11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
good (shepherd) (v. 11) — divine, spiritual, pre-eminantly excellent
hireling (v. 12) = hired hand. One who uses his position of leadership for self-gain. And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them" (Ezekiel 34:1-6).
wolves (v. 12) — false prophets and teachers (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29). The wolf scatters the sheep but doesn't devour them. No sheep belonging to Christ will perish.
The sheep and shepherd know each other (v. 14) as the Father and Son know each other.
Prophecy of the Good Shepherd — Genesis 49:24; Isaiah 40:10-11; Ezekiel 34:11-12; 15-16; 23; 30-31.
Christ didn't die for the truth or for a principle, but for the sheep(v. 15) = people (Isaiah 53:8; Matthew 26:28).
for (v. 15) = in the stead of (Romans 5:6-8)
When Jesus talked of laying down His "life," He uses the word psuche, which means "soul." This is the word Peter used when he told Jesus he would lay down his life for Him. In response, Jesus said to him, "No, you won't, You can't! You, Peter, can't give your soul for another. But I will give My soul, that you — and all My flock — might have life" (see John 13:37-38). Isaiah 53:10 says the Messiah would "make His soul an offering for sin." — Opening the Gospel of John, by Philip W. Comfort and Wendell C. Hawley, page 169-170