Are you all in? Or are you just there for the paycheck? This is the stark difference we find between Jesus as the Good Shepherd and the hired hand. Where Jesus’s love for His sheep is unmatched and priceless, the hired hand shows up to do his task and goes home. He has no buy-in, no ownership, and no reason to do anything besides the bare minimum. Jesus, on the other hand, provides so much more. Jesus gives us the way to a life made complete.
In John 10, we see two vital statements from Jesus about himself that come up multiple times. “I Am the Door” and “I Am the Good Shepherd.” And at every moment those statements surface, it becomes clearer: Jesus is God, and His proximity to us, and desire for a relationship with us, is better than any human version of those same things in every way. There is a richness there that simply does not exist with anyone or anything else that would attempt to rival it.
Consider for a moment what we find in John 10:2-4, right out of the gate in this week’s chapter. Here is how Jesus describes one of His many attributes, and His role as the Good Shepherd:
He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To Him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all His own, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.
Not long after this, we see Him describe himself this way even more directly in John 10:9, 11 (ESV):
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. … I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
However you look and read Jesus’s words in this passage, the point remains: Jesus is no ordinary “hired hand.” His investment in His “sheep,” and the amount of care and concern He extends to them runs far deeper.
Here are some other takeaways from John 10:
- Just believing in something “spiritual,” or in an impersonal God-like character, does not get you into Heaven. The only way to get there is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We cannot enter that type of relationship with God any other way.
- Jesus provides us a supernatural level of peace and lifegiving “pasture” when we follow Him (Jn. 10:9). He has already been preparing a place for us by going before us in the ways He did before and continues to do so today (Ps. 23).
- Jesus is “all in.” He takes ownership of the sheep by knowing their names and caring deeply for them in ways no one else can or does. (Jn. 10:3).
- Jesus protects His “sheep” both in front of them and behind. He takes care of us in both directions (Jn. 10:1-4).
- The enemy “comes only to steal and kill and destroy (Jn. 10:10).” Satan is a “thief and a robber (Jn. 10:1).” Jesus, on the other hand, stands diametrically opposed to Satan in every way, including making it possible for us to “have life, and have it abundantly (Jn. 10:10).”
- Even if one struggles to believe in Jesus himself as a real person, He tells us we can believe in Him through the works He does through and for others (Jn. 10:37-38).
- Jesus is the type of righteous leader that wants to know what else He can do for the people He serves no matter what, whereas the “hired hand” might care for the sheep but does so with conditions.
Now it is your turn. Write out and share with someone your biggest takeaways from Pastor Mike’s sermon along with your own study of John 10.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (Jn. 10:27-30)
Our study of the GOSPEL OF JOHN in review: