Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.John 10:1-6
John Chapter ten is a commentary on how the blind man was treated in chapter eight. Jesus shows by his actions that He is the true Messiah Who loves and cares for God’s people while the Pharisees are like thieves who sneak in to steal, hurt, and kill the ones they were charged to help.
In these first six verses, Jesus uses a parable to further reveal His identity as the Messiah, Son of God. The sheepfold is a common-fold where many different shepherds would have left their flocks overnight. Only those who have sheep in the fold were allowed in by the porter. When the shepherd would come in, he knew his sheep well. In fact, many would name the sheep. Further, the sheep also knew the voice of their shepherd. and only those sheep who belonged to that particular shepherd would respond to his call. Anyone who was not a shepherd of sheep in the fold would have to enter illegally over the wall. Their voice and very presence would cause all the sheep to be frightened and run away.
In this parable, Jesus shows us that He has a very special and personal relationship with each one of God’s precious elect. He knows them by name, and they hear His voice in their heart, and find comfort and safety. He also shows why the people of God in Judea did not respond well to the overbearing leadership of the Pharisees and others. They belonged to Jesus not the self-proclaimed leaders.
When John the Baptist saw Jesus in the wilderness, he declared, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” John was declaring that Jesus was the Messiah and the Savior of God’s people. The testimony of the Father from heaven and all the works that Jesus did while here on earth showed that He was a legitimate Shepherd.
It is also comforting to see that our Good Shepherd leads His sheep. He does not drive them with force and fear. He bids us walk the same path He walked following Him.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.Psalms 23:2
John, Chapter ten is the New Testament version of Psalm 23. Jesus is the LORD. Jesus is our Shepherd. Jesus makes us to dwell in safety forever!