14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
The Lord Jesus Christ, for the second time in John 10, refers to Himself as “the good shepherd”. It is His joy to repeatedly affirm that He is “the good shepherd” of His people, the church. He is also referred to as the “great shepherd” (Hebrews 13:20), and “the chief shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4).
The church, the body of believers, is tenderly attended to by the Lord Jesus Christ. He guides the church through His voice in the Scriptures. All Scriptural commandments, promises, rebukes, corrections, instructions, doctrines are for their protection and guidance. John Calvin, the great reformed theologian, remarked in his commentary: “Hence it follows, that they who reject the guardianship of so kind and amiable a shepherd are exceedingly ungrateful, and deserve a hundred deaths, and are exposed to every kind of harm.”
As “the good shepherd”, Jesus knows His sheep. His knowledge extends to all genuine believers. Not one of them shall be overlooked or lost in the crowd. Each one of them is individually known and named. In John 10:3, He spoke of the true shepherd as one who “calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out”. Our omniscient Shepherd knows us. No matter where we live in the world, He knows us and deals with us as His sheep. He recognises and cares for every sheep of His flock.
The word “know” here is used in the sense of affectionate regard or love. It implies His knowledge of their characters, their conditions and their circumstances. He knows their needs, their dangers, their fears, their struggles and their infirmities; as such, He knows how to attend to them according to the riches of His grace. His loving kindness as their Shepherd will defend and aid them at all times.
This assurance of His loving knowledge of His people is not a temporary one. It is a permanent assurance. He will lead His people now and forever. Even if it be through the valley of death, He will be with us and lead us into the eternal home He has prepared for us (Psalm 23:4).
Furthermore, Christ’s sheep know Him as their Shepherd, for He said that “I … am known of mine.” His sheep are happy to acknowledge Him and follow Him always. Let every believer joyfully say, “The Lord Jesus is my Good Shepherd, and I will follow Him all the days of my life.”