The Good Shepherd – John 10 and the Hebrew Bible

John 10 begins with the closest thing to a parable we find in the Gospel of John. While parables are common in the other three Gospels, John does not record a single parable. In this passage, Jesus uses an extended metaphor drawn from the common experience of tending sheep. If the audience had not tended sheep themselves, they knew that these things were true from their experience.

Good_ShepherdJesus chose this metaphor intentionally since the image of a shepherd is used in the Old Testament frequently for the leaders of the nation. The are bad shepherds who are not leading the people “beside still waters” (Psalm 23) The people are like “sheep without a shepherd” (Matt 9:36). In contrast, Jesus leads the people into the wilderness and provides food for them (the feeding of the 5000), seeking out the lost sheep wherever they are (Luke 15:3-7) and ultimately laying Jesus will lay down his life down on behalf of his flock.

What is more, this image of a true shepherd is a messianic image found in the Old Testament. Moses led sheep for 40 years in the wilderness before God called him to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, and the ideal King of Israel was David, who was first a shepherd before his was a king. Psalm 23 has messianic overtones (“The Lord is my shepherd”), but Ezekiel 37:24-28 is the most clear use of a shepherd metaphor for the coming Messiah, the true son of David and ideal shepherd who replaces the bad leaders who have led the people into danger but do nothing to save them.

The image of a God as a shepherd is found frequently in the Old Testament. God is described as a shepherd for his people (Gen 48:15, 49:24, Ps 23:1, 28:9, 77:20, 78:52, 80:1, Isa 40:11, Jer 31:10) and the people of Israel are regularly refer to as the sheep of God’s pasture (Ps 74:1, 78:52, 79:13, 95:7, 100:3, Ezek 34:31). It is possible that Jesus had Ezekiel 34 in mind, but the fact that the image of an ultimately good shepherd who will lead God’s people back to the land appears in Isaiah 40 and Jeremiah 31 as well. These are passages Jesus uses frequently in his teaching and would have been well-known to the listeners in the Temple.

In John 10:14 Jesus declares he is not only the proper gate into the sheep pen, he is in fact the good shepherd who will lay his life down on behalf of his flock. By calling himself “the shepherd,” Jesus is evoking passages such as Ezekiel 34 which looks forward to an ideal shepherd who will lead the people on behalf of God. On the other hand, the true shepherd of Israel is God. There is only one shepherd for the flock (verse 16). God the Father is the shepherd (Ps 23:1), but here Jesus is claiming to be that good shepherd.

The reaction of the crowd (10:19-21) is similar to chapter 9, some say Jesus is inane or demon possessed, yet others understand that a demon possessed man cannot open the eyes of the blind, nor does an insane person speak as Jesus does. He makes sense!

By claiming to be the Good Shepherd, Jesus in intentionally declaring that he is the Messiah and therefore God’s son. But he will go beyond the expectation that the Messiah will be the ideal king, a new Moses and new David. Just as both those men could be called “a son of God,” Jesus also claims to be the ideal Son of God because he is God.

There is more in this chapter which makes Jesus’s claim even more clear. But is this an accurate reading of the words of Jesus? Is he claiming to be the eschatological shepherd from Ezekiel 37:24-28? And if he is, what does this tell us about his relationship with God?

33 thoughts on “The Good Shepherd – John 10 and the Hebrew Bible

  1. What I find interesting is that God has actually designated certain humans to be over the nation of Israel. In other words, God never intended to be the only Shepard, but the curse of sin, of course, necessitated this. Kostenberger argues in his reflective book that the Good Shepard discourse found in chapter 10 is set against the irresponsibility of the Jewish leadership to take care of the “flock” of Israel. My point is that God actually gave the elite Jewish individuals the chance to lead His people. Of course, even though He designated this responsibility, He was thoroughly disappointed and even outraged by their behavior. Jesus claimed that although they were crafty in converting individuals to Judaism (proselytes), they only made them into the same kind of hardened rebels that they were. In response to the negligent leading of the Jewish religious elites, then, Jesus came to lead His people more effectively, as He had done in the past. It is clear that when John was narrating this discourse, He had many allusions to the Old Testament in mind. For example, Ezekiel 37 is a clear parallel to the Shepard-King imagery that Jesus uses. I believe He uses this kind of metaphorical language, the same kind found in the Old Testament, precisely because He is claiming to be the fulfillment of it. Jesus was not just providing profound wisdom for the people of Israel, condemning the temple because of their irresponsibility; He was actually claiming to be the Shepard that the Scriptures alluded to. He is the Son of God, the one who has come to lead His people correctly.

