The Gospel of John, The Period of Conflict - The Clash of Belief and Unbelief, The discourse on the Good Shepherd, Part XXX, John 10:1-6 - Lesson 77
Read Verses John 10:1,2, for review: 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.
Jesus Christ is using this figure or proverb to teach a spiritual lesson.
He has just received the man born blind from the fold of Israel.
The sheepfold he asks us to picture is Judaism.
The door into the sheepfold is the lawful way of entrance for the shepherd to those of his sheep then found in Judaism.
In verse 2 he tells us that you can identify the true shepherd by how he enters the sheepfold.
He is the one that comes through the door of the sheepfold.
Jesus Christ says that if any come into the sheepfold any other way they are up to no good for the sheep and he calls them thieves and robbers.
Those that enter in unlawfully are not interested in the welfare of the sheep but only interested in using the sheep for their own welfare.
But Jesus Christ entered Israel in a completely lawful manner.
He met all the conditions prescribed by God for the Messiah.
He came in the fullness of time, was born of a virgin, born a Jew, born in Bethlehem, had come out of Egypt, .
He was born under the law, circumcised the eighth day and presented to God in the temple.
He entered the fold of Israel the right way at the door.
No others came that way.
He came by the road which Old Testament prophesy had marked out beforehand.
John 10:3,4, 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.
The porter is the doorkeeper of the sheepfold. He vouches for the shepherd.
He prepared the way for the shepherd to enter the sheepfold.
John the Baptist was a type of a porter in that he prepared the way as a forerunner for Jesus Christ to enter the fold of Israel as the Shepherd of Israel.
The porter can also represent the Holy Spirit who vouches for the credentials of the Messiah and presents the Savior to each of his sheep.
But all the shepherd needs to do is to stand at the door and call his own sheep by name and they recognize his voice and come to him.
He had named each sheep.
To the shepherd each sheep is an individual and he knows each one and calls each one out of the sheepfold by name.
Perhaps the name given was based on a special marking of the sheep or a characteristic of the sheep.
But each was known to the shepherd and each sheep knew the shepherd's voice.
He did not round them up by the use of a sheepdog to bark at their heels.
He did not drive them; he led them.
He went before them and they followed him because they knew him and trusted him.
His sheep knew and heard his voice.
Remember how he told Matthew to follow him.?
Zacchaeus, make haste and come down!
Philip, follow me! Lazarus, come forth!
Out Lord Jesus was leading his sheep out of the fold of Judaism, the fold that constricted, the fold that used the sheep, the fold that had self interest and not the sheep's welfare.
The man born blind who now had been given sight recognized the voice of Jesus and was now his devoted follower.
He was one of the called and he was one of the justified. He was one of those who was given the hearing ear and the seeing eye.
The Lord was his shepherd!
John 10:5,6, 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.
This is a very important principle!
This is a mark of all the sheep of Christ.
They will not follow a false teacher.
They will not give themselves over to a strange shepherd.
Instead they will flee from him because they know the voice of their shepherd and know that the false shepherd's voice is not their shepherd's voice.
The sheep of Christ are discerning sheep. Jesus tells us here that it is not possible to deceive the elect of God, the sheep of God.
but they (the Pharisees) understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
These were not his sheep.
If they were they would have been given the spirit of discernment.
Those who are not his sheep are unable to understand the truth even when it is plainly presented to them.
They were blind and deaf to this simple allegory.
The fold, the door, the sheep, the shepherd were all strange to them.
They were trained in the best schools of the day but they were not born again into the family of God.
The Word of God was sealed to them.
Men may gain the world's knowledge by their efforts but knowledge of God is by God's grace and that grace is through Jesus Christ and him alone.