In the first four chapters of the gospel of John we see very little opposition to Yeshua's teaching, in fact He is gaining in popularity. In chapter 5 Yeshua was accused by the Jewish leaders of making himself equal with God. He responded to this accusation by saying, I am equal to Yahweh in every way. Chapter 6 opens with Yeshua's popularity at its height, large crowds are following Him and wanting to make Him their king. But by the end of the chapter the crowds have forsaken Him because they couldn't handle His teaching. And chapter 7 opens with the Jews seeking to kill Him. From here on to the end of the His public ministry we see a steadily deepening hostility.
In chapter 8 Yeshua gets into another confrontation with the leaders of Israel. And he said to them, "You're of your father, the devil." That didn't go over so well and the end of the chapter says, "Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him. Yeshua hid Himself and went out of the temple."
On His way out of the temple (chapter 9), Yeshua sees a man who had been blind from birth and He stops and heals him. It was the Sabbath. So the religious leaders were furious that Yeshua healed on the Sabbath. The fact that he healed a man who had been blind from birth didn't affect them at all. They knew that Messiah would heal the blind but they just didn't get it.
Because they hated Christ they made a law that if anyone confessed Yeshua to be the Messiah, he was to be put out of the synagogue. We need to remember that the religious leaders of the Jewish community exercised enormous control over their people. They ensured that the people conformed to the expected rules. So when the formally blind man believed in and worshiped Yeshua he violated their law. He has confessed Him as Messiah, Lord, and Savior. So they throw him out of the synagogue.
Chapter 10 allegorically and symbolically pictures what happened to the blind man when he was cast out of the synagogue and came into fellowship with Yeshua. So, what is historically set out in John chapter 9 is symbolically and allegorically set out under the figure of the shepherd and the sheep in John chapter 10.
So in chapter 10 Yeshua's dialogue with the Pharisees continues. He teaches them with a parable comparing God's relationship to His Covenant people with a shepherd's relationship to his sheep. So the point of verses 1-5 is that Yeshua is gathering a flock, a people. "He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out" (verse 3). In these verses the sheepfold into which the true Shepherd enters contains many flocks. Only some of these sheep "belong" to the true Shepherd. Out of the sheepfold of Israel, the true Shepherd calls His own sheep by name. His sheep know His voice and follow Him out of the fold. This is a simple analogy but the religious leaders just didn't get it:
This figure of speech Yeshua spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. John 10:6 NASB
In spite of all their "knowledge" of the Tanakh, the Pharisees don't get it. They can't hear the voice of the Great Shepherd because they are not his sheep.
So then in verses 7-18, Yeshua shifts from the third person to the first person singular ("I," "Me"). He makes it very clear from here on that He is speaking of Himself as the Door and the Good Shepherd. Verses 7-18 leave the sheepfold (Israel) and focus on the flock of the Good Shepherd. It is for this flock that Yeshua laid down His life.
In verses 7-10 Yeshua tells us that he is the Door. Lying down in the opening of the sheepfold the shepherd is the protector and savior of the sheep; he himself is the door that prevents the entry of any wild animal seeking to destroy and eat the sheep. Verses 11-21 form the third part of the series of allegories, or parables, about an eastern shepherd and the life that he lives. Remember, this is all said in the light of the healing of the man that was born blind in chapter 9.
Verses 11-18 change the metaphor from Yeshua as the door to Yeshua as the shepherd. The Lord uses the figure of a shepherd and the sheep because he is so much like a shepherd and we are so much like sheep. The shepherd suggests ownership, the sheep belong to him. In the east the shepherds were almost always owners of the flocks. It also suggests fellowship because the shepherd was always with his sheep. And it's a good thing that he is always with them because sheep are helpless. They are some of the most helpless of all of the animals. Shepherds spoke of care and feeding and protection. Another thing about sheep that makes them like us is that they are prone to wander, and I'm sure you are aware that believers are prone to wander spiritually. The song writer, Robert Robinson got it right when he wrote, "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love," in his hymn, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. We are so much like sheep. So Yeshua says:
"I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11 NASB
Here, the figure changes. Yeshua, who in verses 7-10 was the Door, now becomes the Shepherd.
