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John 10:1-18
John 10:1-18 –
I am the Door & the Good Shepherd
By Rod Ross

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. Then said
Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the
sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep
did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be
saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but
for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the
good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and
not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and
leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth
the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for
the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of
mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down
my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one
fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay
down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh 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 commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:1-18 KJV)
To understand Jesus’ parable, it is first necessary to understand the
common practice of the day.

All the sheep in a village were housed for the night in the same compound.
The doorman, or gatekeeper, for the compound would open the door in the
morning and allow the owners, or their hired shepherds, to gather their
sheep. Sheep react to the voice of their owner, or shepherd. A good
shepherd even known the name of each and every sheep.

The difference between the owner and a hireling is the difference in how
the sheep are seen. Are they your own, your life’s subsistence? Do they
provide for your wife and family? Or are they just a paycheck?

Jesus says, “I am the door.”

In the decades before and after the coming of Jesus of Nazareth, they were
many who came claiming to be the Messiah. Jesus said, “Everyone that
came before me are thieves and robbers.” They were fakes. Thieves and
robbers broke into the compound where the sheep were held. The door
man, or gatekeeper, would not open up for someone to take someone else’s
sheep. Only for the correct person would the door open.

The door allows the shepherd to access the sheep, and allows the sheep to
follow the shepherd. Jesus provides men with the means of obtaining the
pasture of God’s blessings.

As Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the
Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father
also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)

There is one, and only one way – Jesus. There is one and only one truth –
Jesus. There is one and only one life – Jesus. Jesus alone is the means of
obtaining the blessings of God.

He is the truth

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his
glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake,
He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And
of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was
given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:14-17)
Piate asked Jesus, “What is the truth?” (John 18:38) and did not wait for the
answer. Jesus had answered the question in his prayer earlier: “Sanctify
them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17) He was the Word
incarnate (John 1:1-13). He came to bring “the word of truth” (2 Corinthians
6:7; Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 1:15; 2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). That
word of truth, the gospel, provides us with “all things that pertain unto life
and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

He is the life.

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they
are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have
life.” (John 5:39-40)

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall
never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto
you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth
me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him
that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all
which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at
the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which
seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will
raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he
said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not
this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it
then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered
and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me,
except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at
the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.
Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father,
cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of
God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth
on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat
manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh
down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living
bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall
live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for
the life of the world.” (John 6:35-51)

Jesus came “that they might have life, and that they might have it more
abundantly.” As Paul stated, “And the peace of God, which passeth all
understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 4:7) “The grace, the mercy, the forebearance, the
longsuffering, the love of God is found in Jesus Christ. Life finds its
fulfillment in Him (Ecclessiastes 12:12).

Jesus is “the good shepherd.” Because the sheep are not his, the hireling
will not place his life in jeopardy for the sheep. In the face of danger, he will
flee.” Jesus knows His and has laid His life down for them.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son
of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the
world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:14-17)

Even as the sheep, His people, known the voice of Jesus, even so Jesus
knows His people. There is a reciprocal relationship which is fellowship.

And there were sheep not of “this fold” – that is, not of Israel.
“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar
off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39)

As Peter would later remark, “… Of a truth I perceive that God is no
respecter of persons: …” (Acts 10:34)

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who
are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the
flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens
from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of
promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ
Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the
middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the
enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to
make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might
reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity
thereby: {thereby: or, in himself} And came and preached peace to you
which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both
have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more
strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the
household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the
building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In
whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the
Spirit. For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If
ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to
you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I
wrote afore in few words, {afore...: or, a little before} Whereby, when ye
read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in
other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed
unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should
be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ
by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the
grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me,
who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should
preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make
all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning
of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places
might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to
the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom
we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
(Ephesians 2:11 - 3:12)

Yes, Jesus’ death on the cross was not only for those of “this fold,” Israel,
but for all of mankind.

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15)

Therefore, the fellowship of Christ is not due to who your are, but what you
are. All who will come to Him, hear His voice and obey shall be His.