  2. There could be no doubt that Jesus is indeed claiming to be the shepherd from Ezekiel 37:24-28. The mention of David in the passage is the reference to Jesus being from the line of David. The bloodline shows Jesus’s earthly connection to the people of Israel, making him the technical earthly king of Isreal, and then it is tied to his divinity when saying that “they will have one shepherd” in verse 24 as God is the shepherd of his people. Kostenberger touches on this topic saying, “Interestingly, the above passage (Ezekiel 34) proceeds upon a dual track: on one hand, God says that he himself will tend his sheep; on the other, he will send his servant David to tend his sheep and be their shepherd,”(Kostenberger, 108). The words of Ezekiel 34:22-24 and Ezekiel 37:25 are practically the same saying that David will be a prince over the people. Jesus is the David of the passage, the good shepherd that the scriptures are talking about. Connecting Jesus to David then gives the Jews that image of David being both shepherd and king which is who Jesus spiritually. Going back to the idea that God is the shepherd of his people then, we see Jesus claiming the same title of the shepherd that God does shows the relationship between God and Jesus and that they are the same person. Jesus and God are one, allowing God to fulfill his claim of the people having him as their only shepherd, yet Jesus is able to fulfill his claim of being the shepherd of the people as well.

  3. The good shepherd discourse allows John to show many claims that Jesus makes Himself out to be. Through this little parable, Jesus reveals a few aspects about Himself. As stated above, one of these claims is that Jesus is the Messiah. Even Kostenberger supports this as he states that, “clearly Jesus placed himself squarely in the context of this messianic portrait,” Kostenberger, 108). He had a purpose and it was to reveal this aspect about Himself. in Jeremiah 23:1-8, it talks about the Lord sending a shepherd to tend the flocks of Israel, but it is really stating that Jesus is coming who will ten to God’s people and will be their shepherd. Even Old Testament prophets exclaim that Jesus is the good shepherd and is the Messiah who is coming again. This leads to another aspect that John alludes to about Jesus and it is that “Jesus presents himself as the legitimate shepherd of God’s people, casting the Jewish religious leadership as illegitimate,” (Kostenberger, 109). So, Jesus is also presenting the fact that he really is the shepherd that God put their to guide the people and that even the prophets proclaimed would be their shepherd. But because of this, it meant that the Pharisees would no longer guide the people, even thought hey were not doing a good job to begin with. And this is why Jesus is labeled as the “good” shepherd because he is the man for the job and will do what is right in leading God’s people.

  4. Yes, Jesus is the Shepherd who the people were looking for and he is from the line of David. It is no coincidence that David was a shepherd be for he was the king of Israel. Ezekiel alludes to the Shepherd of Israel and it is a common analogy throughout the Old Testament that clearly is talking about the one who would shepherd the flock of Israel and the world. Jesus is making a statement after statement that he is the Shepherd that the people are looking for and thus they should follow him. Some of the Jews do not understand how Jesus could be the Messiah because he came from Galilee but they do not realize that he is really from the line of David and that he fulfilled the prophecy that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. Jesus was and is the good Shepherd that David talked about in the Psalms and that Ezekiel foretold.

  5. Yes< Jesus is absolutley the eschatological shepherd that Ezekiel was talking about. There is no better shepherd than Jesus, Jesus fuifils the roles of the good shepherd perfectly and no one could fill them better. Becuase Jesus is the Son of God but is also God, it is in line wth the old testament scriptures talking about God the Father being the Shepherd of Israel. Jesus is the incarnate Word of God. He has come to lead the sheep out of bondage to sin and into relationship with the Father again! Israel in the meantime was being led by bad shepherds who could not lead them well, Jesus is taking their place and leading them to greener pastures. Jesus is leading on behalf of God, the bad shepherds were leading on behalf of themselves. Jesus is the shepherd who went to the length of laying down his life for his flock, something that only the perfect shepherd would do.