"I am the good shepherd"-Yeshua is here identifying Himself with the significant words: "I AM," ego ami, which reminds us of Yahweh's revelation of Himself to Moses 3 times as "I AM" in Exodus 3:13-14. In John's Gospel Yeshua will use these words 26 times and in 7 different metaphors; each metaphor used with a predicate nominative.
The Lord Yeshua claims to be the "I Am" of the Tanakh, the One who is the beginning and the end, the One who is the first and the last, the One who is the Alef and the Tav, I am He. So when the Jews heard the Lord Yeshua say, "I Am," they couldn't help but reflect that this person is making claims of deity.
He not only says that He is the "I Am" he also says that He is the "Good Shepherd". The emphasis here is: "I am the shepherd, the good one." There are two Greek terms which can be translated "good": (1) agathos, which is usually used in John for things, and (2) kalos, which was used in the Septuagint to refer to good as opposed to evil. In the New Testament it has the meanings of "beautiful," "noble," "moral," and "worthy."
The shepherd concept was part of God's self-revelation in the Tanakh. Those listening to Yeshua would have thought of the prophecy from Ezekiel 34:1-12 especially verse 9-12:
therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them."'" For thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. "As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. Ezekiel 34:9-12 NASB
This role in Ezekiel is depicted as fulfilled by Yahweh, but in our text Yeshua makes the claim that He (as God in flesh) is the one fulfilling it. He was telling those Jews that He was Yahweh, because they knew Psalm 23, "Yahweh is my shepherd." They knew Psalm 80, where Yahweh is referred to as the "Shepherd of Israel.
So when Yeshua says, "I am the good shepherd"-He announced His absolute Deity. By using the tetragrammaton, the "I am", and by claiming to be the good shepherd this is a double claim to deity. Both the "I Am" and "shepherd" refer to Yahweh. Yeshua is telling them and us that He is Yahweh in the flesh.
What does it mean to us that Yeshua is our shepherd? Well first of all he's the owner of the sheep. And as the owner He is responsible for the care of his sheep. A shepherd was absolutely responsible for the sheep. And the thing about Yeshua as shepherd that is so comforting to me is that He is never off duty. He does not have holidays. No eight to five hours. He is always on duty. The shepherd of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. So he's the noble shepherd, never off duty. Always watching over his flock.
"The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep-this is the first of five times in this text that John will repeat Christ's willingness to lay down His life for His sheep:
1). 10:11, "The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep"
2). 10:15, "I lay down My life for the sheep"
3). 10:17, "I lay down My life"
4). 10:18a, "I lay it down on My own initiative"
5). 10:18b, "I have authority to lay it down"
Here Yeshua speaks of himself as one who lays down his life for the sheep. That's the emphasis of this section. He dwells upon his care for the sheep in his dying for them. That would have been fairly rare for the Palestinians because ordinarily their shepherds did not face death constantly in caring for the sheep. We do have some instances of it in the Tanakh. David risked his life to care for the sheep. He was a shepherd. He wrestled with the bears and the lions. That was comparatively rare.
In the context of the shepherd caring for the sheep analogy why would Yeshua's statement be shocking to the crowd listening to Him? A good shepherd was expected to defend and protect the flock but he was not expected to die for the sheep. If the shepherd died it would be disastrous for the sheep. They wouldn't make it without their shepherd.
"Lays down His life"-this Greek expression is unusual; the word translated as "lay down" literally means "to put" or "to place." Our expression, "to put one's life on the line," would be close to expressing the risk that is implied in the phrase. This same construction is used in the Greek version of 1 Kings 19:2 to mean death rather than just risk. This means much more than Yeshua risking His life. "Laying down His life" is a uniquely Johannine expression that describes a voluntary sacrificial death (cf. vv. 17, 18; 13:37-38; 15:13; 1 John 3:16).
"Life"-here is not the Greek word bios (which referred to the physical side of life), and he didn't use the Greek word zoe (which John uses of eternal life); instead he used the Greek word psuche, which meant "soul", the totality of his being, the essence of his life. This means that Yeshua loves his sheep so much that he gave himself completely, utterly, totally for them. Believer, If there is anything that proves the love of Yeshua for his sheep, it is the fact that he laid down his life for them.
