Note: This article was written before the author’s conversion to Orthodoxy.

Reading John 10 I noticed that Jesus takes the first 16 verses to keep re-iterating that His sheep hear His voice:

[T]he sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out (John 10:3).

[T]he sheep follow him because they know his voice (John 10:4).

[T]hey do not know the voice of strangers (John 10:5).

All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them (John 10:8).

With this already said at the beginning, Christ moves on to speak of how He is the good shepherd and that His sheep know only Him specifically:

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep (John 10:14-15).

Christ now has made clear that His sheep know Him, and not others, and He specifically lays down His life for the 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. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 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 10:16-18).

Why does Jesus even mention the above if the doctrine of limited atonement is not being conveyed?  The very reason Christ lays down His life and has the authority to do so is in order to lay down his life for the sheep that hear his voice. It would seem to me a contradiction that Christ laid down his life for those who did not hear his voice, if we go strictly by the reasoning Jesus gives as to why He did lay down His life.


This is a chapter and a topic I have also discussed a while ago here.