Jesus told two parables in the first 16 verses of John 10. In the first parable He illustrated that He was indeed the Messiah, the true shepherd of Israel. Verses 1-2 say, “Truly, truly, I say unto you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep” (NASB). Sheep are kept in a pen, called a “fold,” and the shepherd enters the pen through a gate called the “door.” Israel is likened unto sheep and they were promised that their Messiah would come to them and be their true shepherd. Many men came along and claimed to be the Messiah, but they did NOT come by the way the Old Testament had predicted the Messiah would come and so they climbed “up some other way” and are pictured as “a thief and a robber.” The Lord Jesus came exactly as the prophets foretold, for He was 1) Born of a virgin; 2) Born at Bethlehem; 3) Through the line of David; etc. Thus he entered “by the door” and was indeed the “shepherd of the sheep.”

Yet the nation of Israel rejected their Messiah, as we read in John 1:11, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” Because of their rejection of Him, Jesus would be crucified and through His death, He would offer anyone who believes on Him salvation and eternal life, and He would lead those Jews who believed on Him out of the bondage of Judaism into the liberty of Christianity. This is all pictured in the second parable in verses 7-16. Verse 9 is so simple, but very precious. It reads, “I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” We saw in verse 2 that Christ entered through the proper door as Israel’s Messiah; here Christ is THE DOOR! He is THE DOOR OF SALVATION! All men need to be saved, for we are pictured as “lost sheep” in Isaiah 53:6, which says “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every to his own way.” Because we have sinned and strayed from God, we deserve death and judgment, yet in infinite love for you and me, Christ took our place at the cross to make a way to heaven for us. Verse 11 reads, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” Those who believe on Christ as their Savior become His sheep and He becomes their shepherd. We see this in verse 14, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” I must ask, “Have you believed on Christ as “your Savior?” If you have, you have entered through the proper door and He is indeed your “good shepherd!”

We stated earlier that this offer of salvation and eternal life was first presented to His earthly people, the Jews. So this parable refers primarily to those Jews who believed on Christ. But the application can surely be made to ALL who believe on Christ and in verse 16 the Lord Jesus pictures the salvation of Gentiles with these words, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” The “other sheep, which are not of this fold,” are Gentiles. In the book of Acts we see the gospel going out to the entire world and when Gentiles believed on Christ they became ONE with believing Jews. Christ has united them together into “one body” called “the church.” They are “one flock” with “one shepherd.” This is amazing, considering the separation there was between Jews and Gentiles, but God’s grace has triumphed and has made them one in Christ. The apostle Paul spoke of this in Ephesians 2:14, “For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition.” He goes on to say, in verse 16, “And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” (162.5) (DO)