  6. Yes, Jesus is without a doubt the eschatological shepherd that Ezekiel was talking about. This tells us that Jesus has a personal relationship with God, obviously because He is the Son of God, but yet I Jesus has to rely fully on his Father in Heaven as we do. There are multiple times where Jesus could have just made things better in an instant but he decided to do as we do and pray to his Father and fully live out what we have to as humans. As mentioned above by Seth Jesus came to lead us out of sin and into a relationship with the Father. In this time Israel was being lead by false hope, and some bad things were happening to them, the leaders could not offer them something so great as being free from bondage. But when Jesus came along and started to lead the people it became more clear, that he is the one who will save them from their troubles and what may have mislead them in the first place. The leaders wouldn’t do much for their people, but tell them things; once Jesus came along they had seen that he was one who was willing to lay down for them.

  7. I find it interesting that John doe snot use any parables in his gospel where as all the other Gospels rely heavily on parables. instead john uses metaphor and he uses metaphors that the people of Israel would be able to quickly and easily grasp. he describes Jesus as not only a shepherd but the way into the sheep pen. being that being the good Shepheard had a messianic connotation it is really well though tout that John uses this imagery to describe Jesus. John uses metaphors well in order to help his audience understand exactly what he is trying to get across.

  8. “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young (Isaiah 40:11).” This is a metaphor that makes sense to those who heard this metaphor told. They would have understood this as many people in the American culture understand sports metaphors. The idea to this metaphor was that the listeners could easily interpret what John was saying because occupational shepherds were more common in biblical times than they are in our culture. This is a simple metaphor but it holds an impactful statement. It gives the Israelites something that they can visualize, and remember this metaphor easily. It’s simple but yet theologically sound statement that is found in some of the Old Testament books. For John to say that Jesus is the good shepherd makes sense to the Israelites but it also makes sense to us as well in our time over two thousand years later. The good shepherd metaphor makes more sense to the Israelites than saying, Jesus is the real MVP.

  9. Jesus as the good shepherd is a common theme in the new testament. But what does that mean. As mentioned in the article in Psalms it mentions how Israel is like sheep without a shepherd, but God was able to provide for them in the wilderness. in the same way Jesus was the light and way to the people Jews and gentiles. As they were under reign of Rome, they all thought that Jesus would free them from bondage, but Jesus was there to save them from their sins. The people didn’t realize that Jesus was the Savior as he came from Bethlehem they all thought that the Messiah couldn’t come out of such a small place like that but when you follow the history trail back Jesus came from the line of David as proclaimed it would happen and the people didn’t notice that Jesus was in the line of David. And through Johns little parable it was a small sign to the people to open their eyes and try to notice that Christ was there not to save them from bondage but save them from their sins. Jesus is the good shepherd that was talked about in Psalms and the prophecy was true when Jesus came from the line of David

  10. Both the language and the content in John 10 show Jesus’s intentions to help the people understand His Messianic identity by alluding to the accounts of Ezekiel and Zechariah. Both Ezekiel and Zechariah’s narratives contain similar characteristics that correspond to the Good Shepherd Discourse in John 10. Through Zechariah’s account, John shows readers how the atmosphere of corrupt leaders in Jerusalem is similar to the situation presented in Zechariah account. Due to those similarities, Kostenberger claims that Zechariah sets an important background for Jesus’s narrative in John 10 (Kostenberger, 123). A background that comes through four images that display Jesus as the Shepherd King (Kostenberger, 123). In terms of alluding to the narrative of Ezekiel, one must look at the content giving in his oracle. The oracle illustrated by Ezekiel brings attention to the promise of God’s intervention through the Messiah (Kostenberger, 123). Regarding the Good Shepherd Discourse, it was clear that Jesus was revealing his Messianic identity to the people. By revealing himself to the people, Jesus was filling that void of the good shepherd. A shepherd who has come to gather his flock which has been misled by the leaders of this world. Jesus was showing the people the authority and trust God had placed on His hands to lead His flock.

