“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” (John 10:7)
Jesus was not just making another notable “I am” statement in this verse but also putting forth a sober warning. This warning is related to the statement likening His followers to sheep, a common theme for God’s people in the Old Testament as well. Sheep are directionless, weak, prone to wandering, timid, stubborn, easily frightened, and utterly defenseless against predators. Without a shepherd, they are in deep trouble.
Jesus goes on to say, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9). The sheepfold is the pen in which the sheep are kept at night, and the shepherd controls the door. On a daily basis, the shepherd leads the sheep to feed. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:2).
This discourse of Jesus is made even stronger by pointing out the nature of our adversary, a thief who seeks to enter the sheepfold to “steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). Christ also pointed out the influence of bad shepherds (hirelings), who “seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep” (v. 12).
But thankfully for us, Jesus is “the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (v. 11). “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice” (v. 4). Let us put aside the distractions and deceptions of this world and follow Jesus to green pastures. JPT