By Following the Good Shepherd

David Mora June 6, 2021 John 10:1-21

4 reasons we follow Jesus our Shepherd

I. Jesus Is the True Shepherd (v. 1-6)

A. In contrast to thieves and robbers

B. He is recognized by His sheep

Psalm 23:1 - The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Psalm 80:1 - Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who are enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth!

Isaiah 40:11 - Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

“But perhaps His most endearing and intimate title is that of Shepherd. Centuries before the Messiah came, the Old Testament had predicted that He would shepherd His people. In Ezekiel 34:23 God said, “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David [a reference to the Messiah, David’s descendant], and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd” (cf. 37:24). Micah prophesied that the Messiah would “arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God” (Mic. 5:4). Predicting Messiah’s death, Zechariah 13:7 says, “‘Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the man, My Associate,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; and I will turn My hand against the little ones.’”(John MacArthur, 2006. John 1–11, p. 423. Chicago: Moody Press)

C. He calls His sheep and leads them

Jeremiah 23:1-4 - “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the Lord. “Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

Isaiah 56:10-11 - His watchmen are blind, all of them know nothing. All of them are mute dogs unable to bark, dreamers lying down, who love to slumber; and the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his unjust gain, to the last one.

II. Jesus Is the Door to Eternal Life (v. 7-10)

A. In contrast to many false teachers who have come before

Matthew 7:15 - Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

B. There is only one door to salvation

John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Acts 4:12 - And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.

C. The door leads to abundant life

III. Jesus Is the Good Shepherd (v. 11-16)

A. He lays down His life for the sheep

B. He is an owner and not a hired hand

C. He knows the sheep and He knows the Father

Jeremiah 50:6 - My people have become lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside on the mountains; they have gone along from mountain to hill and have forgotten their resting place.

D. He is drawing together one flock from various folds

IV. Jesus Is Sent by the Father (v. 17-21)

A. Based on love and obedience

John 14:15 - If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

John 21:15-17 - So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

B. With all authority over life and death

Matthew 16:24 - Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

C. To heal the spiritually blind

Hebrews 13:20-21 - Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Good morning, Faith Church – it’s good to be with other saints of light enjoying life in his name. Yes, we are still living under a fallen world. But remember, we are “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13).

Yes, it can be a difficult life under the sun, which is expected under the present condition, since this present world groans and aches under the fall, all the while waiting, as it were, “to be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” – Romans 8:22

Yes, so long as our Lord tarries, we groan inwardly, but as we learn to press on and enjoy life in His name we come to learn through the voice of the Shepherd that our “light and momentary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that is far beyond comparison.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16

Yes, depending your season of life…it can be difficult to enjoy life – but we’ve walked through the Door of salvation that is Christ – the hope of glory!

So as we walk through our series in the book of John, Jesus often used physical illustrations to direct people to greater spiritual truths, greater spiritual realities – and when you think of God becoming man, taking on Flesh…we see the ultimate example of God revealing Himself in a way that people can know Him, and put their trust in Him…the spiritual reality shown through the physical.

The Lord uses physical illustrations to direct our focus to spiritual realities – for instance:

  • Being Born again
  • Fountain of living water
  • Bread from Heaven
  • Physically blind reveals the spiritually blind.

(Pastor Bob Anderson preached on this last week)

So, perhaps some of you this morning will see how Christ used physical illustrations for the first time, yet for others who are saved and have been walking with Christ, this will be a needed reminder for us because our hearts because as one hymn writer had said

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

Transition: So often we need a fresh reminder because our faith can become weak and brittle.

Enjoying Life in His name by following the "Good Shepherd.”

I would invite you to please turn to John 10:1-21

4 reasons we follow Jesus our Shepherd

I. Jesus is the true shepherd (v1-6)

A. In contrast to thieves and robbers [v.1]

“Truly, truly I say to you, the one who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.”

(ok, stop there for a moment, because we need to back up to chapter nine and then set the stage for 10:1, ok?)

There are two features I want you to understand about this parable. The first feature is that this story is tied to the man born blind in chapter 9.

If you remember, the Pharisees had thrown this man out of the Synagogue after he was miraculously healed by Christ merely because he confessed that Jesus was God-sent.

You remember the discussion in John 9, right? Pastor Bob preached about this last week. After he was thrown out of the synagogue, Jesus found him and asked him this:

“Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered by saying, “And who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38 And he said, “I believe, Lord.” And he worshiped Him.”

