The book of John is a wonderful testimony of Jesus being God manifest in the flesh, the one and only Saviour of mankind, and includes seven distinct “I am” statements from Jesus in which he confirms his divinity, with each statement pointing to a specific attribute of the great “I AM” who revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).
John 10:11 is the fourth of these seven “I AM” statements. Jesus repeats this statement in John 10:14.
Jesus, the good shepherd, came to lay his life down for us (John 10:11. 10:15) because we, as sheep, all went astray, each to our own way. Yet, in laying down his life, Jesus was, himself, as a sheep being led to slaughter.
All we as sheep have gone astray; every one has gone astray in his way; and the Lord gave him up for our sins. And he, because of his affliction, opens not his mouth: he was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:6-7, Brenton)
As the good shepherd, Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), unlike shepherds that are hirelings (John 10:12-13), the idol or vain shepherds who leave the flock.
Alas for the vain shepherds that have forsaken the sheep! the sword shall be upon the arms of such a one, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be completely withered, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened. (Zechariah 11:17, Brenton)
Ezekiel, Chapter 34 is a prophecy against these vain shepherds, as well as a wonderful prophecy of Jesus as the good shepherd, who will bring all of his true sheep into his mountain, Mount Zion, to feed them in good pasture and cause them to rest. Here’s all of Ezekiel Chapter 34:
Ezekiel 34:1-31 (Brenton)
1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say to the shepherds, Thus saith the Lord God; O shepherds of Israel, do shepherds feed themselves? do not the shepherds feed the sheep?
3 Behold, ye feed on the milk, and clothe yourselves with the wool, and slay the fat: but ye feed not my sheep.
4 The weak one ye have not strengthened, and the sick ye have not cherished, and the bruised ye have not bound up, and the stray one ye have not turned back, and the lost ye have not sought; and the strong ye have wearied with labour.
5 And my sheep were scattered, because there were no shepherds: and they became meat to all the wild beasts of the field.
6 And my sheep were scattered on every mountain, and on every high hill: yea, they were scattered on the face of the earth, and there was none to seek them out, nor to bring them back.
7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord.
8 As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became meat to all the wild beasts of the field, because there were no shepherds, and the shepherds sought not out my sheep, and the shepherds fed themselves, but fed not my sheep.
9 For this cause, O shepherds,
10 thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hands, and will turn them back that they shall not feed my sheep, and the shepherds shall no longer feed them; and I will deliver my sheep out of their mouth, and they shall no longer be meat for them.
11 For thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will seek out my sheep, and will visit them.
12 As the shepherd seeks his flock, in the day when there is darkness and cloud, in the midst of the sheep that are separated: so will I seek out my sheep, and will bring them back from every place where they were scattered in the day of cloud and darkness.
13 And I will bring them out from the Gentiles, and will gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land, and will feed them upon the mountains of Israel, and in the valleys, and in every inhabited place of the land.
14 I will feed them in a good pasture, on a high mountain of Israel: and their folds shall be there, and they shall lie down, and there shall they rest in perfect prosperity, and they shall feed in a fat pasture on the mountains of Israel.
15 I will feed my sheep, and I will cause them to rest; and they shall know that I am the Lord: thus saith the Lord God.
16 I will seek that which is lost, and I will recover the stray one, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen the fainting, and will guard the strong, and will feed them with judgment.
17 And as for you, ye sheep, thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will distinguish between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.
18 And is it not enough for you that ye fed on the good pasture, that ye trampled with your feet the remnant of your pasture? and that ye drank the standing water, that ye disturbed the residue with your feet?
19 So my sheep fed on that which ye had trampled with your feet; and they drank the water that had been disturbed by your feet.
20 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will separate between the strong sheep and the weak sheep.
21 Ye did thrust with your sides and shoulders, and pushed with your horns, and ye cruelly treated all the sick.
22 Therefore I will save my sheep, and they shall not be any more for a prey; and will judge between ram and ram.
23 And I will raise up one shepherd over them, and he shall tend them, even my servant David, and he shall be their shepherd;
24 and I the Lord will be to them a God, and David a prince in the midst of them; I the Lord have spoken it.
25 And I will make with David a covenant of peace and I will utterly destroy evil beasts from off the land; and they shall dwell in the wilderness, and sleep in the forests.
26 And I will settle them round about my mountain; and I will give you the rain, the rain of blessing.
27 And the trees that are in the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her strength, and they shall dwell in the confidence of peace on their land, and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken their yoke; and I will deliver them out of the hand of those that enslaved them.
28 And they shall no more be a spoil to the nations, and the wild beasts of the land shall no more at all devour them; and they shall dwell safely, and there shall be none to make them afraid.
29 And I will raise up for them a plant of peace, and they shall no more perish with hunger upon the land, and they shall no more bear the reproach of the nations.
30 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, and they my people. O house of Israel, saith the Lord God,
31 ye are my sheep, even the sheep of my flock, and I am the Lord your God, saith the Lord God.
John 10 Audio
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.