Bible Study

John Bible Study, Day 18: Jesus’s Sheep

Today’s passage: John 10:22–42

Focus verse: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)

Jews, whom I suspect are Pharisees, ask Jesus if he is the expected Messiah, the Christ they’ve been awaiting. They want a direct yes or no answer.

“I already told you,” Jesus responds, “but you didn’t believe me.” He says the works he does—miracles, healings, and exorcisms—give testimony to who he is because he does them in his Father’s name.

“But you don’t believe me because you’re not my sheep.” Note that Jesus doesn’t say they are not sheep, just that they’re not his sheep. 

We are his sheep. Try not to take offense at this because actual sheep aren’t too bright and often need help. Yet don’t lose sight of the truth that we are error prone and need Jesus to guide our daily lives—our very existence. 

Jesus says his sheep listen for the sound of his voice. As good sheep, we obey what Jesus tells us to do. As our Shepherd, he only suggests what’s in our best interest. We should do what he says.

Not only do Jesus’s sheep listen to his voice, but Jesus knows his sheep. He knows each of us by name. We’re not part of any flock, but we are each known as unique individuals by our Savior.

As his sheep, Jesus knows us. We follow him. Where he goes, we’re right behind him. He says, “Come on, little sheep, this path is a better one. It will keep you from danger.” Then we fall into step behind him—or at least we should. 

As Jesus’s sheep, he gives us eternal life. Because of him, we will live forever. Though our physical bodies will one day wind down, our spiritual being will never perish. We’ll live forever with Jesus, our Good Shepherd, in heaven.

Jesus gives us a promise that no one will ever take us—his sheep—away from him. Nobody will snatch us from his safe embrace and protective grasp.

It seems too good to be true: overwhelming and wonderful. Through Jesus we will have life forever, and no one can stop that from happening.


  1. What might you have in common with the Pharisees?
  2. How disappointed do you get when Jesus doesn’t give you a yes or no answer?
  3. How can you better listen for Jesus’s voice as your shepherd? 
  4. How can knowing that no one can ever take us from Jesus’s protection change your actions and attitudes? 
  5. How can his promise that we’ll be with him forever affect what you do today?

Discover more about eternal life in John 3:15–16, John 3:36, John 17:3, Romans 6:23, and 1 John 5:11–13. What insights can you glean from these passages?

Read the next lesson or start at the beginning of this study.

Tips: Check out our tips to use this online Bible study for your church, small group, Sunday school class, or family discussion. It’s also ideal for personal study. Come back each Monday for a new lesson.

Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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