The Good Shepherd’s Task (John 10)

The Good Shepherd's Task (John 10)

Jesus is a master of metaphor, and what we find in John 10 is one of His most intimate metaphors yet.

Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture (Jn. 10:7-9, ESV).

As we stumble upon where Jesus is at in His ministry, the fact that He is the “door” is only one part of the story. The other part of the story to consider is where the door leads, and how the “sheep” get there to begin with. Jesus addresses both these things.

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 (Jn. 10:2-4, ESV).

Not only does Jesus provide the only true “door” to freedom in Him, but He comes from behind us to keep us safe in Him, and then makes His way to the front to lead us. We are never alone, and we never have to worry about getting lost. Jesus is not out of our proximity unless we willfully close our ears and walk away from Him. It is a profound reality. All who choose the way of Jesus can and will remain safe and confident in His hands.

But it does not end there. Jesus freely offers more still.

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. (Jn. 10:14-15, ESV)

Whether or not we willingly decide to accept that gift Jesus offers is up to us. The “door” to the “sheepfold (Jn. 10:1)” remains open for us to walk through … if only we listen with our ears and are drawn to Him.

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, ESV).


  1. What are some of the “thieves” and the “robbers” that keep us from following Jesus? How have you seen those play out in your own life?
  2. Why does Jesus describe himself as the “door” to the “pastures”? What is the significance of this statement?
  3. How do you see Jesus as being a “good shepherd” in general? How about in your life, specifically?
  4. How has Jesus shown himself to be the Christ up to this point in John? What does He say about it in John 10:24-38?
  5. How do you view Jesus based on what you’ve seen and heard in John so far, and beyond? What else do you want to know? Reach out to us here:


Our study of the GOSPEL OF JOHN in review:

JOHN 19-20 – Watch message / Read: “The King’s Path to Peace

JOHN 18 – Watch message / Read: “A Portrait of a King

JOHN 16-17 – Watch message / Read: “After the Helper Comes

JOHN 15 – Watch message / Read: “Abide and Grow

JOHN 13-14 – Watch message / Read: “A Ministry Defined

JOHN 12 – Watch message / Read: “The Glory Commences

JOHN 11 – Watch message / Read: “A Certain Man Was Ill

JOHN 10 – Watch message / Read: “The Good Shepherd’s Task

JOHN 8-9 – Watch message / Read: “Life-changing Light on a Longstanding Truth

JOHN 7 – Watch message / Read: “The Festival of Truths”

JOHN 6 – Watch message / Read: “No Ordinary Type of Bread

JOHN 5 – Watch message / Read: “A Dichotomy of Belief

JOHN 3-4 – Watch message / Read: “Jesus Surprises on the Margins

JOHN 2 – Watch message / Read: “And So It Begins…”

JOHN 1:19-51 – Watch message / Read: “A Revealing Voice in the Wilderness”

JOHN 1:1-18 – Watch message / Read: “A Prologue to Deeper Beginnings”