John 10:1-5 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enter not by the door into the sheepfold, but climb up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that enter in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter open; and the sheep hear his voice: and he call his own sheep by name, and lead them out. And when he put forth his own sheep, he goes 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.
‘Verily, verily’ means Surely, surely or Amen, amen. ‘I say unto you’ – this phrase “I say unto you” is used by Christ 135 times and only twice by another person in the New Testament (Luke 3:8; Acts 5:38). It expresses complete authority when used by Christ, while in Acts 5:38 it is merely advice.
‘The sheepfold’ this refers to the place of shelter for flocks where they might repose at night and be safe from the attacks of wild beasts. Sheepfolds were low buildings opening into a court, surrounded by a stone wall or fence, with a layer of thorns on top for protection. A doorway carefully guarded the entrance.
He that doesn’t come through the door (which is Christ 10:9) but climb up some other way, is a thief and a robber: It is here applied to false teachers, who do not care to instruct men but abuse their confidence for gain.
‘He that enter in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep’ – the marks of a good leader is personal knowledge of God and gospel experiences (2Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:16-26; 1Cor. 12:1-31); having a calling to serve God and others, not from greed, personal ambition, respect, honor, self-interests, or love of ease (Acts 13:3; 1Cor. 12:28; Rom. 11:29); to have consecrated motives: God’s will and glory, salvation of lost souls, and the best interests of the body of Christ and all men (Luke 19:10; Acts 10:28; 2Cor. 5:14-21; Eph. 4:12); to have God’s anointing: not human education, wisdom, polish, and effort only, but divine leading and help (John 7:37-39; 14:12-17, 26; 15:26; Acts 1:4-8; 5:32); to have personal interest: private and public instruction, and helpfulness to others in all problems (Acts 20:26-35; 1Thes. 2:4-13; 2Tim. 4:1-5; Heb. 13:7, 17); to set a good example: lead, not drive; feed, not destroy; and live what is taught (1Cor. 4:9-13; 2Cor. 4:8-18; 6:1-10; 1Tim. 3:1-13; 4:11-16; 2Tim. 2:1-26; Tit. 1:1-16).
‘The porter’ – the doorkeeper of the fold who opens to the shepherds to get their flocks in the morning and who receives them at night. ‘Call his own sheep by name’ Eastern shepherds give names to their sheep as we do to dogs and horses. Every sheep recognizes his own name and comes when called. Even when flocks are mingled they speedily separate at the command of the shepherd.
‘He goes before them’ Eastern shepherds go before their flocks to lead them to good grass and water. ‘The sheep follow him’ Sheep always follow their own shepherd, but will pay no attention to strangers.