Fourth Sunday of Easter (Apr 22nd)

Pastor's Summary of John 10:11-18

Jesus continues to speak of himself as the good shepherd, an image familiar to his audience. True followers, he has said, recognize the good shepherd. "I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved...and find pasture...the theif comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have [spiritual life}, and have it abundantly" (vv. 9-10). Now he says that he is the "good" (v.11, i.e. real, proper) "shepherd", the one who dies for his  "sheep", his flock. But the "hired hand"; (v. 12) does not care enough to save the sheep from the "wolf". (Old Testament prophets spoke of leaders of Israel in these terms, so Jesus probably speaks of them here--shepherds who are not worthy of the name.) Jesus' relationship to people is like the Father's to him (v. 15). Who are the "other sheep" V. 16)? We can only guess: perhaps they are non-Jews. They will have equal status with those who already follow Jesus, as part of one Church. Then v. 18: Jesus has been given the authority to choose to die and the power to rise again from the dead. He is in control of his own death and resurrection.