This is talking about His sacrificial atoning death which was no accident, and the Shepherd was no helpless victim (in the popular sense of that term today), overcome by His adversaries. His death was by His own will and purpose, and in obedience to the Father's will. His death was purposed by Him to save all those the Father had given to Him.
What's interesting here is that the Good Shepherd is also the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). The Good Shepherd laid down His life by becoming the Lamb of God.
"For the sheep"-D.A. Carson's words here are insightful, "The words 'for (hyper) the sheep' suggest sacrifice. The preposition, itself ambiguous, in John always occurs in a sacrificial context, whether referring to the death of Yeshua (6:51; 10:11, 15; 11:50ff.; 17:19; 18:14), of Peter (13:37-38), or of a man prepared to die for his friend (15:13). In no case does this suggest a death with merely exemplary significance; in each case the death envisaged is on behalf of someone else. The shepherd does not die for his sheep to serve as an example, throwing himself off a cliff in a grotesque and futile display while bellowing, 'See how much I love you!' No, the assumption is that the sheep are in mortal danger; that in their defence the shepherd loses his life; that by his death they are saved. That, and that alone, is what makes him the good shepherd." [Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (pp. 379-390). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.]
Christ died "for the sheep," huper, "on behalf of, for the benefit of." That's exactly what Paul says:
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB
Christ became sin "for us." Huper appears in a lot of passages that speak about the substitutionary atonement of Christ, that He took our place, that He died for us. One thing that the Bible makes plain is that the Lord Yeshua is the substitute in the sense that he has born our penalty. He takes our place in order that we might be delivered from the penalty of our sin. And he bares all of the judgment of our sin, and he exhausts the wrath of God upon sin so that those for whom Yeshua dies are in such a position that heaven itself can bring no further charge against them.
The sacrificial death of the Good Shepherd described here is not for "sheep" in general. He doesn't die for all the sheep in the sheepfold of verses 1-5. He dies only for His sheep, the sheep in His flock, the elect whom the Father has given Him.
There is quite a bit of controversy in the Christian church on whether the Lord's death is a general atoning death or whether it's particular. That is did Yeshua come with the purpose of dying for all men, to save all men or did he come with the design and purpose of saving the elect? Good men have held both positions. I think the Biblical position is that he came to die with the design of saving the elect. The design of the atonement is definitely restricted. Yeshua dies for those who had been given to him by the Father. This is the teaching throughout the Fourth Gospel (3:16; 6:37, 39, 40, 44, 65; 10:11, 15, 29; 17:6, 9, 20, 21, 24). It is also the doctrine of the rest of Scripture.
Th Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "The Church, following the teaching of the Apostles, affirms that Yeshua died for all humanity without exception: There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer." [CCC# 605].
They are certainly not following the teaching of the Gospel of John:
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:44 NASB
All that Yeshua died for will come to him and will be raised from the dead.
"He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. John 10:12 NASB
The hireling is not attempting to harm or steal the sheep. In fact, the hireling's motive is good. He is a protector, one who cares for the sheep. However, the point of mentioning the hireling is to show the contrasting levels of commitment. When push comes to shove, the hireling is more interested in protecting himself than the sheep.
"He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. John 10:13 NASB
He does not have any emotional attachment to the sheep and in times of inconvenience, danger or risk will just leave.
"I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, John 10:14 NASB
For a second time Yeshua identifies Himself as Yahweh the good shepherd of Ezekiel chapter 34.
"I know My own and My own know Me"-Know (ginosko) in this Gospel means more than cognizance of mere facts; it implies a relationship of trust and intimacy. This is knowledge in the sense of the "covenant relationship". This goes all the way back to Genesis 4:1 where Adam knew his wife and she had a child.
In the promised new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31), God's people would know him:
"They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Jeremiah 31:34 NASB
The intimacy of the sheep/shepherd relationship is grounded upon the intimacy between the Father and the Son:
even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:15 NASB
He knows the sheep perfectly. He knows us as the Father knows him. The Father knows him perfectly. He knows our fears. He knows our trials. In fact every thought that has ever passed through your mind. The intimacy of Yeshua's care for us and for his church is not simply that of a shepherd for sheep but the same kind of intimate relationship shared by Christ and the Father.