  11. I had never noticed that the Gospel of John did not contain a parable like the other three gospels. I am curious why John had chosen to include this metaphor and not any of the other metaphor like stories that were included in the other three gospels. The Good Shepherd appeals to the Old Testament. “Jesus chose this metaphor intentionally since the image of a shepherd is used in the Old Testament for the leaders of the nation” (Long). Jesus chose this metaphor to remind and warn his followers that they could be following a bad shepherd, which in their time would have been the Pharisees, who were spiritually blind making them “blind guides, leading astray those entrusted in their care” (Köstenberger, p. 106). Similarly, Jesus shares in Matthew for his followers to “beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravaging wolves” (Matt. 7:15, HCSB). Sheep are notoriously dumb if they do not have a good shepherd who leads them. Multiple passages (Ps. 23, Ezek. 34:24-28) throughout the Old Testament mention God as the good shepherd who will lead his people. However, the people do not recognize this is what Jesus is appealing to. They believe that he is insane once again. They simply do not understand what Jesus is doing, when they finally do it will not be until after they have crucified him.

  12. I really like this post because I think that you fit in really nice how Jesus was doing this because it was prophesied before that Jesus would do these things. In one of my other classes, we were talking about how Jesus flipped the table in Mathew 21, and we were talking about how it was prophesied that Jesus would do it. So in saying that I think that it makes it even better, it is like any one of God’s prophecies, when they become true it should make us have even more faith in God’s promises for us at the end of our time here on this earth.

  13. The fact that John chose to include this story about Jesus describing Himself as the Good Shepherd displays the motive of his Gospel once more; proving that Jesus is the son of God so that we may believe in Him. According to Long (2014), the reason Jesus chose to use the imagery of a shepherd with sheep is that many of the Old Testament leaders (such as Moses and David) were either literal shepherds or described as shepherds tending their people or ‘flock’ (para. 2). The language of a shepherd is also used several times to describe God Himself. Psalm 23 is one of the more well passages from the Old Testament that describes God as a shepherd who continuously cares for His flock. Not only is God the Father portrayed as a shepherd, but the Messiah is as well in Ezekiel 34:23-24 & 37:24-28. In the Good Shepherd discourse Köstenberger states, “clearly, Jesus placed himself squarely in the context of this messianic portrait” (p. 108). By claiming to be the Messiah, the eschatological shepherd from Ezekiel 37:24-28, Jesus equates Himself to God and proves He is Christ once more. If we place ourselves in the mindset of the Jews learning about Jesus, we can understand how difficult it must have been to place their faith in Jesus as they feared following a false leader. Therefore, Jesus performed the signs He did at the times He did; so that the Jews who hoped in the Messiah could see it truly was Jesus. By healing the blind man first (Psalm 146:8 & John 9:7), Jesus helps people step into faith when He claims to be the Good Shepherd.

  14. Despite the passage of Ezekiel 37:24-28 not explicitly referring to Jesus Christ but rather David as being the shepherd, there is still in underlying notion that this passage is also in reference to the coming messiah and true Shepheard Jesus Christ. Within the passage there are several promises made to the Israelites, but the most significant of them all was the promise that “they will all have one shepherd” (Ezekiel 37:24). Although the nation of Israel has in a sense had many shepherds, but who failed to watch over and protect their flock (Israel) from sin and false teachings, Jesus Christ has made the claim that among those many shepherds He is the true Shepherd and the “one Shepherd.” Another passage that portrays Jesus Christ as the Shepheard over the Israelites is found in Ezekiel 34:23-28 in which states “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I the Lord have spoken” (Ezekiel 34:23-24). Once again the same phrase “one shepherd” is repeated which also mirrors the same phrase that will be found later in Ezekiel 37:24-28. Therefore; with both of these passages in mind and the phrasing of “one shepherd” there is no doubt that the two passages are considered prophetic statements in regards to the coming Messiah Jesus Christ as being the true shepherd of the Israelites and the one in who God gave authority to protect and care for His flock (Kostenberger, 108).

