “the children of God (see 1:12; Rom 8:16; 1John 3:1)”, and have obtained “the life of God (see 20:31)” and have partaken in “the divine nature of God (see 2 Pet 1:4)”. It is the greatest grace for us. We should never imitate the spirit of Satan who wants to exalt itself to “be like the Most High (see Is 14:12-15)” and calls itself god.
John. 10:36 “do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming,' because I said, "I am the Son of God'? ”
YLT: “of him whom the Father did sanctify, and send to the world, do ye say -- Thou speakest evil, because I said, Son of God I am?”
Meaning of Words: “sanctified”: purify, consecrate, hallow, be holy;
Literal Meaning: the Lord Jesus meant that if those judges who made judgment were called gods (see v.35), how should not the one whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world be rather called “the Son of God”?
John. 10:37 “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;”
YLT: “if I do not the works of my Father, do not believe me;”
Literal Meaning: “do the works of My Father”, the merciful works that the Father Himself has done.
John. 10:38 “but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him." ”
YLT: “and if I do, even if me ye may not believe, the works believe, that ye may know and may believe that in me the Father, and I in Him.'”
Literal Meaning: “though you do not believe Me, believe the works”, the Lord declared here that His actions was in harmony with His teachings. His works are sufficient enough to convince men, and such works also become the proof that He is God.
“You may know and believe”, the witness that has been manifested in His works will gradually lead men to understand His divinity.
Enlightenment in the Word: unbelief hinders men from seeing God. Faith, however, opens one’s eyes to see and receive the Son of God.
John. 10:39 “Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.”
YLT: “Therefore were they seeking again to seize him, and he went forth out of their hand,”
Meaning of Words: “escape”: depart (out of), get out;
Literal Meaning: “He escaped out of their hand.” ---- The Lord did not escape away, but went out.
John. 10:40 “And He went away again
went away again to the other side of the
Meaning: “beyond the
John. 10:41 “Then many came to Him and said, "John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true." ”
YLT: “and many came unto him, and said -- `John, indeed, did no sign, and all things, as many as John said about this one were true;'”
John. 10:42 “And many believed in Him there.”
YLT: “and many did believe in him there.”
Literal Meaning: it indicated that the works and signs done by the Lord had fully proved that He was the Christ whom the Jews hoped for. The people began to understand that the witnesses borne by John the Baptist at that time were true (see v.41), so many of them believed in Him there.
Enlightenment in the Word: those who believed in the Lord Jesus believed the words of John Baptist first. If one desires to seek the heavenly things, he will eventually devote himself unto the Lord Himself.
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
I. How to Discern the Thief (the False Shepherd)?
A. He who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way (v.1).
B. But will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers (V.5).
who ever came before Me (v
D. But the sheep did not hear them (the thieves) (v.8b).
E. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (v.10).
II. The Two Functions of the Door
A. To differentiate between the true and false shepherds (v.1-2).
B. To differentiate between the true and false believers (v.9).
III. The Proofs of the True Shepherd
A. He who enters by the door (v.2).
B. To him the doorkeeper opens (v.
C. The sheep hear his voice (v.3b).
D. He calls his own sheep by name (v.3b)
E. He leads them out
F. He goes before them (v.4).
IV. How to be a Good Shepherd of the Flock of God?
A. The sheep know his voice (v.3-5). ---- He shall always live with the sheep together.
B. He calls his own sheep by name (v.3). ---- He shall know the sheep by name.
C. He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him (v.4) ---- He shall be a good exemplar of the flock.
may have life (v
E. They may have it more abundantly (v.10b) ---- He concentrates his attention on the growing of the sheep’s life.
F. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep (v.11, 15, 17). ---- He loves the sheep as himself and is willing to sacrifice himself for the sheep.
G. He cares about the sheep (v.13b) ---- Just like the one who nourishes and cherishes (see Eph 5:29).
H. I know My sheep, and am known by My own (v.14). ---- He has deep fellowship with the sheep.
There will be one flock and one shepherd (v
K. He shall let no one snatch the sheep through the protection of the great hands of both God and the Lord (v.28-29).
V. The Lord is the Door of the Sheep
is the door of salvation ----
If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved (v
B. He is the door of feed ---- and will go in and out and find pasture (v.9b).
C. He is the door of abundant life ---- that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (v.10).
VI. Who is the Hireling?
A. He does not think the sheep is of his own (v
B. He sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees (v.12b)
C. He does not care about the sheep (v.13).
VII. The Characteristics of the Good Shepherd
A. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep (v.11).
B. The good shepherd knows His sheep, and is known by His own (v.14).
VIII. The relations between the Lord Jesus and God the Father
A. My Father loves Me (v.17) ---- He is the beloved one of the Father.
B. I lay down My life that I may take it again. This command I have received from My Father (v.17-18). ---- He became obedient even unto death, and death of cross. Therefore also God highly raised exalted him (see Phil 2:8-9).
C. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me (v.25). ---- He does works in the Father, which proves that He is sent by God
D. No one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand (v.28-29). ---- The hands of the Lord and the Father protect us, which proves their will to believers is the same.
E. I and My Father are one (v.30). ---- They have the same nature and power.
F. Many good works I have shown you from My Father (v.32) ---- The Father is the source of His works.
G. The one who was sanctified by the Father and was sent into the world called He is the Son of God (v.36). ---- Only He declared God the Father (see 1:18).
H. He does the works of His Father (v. 37-38). ---- They are different in person, but the same works.
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Mary Zhou