John 10:1–21 (NKJV)
10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.John 10:1-6
Jesus begins this passage by describing the relationship and practices of the shepherd. The shepherd does not sneak up on the sheep, nor does he use and alternative method. He behaves and enters in the way that the sheep know and trust. Only thieves sneak around and steal the sheep. The thief creates distrust and fear.
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.John 10:7-21
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?”
21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Jesus then describes Himself as the door and as the good shepherd. The door indicates that Jesus is the only way to salvation. It also distinguishes Him from the thieves and robbers who seek to steal, kill, and destroy. The door is present to bring life, more abundant life. The good shepherd appropriately describes Jesus because He cares for and defends the sheep, unlike a hireling who runs at the first sign of trouble. He brings unity with God and with man. This turns into a prophetic statement concerning His impending death. He will lay down His life, and take it up again, all for the sheep. The Pharisees and religious leaders accuse Him of demonic speech again, but this is all part of God’s plan to effect the redemption of many. Those who will believe will receive life from this truth concerning Jesus. The door, the good shepherd, the sacrifice, the life-giver, Jesus is present on earth in this passage to effect salvation for many. Won’t you believe in Him today?