John 10

1 Jesus changes the subject in order to give them a different illustration that contrasts His ministry (the ministry of God) to how Judaism was being practiced. A sheepfold was an enclosed area where sheep were penned for the night. It only had one door, and the door usually had a doorkeeper. One who wanted to steal a sheep would climb over a wall rather than attempt to use the door.
2 The shepherd, of course, would use the door. He had no reason to hide himself when he took His sheep. Nothing needed to be kept secret.
3 The doorkeeper knows the Shepherd and opens the door so that He may call His sheep. The doorkeeper may be John the Baptist, who was assigned the task of pointing out the Messiah to Israel. The Shepherd knows each sheep by name. The meaning is that Jesus has a personal relationship with each of His followers.
4 Wherever Jesus leads, His people will follow. They know their Shepherd because they hear and recognize His voice. Again, this indicates that the people of God have a personal relationship with Jesus. One can usually recognize the voice of a close friend or family member even if he can not see them.
5 Among the "shepherds" that a sheep may choose to follow, he will follow the one he knows. Other shepherds will mislead and abuse them.
6 The people were very familiar with sheep and shepherds, but they did not understand that Jesus was speaking of Himself as the Shepherd, the religious leaders as robbers and strangers, and the sheep as the common people of Israel. Jesus knew their hearts, of course, but the blank expressions on their faces probably gave them away.
7 Jesus changes the illustration slightly. Some sheep pens did not have doors, so the shepherd would sleep across the opening and act as a door.
8 It is apparent that Jesus is not speaking of the prophets and good kings that led Israel before Jesus came. He is speaking of the bad kings and the corrupted leadership within Judaism, especially those of the present time. They may have tried to get the sheep to follow them, but the sheep knew that these were not their true leaders.
9 If the sheep followed the shepherd through the door, they could be assured of being safe and finding green pastures. When a Christian follows Jesus and resists corrupt leaders and false teachers, they can be assured of eternal salvation and abundant spiritual provisions.
10 The motivation of corrupt leaders and false teachers is to enrich and empower themselves at the expense of the sheep. The shepherd, though, wants His sheep to be healthy, safe, and well fed.
11 Jesus refers to the illustrations of God being the good Shepherd, and attributes these characteristics to Himself (Psa 23, Isa 40:11). The good Shepherd is more than just a tender of sheep, though, He has already determined to give up His life for the sheep. Jesus is, of course, referring to the plan of salvation that would be centered on His sacrifice on the cross.
12 God has left His people under the guidance of "hirelings," referring to the current religious leadership. The hirelings have proven to be untrustworthy. Previously illustrated as thieves who took advantage of the people, Jesus further accuses them of abandoning the people when they really needed it. Attacks were both just physical and spiritual, but the leadership was inadequate for either task.
13 The motivations became apparent when they ran. They were willing to work for their own benefit, but they would not endanger their lives for the sake of the people.
15 Just as Jesus knows His people, He also knows the Father. The Father also knows Him. This implies that Jesus' shepherding is characterized by godly wisdom and love. The hirelings were characterized by worldly gain and selfishness.
16 The two folds of sheep are the Jews and the Gentiles. The Christian Church is a single fold of sheep under the leadership of the One Shepherd, Jesus.
17 Jesus is obedient to the Father, and this shows one aspect of the love relationship seen in the Godhead.
18 Jesus' death will eventually be played out in the religious and political arenas of the day, but it did not occur by accident. God carefully planned the actions that were necessary to provoke the murderous response of the sinful people of the time. Jesus willingly agreed to the Father's plan because of His compassion for people. Jesus gave up His life freely, but at the resurrection, all would see that he had the ability to take His life back once the penalty for sin was satisfied.
19 Jesus' illustrations were still confusing to many of them.
20 Some probably rejected what He said because He was accusing the religious leadership of spiritual weakness and corruption. They felt that only a demon would bring such accusations against them. Others likely used this accusation merely as an insult to Jesus.
21 Others could see that Jesus' words were eloquent and true. The compassionate attitude that Jesus encouraged and His constant submission to the Father indicated that no demon was in Him. Furthermore, the healing of the blind man was not something a demon could or would do. Jesus had physical evidence and spiritual wisdom to back up His claims.
22 About two months had passed since the discourse in the previous verses.
25 Jesus had told them that He was the Messiah. It was not clear language they had a problem with, they simply refused to believe Him. Those that were reluctant to believe might have expected Jesus to become the military king that they imagined the Messiah would be. They did not understand that Jesus' current mission was to save people from sin, not from Rome.
26 Referring to His previous discussion He tried to explain to them that they did not believe because they had not intention of following Him or God's will.
28 Sheep can neither protect themselves nor effectively flee from danger. If the sheep is safe, it is because he has a good shepherd.

Jesus had previously taught about eternal life for His followers. In addition, He promises that His followers will never be snatched away. Christians are forever protected from all kinds of spiritual attacks and can not be misled. John later speaks of presumed Christians that later renounce Jesus. He explains there that a person who would do such a thing never really knew Jesus in the first place (1 John 2:19).

29 The reason why Christians are safe is that God is greater than any created thing that might threaten them. The parallel between Jesus' hand in the last verse and the Father's hand in this verse is unmistakable. It leads to Jesus' summary of His relationship with God in the next verse.
30 Jesus and the Father are one essence and one Being. In the mystery of the Godhead, also known as the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three individuals in a single God.
31 There was no mistaking -- Jesus was claiming to be God. The Jews immediately picked up stones to execute Him with for the crime of blasphemy. Jesus, of course, was not guilty of this crime since His divine claims were true. The Jews had trouble believing this because they only saw Jesus as a man. They were not impressed enough by the miracles to conclude that Jesus was also God.
32 Jesus defends His words by pointing to the miracles that He performed that were unmistakably from God. If they were going to stone Him because of His claims, they would also be stoning Him because of the miracles.
33 In their own minds, they could not see that the one doing God's works was also the one claiming to be divine. They had separated the works from the claims and refused to believe that the two were inseparable.
34 Jesus now goes to the Scriptures to defend Himself. The passage is one where God is referring to Israel's judges as gods (Psa 82:1-7). As judges, they had God given power to make life and death decisions, a characteristic one would attribute to a god.
35 Reminding them that God's word can not be broken, He asks why God could call men gods, but they are offended when He claims to be God's Son.
37 Jesus was not merely making claims; He was backing them up with powerful proofs.
39 Again, they wanted to kill Him then, but He escaped.
40 Jesus then left the hostile environment of Jerusalem for a while and went back to the area where John the Baptists singled Jesus out as the Messiah.
41 The people of the region remembered that John had pointed Jesus out. They also remembered that the various prophecies that John uttered had come true. They had thought John was a great man although he never performed a miracle. Jesus, on the other hand, abounded in miracles. If they believed John, they could believe Jesus with even more confidence.