Summary: "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." (John 10:1-2)
Parable of the Good Shepherd
The ancient sheepfold of that day still exists in many towns in that land. It was a public sheepfold. In the evening all the shepherds who lived in the town would bring their sheep to the sheepfold and turn them in for the night. They would trust them to the porter who kept the sheep; then they would go to their homes for the night. The next morning the shepherds would identify themselves to the porter, and he would let them in the door to get their sheep.
THE DOOR OF THE SHEEPFOLD
(John 10:1-2) 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.
The shepherd represents the nation Israel. Jesus is telling them that He came in by the door. He goes on to say that anyone who doesn’t come by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. This is a tremendous claim that He is making here. He came in by the door. He came in legally. That is, He came in by fulfilling the prophesies of the Old Testament. He came in under the law. “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law” (Gal.4:4). He came in the line of David according to the prophesy (see Luke 1:32). He was born in Bethlehem according to the prophesy (see Micah 5:2). Not only was He in the line of David, but He was born of a virgin according to prophesy (see Isa.7:14). At the time that He was born, He was a rod out of the stem of Jesse (see Isa, 11:1). Now this is interesting. By the time Jesus came, the royal line of David had dropped back to the level of the peasant. There was no royalty anymore. Jesse had been a farmer down in Bethlehem. In fact, he raised sheep. His son, David, had the anointing oil poured on him, and that line became the kingly line. But when the Lord Jesus was born, He was just a branch out of the stem of Jesse, the peasant. Jesus was simply a carpenter, and wore a carpenter’s robe. How accurately the prophesies were fulfilled.
He was the Messiah, and He came in through the door. No one else could have had the credentials that He had. Anyone else would have been a thief and a robber. They would not have had the credentials of the Messiah and would have had to climb over the fence. You see, in the incident of the man who was born blind and was healed by Jesus, the man had been excommunicated, put out of the temple. The religious rulers are rejecting the Lord Jesus, and now they’re challenging Him. Remember, they said, “Are we blind also?” Our Lord made it very clear that they were blind. Now He presents His credentials. This is a tremendous claim He is making here: Israel is the sheepfold; Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
(John 10:3) To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Whom does the porter represent? The porter is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God came upon Jesus, and everything that He did, He did by the power of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit was opening the ears of His sheep to hear His voice. His sheep have responded. This ties back to the teaching about the blind man. Those religious rulers were blind spiritually and, what is more, they were deaf. They didn’t even hear His voice. His sheep have responded. But He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. The blind man heard Him call. Simon heard His call, and Jesus changed His name to Peter, which means a stone. He called James, and John, Nathaniel, and Philip. He stopped under a tree in Jericho and called Zacchaeus. He calls His sheep by name.
Let me digress for a moment to say that when the Lord Jesus calls His own out of the world at the time of the Rapture, I believe that His call will have every believer’s name in it. I think I will hear Him say personally, “Tom Lowe.” That will be wonderful! He knows my name, you see, and He’ll call it at that time. And He will call you if you are one of his sheep. You will hear your name in His shout.
He leads His sheep out of the sheepfold, out of Judaism. You see, the religious rulers had excommunicated the man whose sight Jesus had restored. Jesus is going to lead this sheep out of Judaism.