Now what did Jesus do that he already did with some of you here this morning? Understand that Jesus used this man to serve as a greater spiritual illustration of us who are born into this world spiritually blind, not yet knowing that the great Shepherd of the Sheep is the One to whom we must come face-to-face with.

And as Pastor Bob said, like the blind man who walked by faith and not by sight by turning his life over to Christ, we are to exemplify the same kind of faith, and for others here this morning, must surrender their life over to the good Shepherd by faith alone.

But if not, remember what Christ said in 9:38

“For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”

In other words, for the blind man, he knew very little and understood little – all he knew was that he was blind but now he could see. He didn’t know who Jesus truly was until Jesus revealed himself to him, resulting in the man coming to faith in Christ alone.

But to those who think they “see”, are still bound in their sin because they don’t believe in the open the eyes of the spiritually blind, you see?

That’s why Christ zeroed on the Pharisees. They thought they could see – they could not. They thought they were the enlightened ones – they were not – they thought they were bringing God’s people to him – they were not. They were blind leading the blind away from the Door of salvation.

So our Lord called them thieves and robbers, using them as examples for us to steer clear from the spirit of the age – those who ‘say they see’, yet lead you away from Christ and not to the narrow gate, that is Christ in 10:1, where he said that “the one who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.”

Transition: Be careful with what you watch on television or what you read. Because at some point, the spirit of the age will say something contrary to the teachings of Christ and the precepts of his Word. But his sheep recognize the voice of the Shepherd and…

B. He is recognized by His Sheep [vv.2-3]

“But the one who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep listen to his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (stop)

Just a quick background because I want you to appreciate this parable. Jesus was a master at teaching parables. A parable was a story with a spiritual punch-line at the end. His parables always hit the mark because they were stories taken from everyday life.

In this case, he uses the most basic of illustrations – a door. Well, not a door per se, but a gate, although you could say a gate was like a door in that it allowed for entering into a particular location.

Jewish families would share sheep amongst other Jewish families. But among these families, there was typically one shepherd who tended to the sheep. What’s interesting was that the walls of the sheep courtyard could be as high as 6 ½ ft. Anyone who climbed over the wall were not there to tend the sheep but to steal them.

According to one source, “Jesus drew his illustration from the sheep industry of the day. The way sheep were cared for in ancient Israel was very different from the way they are handled today. In those days, there was one large, central pen, or sheepfold, in a given community, and at the end of the day people brought their small individual flocks and led them into the big sheepfold. With the combined resources, they paid a gatekeeper, and it was his job to stay with the sheep during the night.

In the morning, the gatekeeper opened the gate to those who were truly shepherds, whose sheep wee enclosed in the sheepfold. The shepherd entered by the door, for they had every right to do so – the sheep were theirs and the gatekeeper was their paid servant.”[1]

Now, note this: “When a shepherd entered the sheepfold, the sheep recognized his voice and came to him. In fact, a good shepherd was so intimately involved with the care and the nurture of his sheep that he had names for them, and he would call them by name. His sheep followed him out because they knew him.”[2]

Transition: Followers of Christ, isn’t our obligation to discern the voice of our Shepherd, yes? There are so many talking heads in our culture – so many voices vying for our attention…

I’ve listened to some of your discussions, by the way. And for the most part, I like what I hear. I’ve heard followers of Christ say things like, that’s not what the Bible says, or, let me show you what the Bible says on this matter or that matter…

These kinds of discussions can have an array of settings, such as in a Northend Bible Group, a jail ministry, a counseling session or a bible conference.

But the common denominator to all of these is that God’s people know the voice of the Savior and graze on his word because his Word fills our spiritual appetites.

“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” – Psalm 100:3

Transition: In other words…

C. He calls His sheep and leads them.

[read vv. 4-5]

“4 When he puts all his own sheep outside, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 However, a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Perhaps a living illustration will help us here to reinforce the point of the passage.

[SLIDE] Heather, is there a way to imbed video will work? If not, it’s ok – I just won’t use it.

Let’s test this out[3] – everyone put your head down and close your eyes. When you hear the voice/words of the Shepherd-King I want you to lift up your head and open your eyes.