  15. I love how there are so many references to the Old Testament in the book of John. Using language like “shepherd” and “flock” and “sheep” would have been incredibly relatable to the people in the time this book was written. The entire goal that John had in mind when he was writing is Christology. He wanted to show that Jesus was the true Messiah to the Jews. Using terms like those related to sheep was very useful in achieving this goal. When reading through Ezekiel 37:24-28 I do believe that this was referring to Jesus. It is interesting that Ezekiel used King David instead of Jesus. Maybe this is because Jesus is from the line of David, but there is no real way of finding that out to be true. I really love where is says, “they shall all have one shepherd” (Ez. 37:24). We are the sheep, and we have one shepherd. Jesus Christ is our shepherd!

  16. It is really comforting to me that the Messiah is referred to as the “Good Shepherd” – this metaphor is more than appropriate for the Savior of the world, the Man that discipled others to follow God. Not only is it comforting to know that as a sheep (metaphorically speaking) that I have someone watching out for me, but knowing that the Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 23) I know that I will be comforted, saved, loved, rescued and so much more. John says in his gospel that, “When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10:4, ESV). With Jesus as the Good Shepherd, His sheep respect and honor His sovereignty and authority. As Jesus told the Pharisees of His role as the Good Shepherd, they were even more confused, so He furthered explained this metaphor so that they could understand His ultimate role as Messiah in relation to being the Good Shepherd (verses 11-18). Something that stood out to me was when Jesus said, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (10:18). He confirmed His authority as the Shepherd and His desire to lay down His life for His “sheep”, or followers. Personally, I think this is Jesus affirming the “eschatological shepherd” referenced in the Old Testament. When the Lord was speaking to Ezekiel He said, “Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore” (Ezekiel 37:28). As Jesus was explaining to the Jews that He had the authority to lay down His life, as the Good Shepherd, it seems to me that He affirmed the words of God speaking to Ezekiel (through sanctifying Israel).

  17. The good shepherd discourse allows John to show many claims that Jesus makes Himself out to be. “In his discourse, Jesus presents himself as the legitimate Shepard of God’s people, casting the Jewish religious leadership as illegetamte. (Kostenberger, p 109) Jesus talks about being the Shepherd to God’s people which he calls the “flock” saying that they had been led astray and He is supposed to get them to follow Him. I believe that Jesus is the eschatological shepherd that Ezekiel was talking about.

  18. Perhaps another possibility for the Good Shepherd teaching in John 10, aside from the obvious Messianic signs, is that John is continuing to draw comparisons between Jesus and Moses. At the feeding of the 5,000 in John there are multiple comparisons between Jesus and Moses as you point to in this article. Perhaps this is also John comparing Jesus to Moses as Jesus refers to himself as the good shepherd here, and as one can learn in Exodus 2, Moses spent time as a shepherd in Median. Between other comparisons between Jesus and Moses in John there may be a possibility even if it is unlikely. Outside of John there are other similarities between the two as both Moses and Jesus go 40 days and 40 nights without food and water, Moses in exodus 34:28, and Jesus in Matthew 4:2, and Luke 4:2. Regardless of if there is a connection to Moses being intended here or not, I think the connections could be made.

  19. The image of Jesus being a shepherd to us sheep, is quite an interesting and comforting image. It is also interesting that Jesus has said that the true shepherd is God, but in Psalm 23:1 it claims that Jesus is that good shepherd. Overall I believe the point is that there are false shepherds and wolves that come to harm the sheep or do not care, causing the sheep to scatter (Long, 101). This is where Jesus steps up to the plate.

    Not only that, but Jesus also has other sheep that are not in the current pen that He wants to as well bring them too to make one flock and one shepherd (Köstenberger, 139). It is an interesting analogy for Jesus to take care of us as He watches over us and protects us.

