The Secret Service just had to change protocol for when
the President is in danger. Instead of yelling “Get down!”
They have to yell, “Donald, duck!”
This morning we continue our series through the I AM
statements of Jesus found in the 4th gospel, the gospel
As I do each week, let me begin by reminding you of the
fact that as Jesus makes each of these statements to
show three truths. We have to keep these in mind as a
backdrop for each of these statements.
First, His Pre-existence – He was with God in the
Second, His Incarnation – He came in the flesh to earth
to live a perfect life as an example for believers to follow.
Third, His Divinity – He was fully God the whole time He
was on earth. He humbled Himself while He was on
earth, but He never stopped being God. He displayed it
through healings, resurrections and casting out evil
There is one key truth in this morning’s text.
We see it repeated 5 times in these 8 verses.
Jesus lays down His life for the sheep.
It’s an incredible act of love and obedience which allows
God to see us as He sees the Son.
Jesus uses the sheep analogy because His audience
understands that it can be dangerous out in the field at
night trying to protect vulnerable sheep.
He is the good shepherd because He puts the needs of
the sheep above His own.
Why did Jesus choose to lay down His life?
We are going to see three answers to that question as we
study our text.
Jesus lays down His life for Relationship
Jesus contrasts being a good shepherd with one who has
simply been hired to work in the field by the owner.
The owner, shepherd, cares for the sheep, he protects
them and provides for them.
The hired hand will not stick around if his life is in
He will flee because he is not concerned about the sheep.
He is more concerned about a paycheck than about the
lives of the sheep he was hired to care for.
The shepherd was willing to sacrifice His life for the lives
of the sheep.
Jesus was also willing to lay down His life for everyone
who trusts in Him and calls on Him for salvation.
Jesus states He knows the sheep and they know Him.
Remember back in vv.3-4 of John 10, he calls them by
name and the sheep follow him because they know his
That verb translated know in the Greek is ginosko and it
means more than just the simple facts. It’s used to
describe an intimate trusting relationship.
Jesus then refers to the relationship He has with the
Father. ‘Even as the Father knows Me and I know the
Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.’
We are able to have that same kind of relationship with
Jesus as He has with the Father.
We were created for relationship.
We can access Him through prayer and He speaks to us
through His word as we read and hear it preached.
Jesus laid down His life for relationship!
Next, Jesus mentions having other sheep not of this fold.
This helps us understand second answer to the question
Why did Jesus lay down His life?
Jesus lays down His life for Adoption
This is a reference to the Gentiles.
We all know that Israel is God’s chosen people.
The ones He used to showcase His power and glory and
might. But that doesn’t mean that He only cares about
them. Jesus didn’t come only to lay down His life for the
Jews. He came to seek and save that which was lost.
At the end of His ministry on earth, He sent the disciples
out into the world on mission to share the good news to
all the nations.
He also told them as they were waiting for the Holy Spirit
to come upon them, that they would be His witnesses in
Judea, Samaria and even to the ends of the earth.
When Jesus says these other sheep will become one flock
with one shepherd, He is talking about how non-Jews
who confess Him as Lord will be adopted as sons.
Let’s look at these verses in Romans that help us
understand this truth.
Romans 8:14-15 “For all who are being led by the
Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have
not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear
again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as
sons by which we cry out,
Those who trust in Christ are saved by grace through
faith and adopted as sons and receive the same
inheritance, eternal life!
These verses don’t specifically mention adoption, but
they show us that we are all one in Christ when it comes
Galatians 3:28-29 “There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither
male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s
descendants, heirs according to promise.”
We are all saved by the grace of God because Jesus came
to lay down His life for the sheep!
Finally, we see the last answer to the question
Why did Jesus lay down His life?
Jesus lays down His life in preparation for His
In v.17 Jesus says the Father loves Him because He lays
it down so that He may take it again.
In verse 18 He mentions His authority to lay it down and
take it up.
There is an interesting paradox happening here.
Jesus lays down His life voluntarily.
First Jesus gave up His life at the time when He knew
was right. No human took it from Him. They definitely
tried, but He never allowed them to, because it wasn’t
theirs to take because Jesus held the authority.
Jesus lays down His life in obedience to the
command of His Father.
“This commandment I received from My Father.”
He prayed in the garden, if there be any other way,
remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless not My will, but
He willingly obeyed the command of His Father and
voluntarily gave up His life as a ransom for many.
So, what does God want us to do as a result of studying
this I AM statement of Jesus?
Clearly, Jesus knows His children and we know Him.
Our goal ought to be to
Deepen our relationship with Him
When and where do you clearly hear from Him?
Are you being obedient to His commands in your life?
What is He telling you?
Where is He guiding you?
Are you listening?
Are you obeying?