“I don't believe in a heaven or a hell or an old man sitting on a throne. I believe in a higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable." – Katy Perry

“Whatever anybody believes as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else, it’s fair enough, and works, and I think, is real, and matters.” – George Clooney

“I'm a free-thinking Christian who believes that, who believes in my way, but I don't believe that it's the only way, with six billion people here on the planet. – Oprah Winfrey

“There’s no one way to heaven – one way to paradise. It’s like television of cable. It’s pretty entertaining. So I’m pretty sure that to get to heaven, there’s got to be more than one route, because somebody watching another channel than you, there still getting entertained and they probably still getting to heaven.”

  1. “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).
  2. Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).
  3. “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).
  4. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
  5. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
  6. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Transition: Now, how did you know the voice/Words of the Shepherd? Take a wild guess! Because the Shepherd is leading you and you know what he said! You know that the only way to the celestial city is by following the Shepherd’s lead.

…but if you’re not in His Word…you are susceptible to all sorts of deception…susceptible to all sorts of cultural talking bobbly heads.

You would be tossed around by every wind of doctrine, and if that is you this morning….do you know the Shepherd of your soul? Over the years, I’ve met a number of people that are literally all over the theological map…they don’t have a clue which way is up of which way is down…they don’t have a clue between truth from error…

But you’re not to be this way, Faith Church…you understand because you know enough of the voice of the shepherd. You understand that.

Unfortunately, we learn in verse 6 that “Jesus told them this figure of speech, but they did not understand what the things which He was saying to them meant.”

Some of us today are not that much different than those who couldn’t understand what Jesus was teaching them – them referring to the unbelieving Pharisees.

But isn’t that the nature of unbelief when a person doesn’t surrender to the good Shepherd. “a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14

Transition: So what does Jesus do? He speaks so plainly to his listeners so that there’s no misunderstanding whatsoever.

II. Jesus is the door to eternal life (vv7-10)

Verse 7: “So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”

In other words, my friends, salvation is not found anywhere else, “for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

Again, do not step in the spirit of the age hoodwink you with the idea that there are multiple doorways to heaven or multiple ways to salvation.

So, if you came here this morning with the understanding that there are many ways to heaven

Transition: I’m here to tell you that salvation can only be found in Christ alone – there is no other one – no other way – no other door to eternal life. Jesus is the door to eternal life!

In contrast to many false teachers who have come before

Verse 8: All those who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.”

Verse 9: “9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

Transition: In other words,

There is only one door to salvation (Cf. John 14:6, Acts 4:12)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.”

The spirit of the age stumbles over Christ rather than surrendering to His Lordship. They are the robbers…they rob Gospel truth and spiritual life from others all the while putting a stumbling block for God’s people.

I hope that is not you this morning, because or Lord has a stern warning for those who cause God’s sheep to stumble:

“but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depths of the sea.” – Matthew 18:6

The door leads to abundant life

Abundant life means more than sufficient.

The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness fails never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine for ever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul he leads,
And where the verdant pastures grow
With food celestial feeds.

Perverse and foolish often I strayed,
But yet in love he sought me,
And on his shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death's dark vale I fear no ill
With you, dear Lord, beside me;
Your rod and staff my comfort still,
Your cross before to guide me.

You spread a table in my sight;
Your unction, grace bestow:
And O what transport of delight
From your pure chalice flows!

And so through all the length of days
Your goodness never fails never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing your praise
Within your house for ever.

– Cambridge Singers

III. Jesus is the good Shepherd (v11-16)

Verse 11: “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

Transition: This is what the Shepherd did for sinners.

He lays down His life for the sheep [v. 11]

In Christian theology, we call that penal substitution – meaning, that Christ took upon himself the sinners sin on the Cross and bore the full unmitigated wrath of God.

Isaiah 53:6 - "the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Isaiah 53:12 - "yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors."

Romans 3:25 – “whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in God’s merciful restraint He let the sins previously committed go unpunished.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 - "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Galatians 3:13 - "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us -- for it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree."

“On the cross, God looked at Christ and saw you. Now, He looks at you and sees Christ.” - John MacArthur

Transition: Faith Church, I hope we never grow tired of hearing and singing this glorious truth!

“Upon a life I have not lived, upon a death I did not die, another’s life, another’s death I stake my whole eternity.” “O Jesus, Son of God, I build on what Thy cross has done for me, There both my life and death I read, my guilt, my pardon there I see.”[4]

He is an owner and not a hired hand [vv. 12-13]

12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters the flock. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and does not care about the sheep.”

I don’t need to do too much explaining here, since it’s pretty self-explanatory.