  20. The metaphor of the Shepard is well represented in the Old Testament, and illudes to the fact that though several men have filled this role, but there is only “One True Shephard” and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus leads his people like a Shepherd leads his flock, providing for them and protecting them from danger. A good Shepherd will put themselves between the sheep and the danger. A bad Shepherd will only think only of their own self and leave the sheep to fend for themselves. The nation of Israel is considered the “sheep” they belong to God but wander from the path righteousness. God allows them to wonder in a controlled environment and still maintains a presence through human representatives, until the “True Shepherd comes to earth. The connections that can be made between the similarities in how David came from humble temperament of a child Shepherd that defeats the mighty Goliath. David put his life on the line to protect his people, and he prevailed in victory. The same way as Jesus was born the son of a carpenter but rose up to defeat the ultimate danger to His people, their inevitable spiritual death, were it not for the intercession of the cross.

  21. Before taking this class, I was not aware of the fact that John was the only Gospel with a parable, I think this is extremely interesting. What is John’s reasoning behind this? For every included previous Gospel event in John, there always seems to be a good reason for an exclusion. I believe one of the reasons why there are not any parables recorded in John is intentional, I believe one of the main purposes in John is to display Jesus’ divinity and humanity, and though the parables are powerful and are important, perhaps John did not find them to suit the purpose of John’s gospel. Jesus’ extended metaphor of being the Good Shepard I believe is just yet another way of Jesus declaring and revealing His divinity- it fits right into this apologetic narrative of the Gospel that John has constructed. Jesus intentionally choose this metaphor as a way to reveal His divinity, used an Old Testament concept that the people were well familiar with, and took this concept, elevated it, and fulfilled it’s true messianic meaning. Perhaps Jesus also uses this metaphor to help the people understand more of His character- He is the Good Shepard who will never abandon His flock. This is significant because it is truly a beautiful metaphor that perfectly describes Christ’s character.

  22. I think that Jesus calling Himself the Good Shepherd is both true and a good illustration for the people. The Old Testament talks about shepherds and sheep multiple times throughout the books. This is something that the crowd may have been familiar with and could have understood a little more easily than a parable (it is interesting too that John does not really contain parables and that this is the closest thing to one since parables are very common in the other Gospels). I think the illustration of Jesus laying down His life for His flock like a shepherd is really good and shows how much Jesus cares for all of us. I understand that some people had a problem with it because God the Father is the shepherd as seen in Psalm 23 and the crowd did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. However, I think that this adds so much more to the illustration for me since I know that Jesus is God and it is cool to see that He referenced the Old Testament as well as teach the crowd about who He is. This just adds even more evidence to the relationship between God the Father and Jesus the Son.

  23. The Gospel of John really doesn’t have any parables. While the rest of the synoptic Gospels contain a parable, it is an odd omission that John doesn’t have a single parable throughout the entirety of the book. The Good Shepard story clearly is the closest thing to a parable in the book of John. It makes sense as to why Jesus used the idea of leading sheep, and being a shepherd___30, as Jesus did this, but with people instead. It also had a lot of significance culturally, as throughout the old testament, multiple of the most important figures also had something to do with shepherding. Moses a shepherd for many of years after fleeing Egypt, before he came back, and lead them out of slavery. Shepherding was a common theme in the Old Testament. Also, when Jesus was talking, it may have evoked people thoughts, specifically about a verse in Ezekiel, where he was explaining what the ideal shepherd would do. Everything that is said by Jesus had a reason to it. Especially when it was recorded into the bible. Over an over Jesus says something, and it has something to do with either a prophecy from the old testament or calling back to times from then. The story of the Good Shepherd is no different. Jesus does everything with a reason, and even when He compared Himself to the Good Shepherd his story was about, it still brought people closer to recognizing that Jesus is the son of God.

  24. The metaphor of Jesus being the good shepherd has always been so meaningful to me, and I have always been provided with a sense of comfort knowing that the Savior of the universe is watching out for me and was willing to sacrifice everything just to have a relationship with me and all of His people. It is a beautiful metaphor of how much God loves His children and what he was willing to do to send his Son down to earth in order to rescue us. It also demonstrates Christ’s character and humility, that he cares so much for each and every one of his children. To me it seems clear that Jesus is claiming to be the eschatological shepherd from Ezekiel 37:24-28. Jesus very clearly demonstrates that he is the ideal shepherd sent by God to watch out for his people. Throughout his life, Jesus watched out and cared for his people and even was willing to lay down his life for them as the good shepherd. Because God the Father is the shepherd (Psalm 23:1), and Jesus is also claiming to be the shepherd, this tells us that Jesus and God are one. Not only is Jesus the Son of God, he also is God, as Long mentions above (2014). While there was some unbelief of the crowd in John 10, ultimately Jesus evoked several passages from the Old Testament that proved that He is the good shepherd that God sent down to earth to care for and lay his life down for his children.