Yeshua does not mean that our relationship with Him is just as intimate as His relationship with the Father, which would be impossible. The comparison means that our relationship with our good shepherd is reciprocal, just as the relationship between the Father and the Son is reciprocal.
For the second time He promises to die for His sheep.
"I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. John 10:16 NASB
This verse refers back to vv. 1-5. There the sheep pen represents Judaism. Yeshua calls his own sheep out of that fold, thereby constituting his own flock; the sheep that remain in that pen are the unbelieving Jews. If Yeshua has other sheep that are not of this sheep pen, the reference must be to Gentiles. This is an allusion to Isaiah 56:6-8:
"Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORD, To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath And holds fast My covenant; Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples." The Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, "Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered." Isaiah 56:6-8 NASB
These "others" are the Gentiles who will be gathered into the Messiah's flock alongside the restored sheep of Israel. This recalls the mission of the Son in 3:16-17, which was to save the world—not just the nation of Israel.
Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Yeshua was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. John 11:51-52 NASB
So not just for the nation Israel but to gather all the children of God.
Yeshua says, "they will become one flock with one shepherd"-there are plenty of Bible teachers who would deny this. They say that there are two distinct purposes of God, one related to the earth, the other related to heaven. The one related to the earth dealing with an earthly people, the nation Israel, the other the heavenly purpose related to the heavenly people, the church of Yeshua the Christ.
John Hagee who is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas-a non-denominational mega-church with more than 20,000 active members. It is said that his radio and TV ministry speaks worldwide into 99 million homes. Teaches the two peoples with two destinies.
The Houston newspaper quoted John Hagee as saying: "I'm not trying to convert the Jewish people to the Christian faith." The paper went on to quote Hagee as saying: "In fact, trying to convert Jews is a 'waste of time.' The Jewish person who has his roots in Judaism is not going to convert to Christianity. There is no form of Christian evangelism that has failed so miserably as evangelizing the Jewish people. They (already) have a faith structure. Everyone else, whether Buddhist or Baha'i, needs to believe in Jesus. But not Jews. Jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced by Christianity."
Who is it in the Gospel of John that Yeshua is telling they need to believe in Him? It's Jews! The Bible teaches that there is one people of God, all believers share in the promises made to Abraham. So, Israel is said to share in the promises made to Abraham. The church of Yeshua is also said by the apostles in the New Testament to share in the promises made to Abraham. That is the teachings of Ephesians. It is the teaching of Romans.
In Genesis chapter 12 we have the first account of the promises that God gave to Abraham:
Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3 NASB
In the original Abrahamic promises blessings were promised for the Gentiles. Then later on in the Tanakh in the Book of Isaiah in the 42nd chapter as the prophet Isaiah speaks of the ministry of the Suffering Servant of Yahweh, he announces that this Suffering Servant shall have a ministry to the Gentiles:
"I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, Isaiah 42:6 NASB
Then in chapter 49 verse 6, in the second of these songs of the Suffering Servant of Yahweh, the Messiah, we read:
He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth." Isaiah 49:6 NASB
Then in Romans chapter 15, and verse 8, it tells us that the Lord Yeshua came as his first responsibility to confirm the promises made unto the Fathers, to accomplish all that it was said that the Messiah of Israel would do, then verse 9 says,
and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, "THEREFORE I WILL GIVE PRAISE TO YOU AMONG THE GENTILES, AND I WILL SING TO YOUR NAME." Romans 15:9 NASB
The Gentiles are glorifying God for his mercy. God's purpose is to glorify Himself through the salvation of His elect from every nation through the seed of Abraham, Yeshua the Christ.
So Yeshua the good Shepherd says, "I have other sheep"-notice that he doesn't say, "I'm going to get other sheep," he says, "I have other sheep," not I will have. So who are these sheep that he already has? Well the Gospel of John makes very plain that one of the important truths is that the Father has already given certain individuals to the Son.
"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37 NASB
Notice the Father has given to the Son of some individuals.
And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father." John 6:65 NASB
The ones who come to Christ come because they have been given to the Son by the Father.
Yeshua spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua Christ whom You have sent. John 17:1-3 NASB
Christ gives eternal life only to those who the Father has given him. Yeshua prays to his Father:
"I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. John 17:6 NASB
God had chosen these sheep for himself ("they were yours") and he gave them to the Son ("and you gave them to me").
