Jesus has just told us that He gives life. He gives His sheep everything that the false teachers try to steal from them. He now expounds on this.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd
Jesus is again using the metaphor of sheep, thieves, and shepherds. Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd. He is obviously declaring Himself to be the Lord from Psalm 23. He is also showing that He has come to protect and provide for His sheep. He will lead them, feed them, and protect them.
Jesus gives up His life
The thieves want to steal or kill the sheep. Jesus will not let them succeed in this. Instead Jesus will stand as the door and fight the thieves alone. He will stand in the gap for His sheep. He will ultimately give His sheep life by dying for them. Jesus dies so that His sheep might live. Like David, He will fight the lion and the bear to protect the life of His sheep. Jesus will face the attacks of men and devils so that His people might live.
Jesus dies for His Sheep
The most startling thing Jesus says is that He is only dying for the sheep, not the thieves and robbers. This may be starting to people who have been raised in our “Christian” subculture, but it is an obvious truth. Shepherds do not die protecting lions, wolves, and bears. They do not risk their lives for those who would harm their sheep. Shepherds only hazard their lives for their own sheep.
Jesus has a special love for His people. He will protect them from those who would harm them. In fact, He will take the pain, suffering, and death upon Himself so that His sheep may live. He will kill the wolves who would harm His sheep. Many people take false comfort in the universal love of Jesus Christ for the world. They believe that they will escape the wrath of God because “God so loved the world.” However, it is clear from Scripture that only sheep will escape the wrath of God. The wolves and thieves who would harm God’s sheep will face the wrath of the Shepherd.
Are you a sheep?