  25. Jesus is called a Good Shepherd to people in the world, during His time on the earth but He can still be a shepherd to people in today’s society. The role of a shepherd is to protect the sheep in the fields from becoming in danger. A bad shepherd is one that would allow their herds of sheep to be surrounded by those who could harm them. Jesus isn’t an actual shepherd to sheep, it is a metaphor for Jesus guiding us through our lives. Jesus “replaces the bad leaders who have led the people into danger but do nothing to save them” (Phil Long). There would be “shepherds” that wouldn’t lead their “sheep” into safety or lead at all. But Jesus walks alongside his “sheep” and goes through their journey with them. Jesus wants to be a part of our lives and walk alongside with us. When we have Jesus in our lives He provides for us especially when we don’t think it’s possible.

  26. Jesus is called the good shepherd and God is often pictured as a shepherd to show his relationship with his people. Looking at the blind man that was thrown out of the synagogue and was rejected, the blind man knew the voice of his shepherd and choose to follow him. The prophet Ezekiel was a contemporary of Jeremiah but he also wrote about shepherds that did not teach God’s truth. The Lords response to this was that he was against the shepherds and held them accountable for his flock. The Lord them promises that he will look for his sheep and take care of them. He will search and rescue his scattered sheep no matter what the circumstance may be. The true shepherd (Jesus) knows his sheep, each one by name and know every little thing about you. Jesus leads his sheep himself and is basically leading by example for his sheep. Jesus sheep will not follow a stranger and that he is the supreme and sovereign shepherd. A true shepherd (Jesus) will lay down his life for his sheep and embraces his sheep with kindness, purity, and wholeness. Jesus relationship with his sheep is authentic and true but also has authority. Another thing that Jesus tells his sheep is that they will never perish and will never lose who they are as his sheep.

  27. The good shepherd discourse allows John to show many claims that Jesus makes Himself out to be. Jesus also describes Himself as the gate for the sheep. He states that those who enter through Him will be saved and will find pasture. This claim emphasizes His exclusivity as the means of access to God and eternal life. Jesus is the doorway to salvation. In the Good Shepherd discourse, Jesus is revealing His identity as the caring, sacrificial, and divine Shepherd who leads, protects, and provides for His followers. These claims highlight His unique role in salvation and His deep, personal connection with those who believe in Him. This passage in the Gospel of John underscores the profound theological themes of the relationship between Christ and His followers and the assurance of eternal life through faith in Him.

  28. I believe that Jesus is claiming to be the eschatological shepherd from Ezekiel 37. Throughout the Old Testament, there are scriptures that allude to a descendent of David who will come and become king over God’s people forever. This person was believed to be the Messiah, who would come and establish God’s kingdom on earth. This Messiah, or Son of David, was personified in Jesus Christ, although his mission on earth looked starkly different from what was expected of him based on the Old Testament descriptions of the Messiah. However, Jesus alludes to these references, using the titles of this Messiah figure that is depicted in the Old Testament, in which he is clearly indicating that this Messiah is himself. One particular example of this is found in John 10, which is a direct reference to Ezekiel 37. The Jews were familiar with God’s depiction of himself as a shepherd. God often refers to his people as his sheep or his flock, and himself as the shepherd. So, there is no mistake in Jesus’ statement in John 10:11: “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays his life down for his sheep”. Ezekiel 37:24-26 describes “one shepherd” for God’s people, and how through this shepherd God will create a lasting covenant of peace among his people. So, when Jesus tells the Jews that he is the Good Shepherd, it is clear that he is claiming that he is this shepherd that God pointed to hundreds of years before. Once more, we see Jesus proclaiming that he is the “I Am”, which is God himself. God is the shepherd, who is now personified in Jesus Christ on earth.

