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11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.


Now we come to the third section of the chapter (10:11-15). Verse 11 launches another way in which Jesus described the shepherd/sheep relationship. His offer of “abundant life” comes at a heavy price.

11 “I am the good [true, noble] shepherd.

In this fourth “I am” statement, Jesus called Himself “the good shepherd.” “Good” implies that He is the authentic shepherd. God was called the Shepherd of His people (Ps 23:1; Jer 31:10). The Bible calls Jesus the “Great Shepherd” (He 13:20-21) and the “Chief Shepherd” (1 Pe 5:4).

The Greek reads: “the shepherd, the good one.” This sets Jesus” role as Shepherd apart from any other shepherd. He is in a class by Himself; He is the preeminent Shepherd.

The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

The shepherd in Israel had a dangerous role. Lions, jackals, wolves, panthers, leopards, lions, bears, and hyenas roamed the countryside. David, the shepherd boy, fought with both a lion and bear (1 Sa 17:34-37).

Jesus came to give “His life for the sheep.” This indicates why He is called the “good shepherd.” The Greek word for “for” implies substitution. Jesus laid down His life for others. He did not merely risk His life for the sheep; He gave His life for them.


Jesus voluntarily gave His life as a substitution for the payment for sins of others.


Jesus came for the purpose of laying down His life for His people. He gave His life so that others can have a relationship with God and possess eternal life (Jn 1:29). He did not come simply to be an example. The purpose of His sacrifice is that sheep are in mortal danger and need to be rescued for eternity.

He 13: 20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.