When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:4
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15
Jesus is telling a story that illustrates the relationship between the people and himself. He uses the analogy of a shepherd and his sheep throughout the story. Jesus is represented by the shepherd while the people are represented by the sheep. In the first version of the story, Jesus explains that the shepherd enters through the gate (and not some other way), and his sheep listen to his voice. After calling them out, he goes ahead of them and they follow. When the crowd of Jews don’t understand the first version, Jesus proceeds with a second. In this second story, Jesus cuts right to the chase, explaining that he is the gate for the sheep, saving all who enter through him. Unlike the thief who acts like the shepherd but comes only to steal and destroy, Jesus came to provide life. Next, Jesus calls himself the “good shepherd”, the one who is willing to die for his sheep. Jesus repeats this fact while at the same time using his relationship with the Father as an example of his relationship as the shepherd with the sheep.
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