In chapter ten, John records the final public address by Jesus. Here, our Lord reveals a further characteristic of his ministry He appeals to the ancient and familiar role of shepherd as a way to illustrate his own Person and work. In this he contrasts himself with the unfaithful shepherds of Israel who have failed their calling and brought grief upon the people of God.
Jesus also refers to himself as the Door for the sheep by which they enter God’s abundant rest and find peace in his presence. In this life, Satan – the thief – operates with the singular purpose of destroying God’s image-bearers. But Jesus, the shepherd and protector of God’s people came to give them life in abundance.
It is not entirely clear whether Jesus’ words in chapter ten follow immediately after the events described in chapter nine or if some gap in time separates the two. However, there is a direct connection thematically between Jesus’ words to the Pharisees and his teaching recorded in chapter ten. After he healed the man born blind, Jesus exposed the religious authorities – those called to be faithful spiritual shepherds of God’s people – as being blind guides. They failed in the most fundamental tasks of their office. But Jesus, the great Shepherd of God’s flock is the One who will ultimately save and keep them by his own shed blood.