John 10:11-18

Talks for Growing Christians

Our Lord Seen as the Good Shepherd

John 10:11-18

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Lesson Number 47

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
  2. The Good Shepherd knows His sheep.
  3. The Good Shepherd leads only one flock of sheep.

Practical Application

  1. Are you a shepherd or a hireling?


  1. List the seven “I Am” predicate claims in the gospel of John (with chapter references).
  2. How does the good shepherd differ from the hireling?
  3. In this illustration of our good shepherd, who is the wolf, and what is his strategy?
  4. Who are the sheep not of the shepherd’s fold?
  5. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. What does this really mean?


  1. I am the bread (John 6); the light of the world (John 8 and 9); the door (John 10); the good shepherd (John 10); the resurrection and the life (John 11); the way, the truth, and the life (John 14); and the vine (John 15).
  2. The good shepherd leads his flock miles away from the home fold to find good pasture. He is with them day and night, protecting them from dangers from the terrain, the weather and wild animals. He is ready to lay down his life for his sheep. The hireling is hired to care for the sheep, but he doesn’t really care, and when danger comes, he deserts the sheep.
  3. The wolf is Satan or satanic agents, and his strategy is to ensnare and scatter the sheep in any way that he can.
  4. They are the Gentile believers that the Lord is anticipating. Notice the good shepherd’s ultimate purpose – that there will be one flock (the Church, Jew and Gentile made one). See Ephesians 2:13-14.
  5. It means that the Lord Jesus, as the good shepherd, voluntarily laid down His life at the cross. He gave His life for us (John 10:17-18).


  1. Take time this week to meditate on the good shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep. Spend time thinking about this voluntary work of the Lord Jesus on your behalf.
  2. Are you a shepherd or a hireling? As believers, we have a responsibility to help pastor the good shepherd’s flock. How are you doing? What are you doing to care for the sheep?


  1. Take time this week to meditate on John 10:17-18, and the impact that it has on your life for eternity.

Key Verses

  • “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:11
  • “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” John 10:14
  • “I lay down My life that I may take it again. 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.” John 10:17-18

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