  29. I believe without a doubt that Jesus is claiming to be the eschatological Shepard that Ezekiel 37 talks about . Throughout all of the Old Testament there is constant correlation of Shepard and sheep. Usually the Bible referred to the king at the time as the Shepard and the people as the sheep. It is funny that in this text Jesus uses the analogy of the sheep and Shepard to let the people know who he was, because usually most people in that time understood the role of a sheep and Shepard and why the sheep needed lots of care. Secondly I do believe that Jesus wanted the people to not only know that he is the one king as Ezekiel talked about but also bring attention to this that will claim to be the coming messiah but are nothing but false prophets that are using Jesus name. as he stated in Matthew “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” I believe that this was Jesus now embracing his true divinity and also letting the people know that this it, and there is no other.

  30. many of us taught about Jesus were always told that he is our Shepard; we can even see this in the New Testament. But when looking at what the Old Testament says about a shepherd, we can see that larders and rulers are considered shepherds of their nations because they have full control and guide what is going on. Still, unlike the Godly shepherd, these leaders weren’t always good people. But we can see after studying John even today in class that Jesus the Messiah is the Shepard, and we are the sheep that choose whether or not to follow him, if we do choose him then we enter through the “Gate” that is open for us. Yes, I believe that Jesus is claiming to be the eschatological Shepard that Ezekiel 37. For our relationship with God, this shows us that we need to be in complete openness for Gods control over our life, because just like a Shepard over his sheep God knows what’s best for our life.

  31. The people of this time would have understood the relationship between a shepherd and their flock as many people had sheep. They would understand the terminology that Jesus used in His metaphor in John 10. This passage depicts that Jesus is indeed claiming to be the eschatological shepherd from Ezekiel 37:24-28. He uses this metaphor of being the Good Shepherd and the Son of David that will protect His sheep. John 10 expresses how Jesus is the true shepherd and will lay down His life for His sheep. This refers to His substitutionary atonement and that Jesus would die on the cross to bring salvation to the world (Köstenberger, 2013, p. 109). These verses also relate to the passage in Ezekiel as it looks forward to the Shepherd who will lead the people (Long, p. 103). Other passages, like in Psalm 23 depict how God the Father is the shepherd which Jesus also claims to be. He also states, “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30). This provides insight into the relationship between the two as Jesus essentially states that He is God. This is shown in the reaction of the Pharisees as they picked up rocks in order to stone Him for blasphemy. However, they did not realize or understand that Jesus was telling the truth and that He was the Messiah they were waiting for.

  32. I did not realize how much the metaphor of shepherd and sheep is used throughout the Bible. John 10 is one of those verses, which has passages where Jesus speaks about being the good Shepherd. This is such an important passage, in my opinion because it further reveals Jesus’ relationship with God which in turn reveals His identity.
    Jesus states, “I am the good shepherd,” in John 10:11. A good shepherd gives his life in order to protect his sheep unlike the corrupt leadership of the Jewish leaders (Köstenberger, page 208). This is a significant declaration, because it does relate to the shepherd of prophecy that is portrayed in Ezekiel 37:24–28. This Old Testament shepherd figure serves as a metaphor for the Messianic figure of the future, who will guide and take care of God’s people. Jesus is, in fact, asserting Himself quite boldly when He refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd. He presents himself to be the fulfillment of the Hebrew Bible’s messianic prophecies. In other words, He makes it clear that He alone will look out for and protect God’s people, even going so far as to give His own life for us so we can be saved. The statement further addresses the relationship between God the Father and Jesus. John 10:30 records Jesus saying, “I and the Father are one.” This is a clear statement of His deity and His oneness with God. It’s a deep declaration about His relationship with the Father, implying that Jesus is God Incarnate rather than just a human Messiah. So, Jesus stresses His divinity in John 10 by emphasizing His power as the messianic shepherd and His intimate connection with God the Father. This is one of the most important passages in the New Testament where Jesus states clearly that He is divine and that this is His mission.

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