He knows the sheep and He knows the Father [vv.14-15]

14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own, and My own know Me, 15 just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”

In other words, Jesus intimately knows every one of his people in this room right now.

You can enjoy life in his name because he personally and individually knows his people – that’s an amazing thought that I don’t think we fully appreciate.

And it doesn’t get any more intimate when a saint of light is about to be taken home to glory. I’ve heard of testimony after testimony of elder saints focus become so intimately and laser focused on the Shepherd of their soul.

I have personally seen the difference between a person who is afraid to stand before the Judge because they don’t know the Shepherd from one who has that saving relationship and has no fear at all and is at peace because Christ establishes that person in perfect peace because he trust in Him (Isa. 26:3)

But that peace and life in his name can be enjoyed now – you know something, I look around and watch that many of you smile. I’ve recently heard you sing songs up here…and you are…happy.

I bet I can figure out why…because you know the Shepherd and he knows you and you have everything you need pertaining to life and godliness because you know that God “shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:12

He is drawing together one flock from various folds [v. 16]

16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice; and they will become one flock, with one shepherd.”

Jesus is in the work of calling out a people to himself. For those who may not know Christ today, do you hear the call of the Shepherd-King? If so, please talk with one of us. Please don’t wait another week. Please don’t leave here without the good Shepherd.

IV. Jesus is sent by the Father (v17-21)

Based on love and obedience (v. 17)

“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it back.”

This is the power of your Shepherd – right. He has power to lay down his life at the Cross and power to resurrect it. Now, if he has that kind of power over life and death, does he not have the power to help you live in his name?

John 14:15 15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Transition: He will give you sufficient strength for todays troubles because he has all authority over life and death

With all authority over life and death (v.18)

No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it back. This commandment I received from My Father.”

He has the authority to lay down His life and pick it back up again…which means he can actually protect us…in contrast to other false Messiah, who not only kill, and destroy…they can’t truly save us from Death…but the good shepherd can.

Now if you are a believer, it is good to ask, do I connect my love for God to everyday life where I follow Him, and obey Him leading me rather than try to go my own way and trust myself? Do you respond to correct quickly and humble and focus on following Him.

Do you see Jesus as the one with authority…or do you want to be the one who leads themselves…The Christian life is all about following…

To heal the spiritually blind (vv.19-21)

19 Dissension occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These are not the words of one who is demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of those who are blind, can it?”

That is to say, we know that demons destroy, that all the false messiahs of this world, are ultimately satanic…and the devil is like a roaring lion…seeking to devour…

Whereas, Jesus is the good shepherd seeking to save that which is lost and to lay down his life so that we can be saved…

Conclusion: Again, He is using physical metaphors to point to spiritual realities…so that we would have eyes to see…..those who have eyes to see will by Faith trust that Jesus is the good shepherd…

But now, if you don’t listen to him and follow Him… it is very reasonable to ask if you are his sheep…and if you do not listen to the commands of Jesus laid out in the bible…you do not love and trust Him…and so the first step for you is to listen to his voice…to turn from your sin, and place your faith in who He is and What He did on the cross to pay for your sins

“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10

His sheep hear His voice and follow Him, and they will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


“Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, that is, Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” – Hebrews 13:20-21

[1] RC Sproul, St. Andrews Expositional Commentary (Downers Groves: IVP Academic, 2009), 187.

[2]Ibid., 187.

[3] THR Staff, “Ten Hollywood Celebrities Who Have Spoken Out About Their Religion,” The Hollywood Reporter, last modified,

[4] Bob Kauflin, “Ten Atonement Songs You Should Consider Singing,” Nine Marks, last modified,


David Mora


Pastor of Northend Ministries - Faith Church


B. S. - Religious Education, Davis College
M. Div. - The Master's Seminary

David was raised in upstate NY and was saved in his early 20’s. Not too long after his conversion to Christ, David attended Practical Bible College (now Davis College) where he met his wife, Marleah. They were married in 2003.

In 2005, David and his wife moved to Southern California for his studies at The Master’s Seminary under the ministry of Pastor John MacArthur. After receiving his Master’s of Divinity in 2012, he came to Maryland and served at Hope Bible Church and was later ordained to Pastoral Ministry in the summer of 2017. While at Hope Bible Church, he served in a number of capacities, but his primary emphasis was teaching.

Pastor David joined the Faith Church staff in 2020 to assist in the efforts of serving the Northend Community. He and his wife have been blessed with four children, Leayla, Nalani, Jadon and Alétheia.