Who Is The Thief In John 10:10?

Q. Regarding John10:10, “The thief comes but to steal, and to kill and to destroy”. Contextually, it seems that Jesus was referring to the Jewish religious leaders and projecting into the future warning believers about false teachers and doctrines. Is it also correct to attribute this to Satan? I know that this is his nature.

A. The focus of John 10:1-18 is Jesus as the good shepherd. He knows His flock, He leads them to pasture, protects them from danger, and gives His life to save theirs. When He said, “All who came before me were thieves and robbers” (John 10:8) He was referring to everyone who promised salvation by another way. Of course every other path to salvation originated with Satan but I wouldn’t read too much into the use of thief in the singular in John 10:10. The Greek word it comes from is klepto which is also the origin of kleptomaniac. It means to steal and is representative of all false teachers and religious systems.

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