So when Yeshua says, "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold"-he is referring to those who are not in the fold of Judaism. He says he has them not because they are already believers in him, but because they have been given him by the Father. It is an eternal gift of the Father to the Son, and that seals the title of the Lord Yeshua to the sheep. The fact that they are given to him by the Father is the important thing. They will come to him in history as they hear the gospel and at a particular point respond by believing.
"I must bring them also"-this is the "must" of divine necessity. The Father has chosen them. I will lay down my life for them. I must bring them. In other words, there is no question: They will be brought. It is not possible that the Father would choose a flock for the Son, and give them to the Son, and yet the Son not bring them. The salvation of Christ's sheep must take place.
"They will hear My voice"-this speaks not only of the certainty of their response. In this chapter he makes that statement more than once.
"When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:4 NASB
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; John 10:27 NASB
Than later on in chapter 18 speaking with reverence to Pilot, he says:
Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Yeshua answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." John 18:37 NASB
In 10:26 he says:
"But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. John 10:26 NASB
Believing doesn't make you part of his flock. Being part of his eternal flock enables you to believe. Believing shows that you are his from before the foundation of the world. Yeshua saying that those who belong to him know him and listen to his voice cuts deeply. His audience assume that they know God. They stand here in the presence of one who identifies himself as Yahweh, and they do not recognize him; they refuse to listen to his voice. The only conclusion is that they are not his sheep.
"For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. John 10:17 NASB
The statement that the Father loves Yeshua "because" the Son is laying down his life does not mean that Yeshua earns the Father's love by his sacrificial death. Rather, the laying down of Yeshua's life for the sheep is the act which expresses the perfect accord between them.
"No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." John 10:18 NASB
Superficially, observers could have concluded that Yeshua died because the Jews conspired against Him. However, Yeshua revealed that behind that instrumental cause was the efficient cause of God's purpose:
"For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Yeshua, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. Acts 4:27-28 NASB
Yeshua is not speaking about his death as some unfortunate, unpremeditated death by accident; nor is he speaking as one who will die because of the wickedness and brutality of others. He speaks here of a deliberate, authoritative, purposeful laying down of life, in an action fully under his own control. This deliberate dying is followed by an equally deliberate, authoritative and purposeful restoration and resumption of life.
This is another proof of Yeshua's divinity? Only God Himself could have such absolute power over life and death. This prophecy is fulfilled on the cross with His sacrifice and in His Resurrection three days later.
The New Testament writers attributed Yeshua's resurrection to all three members
of the Trinity: the Father (Rom. 6:4), the Son (John 2:19), and the Spirit (Rom. 8:11).
This verse should be a comfort to us, as the good Shepherd, our Lord is also the sovereign Shepherd. He lays down His life in order that He may rise from the dead. He who is life, who is the source of all life (see 1:1-5), cannot have His life taken away against His will. He cannot be defeated, and thus His sheep could not be more secure.
He is always available to care for His sheep.
John Piper writes, "Mark this chain of security: Those whom the Father chose for himself, he also gave to the Son. And for those who belong to the Son, he also laid down his life. And those for whom he laid down his life, he also called to himself. And those whom he called heard his voice and followed him. And to those who followed him, he gave eternal life. And those to whom he gave eternal life can never be taken from his hand. And there will be one flock and one shepherd forever. This is how secure you are. This is how solid your salvation is."
A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. John 10:19 NASB
In 10:6 the response of the listeners was lack of understanding. This time it is division.
The expression "the Jews" here seems to refer to the Jewish people generally, not specifically to the religious leaders, as it usually does in this Gospel.
Many of them were saying, "He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?" John 10:20 NASB
They cannot consider that anyone in control of his senses would say the blasphemous things that Yeshua is saying. How can a man say, "I Am the good Shepherd"? He must be demon possessed or out of his mind.
Others were saying, "These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?" John 10:21 NASB
So many thought he was crazy or possessed but if that were so how did he give the blind man his sight? The Jews believed that only God Himself had the ability to overcome blindness (Psalm 146:8).
Seeing these miracles and hearing His teaching had no effect on those who were not his sheep. But His sheep heard His voice and followed Him.