Vol. 3, No. 7
In John 10:4-5, we read, "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."
Sheep will only follow their shepherd. They know their shepherds voice. They will not follow a stranger.
But notice an important point about this. The sheep FOLLOW their shepherd. The shepherd leads his sheep. He does not drive his sheep. This is the way it was done at the time of Christ. The shepherd spent so much time with his sheep, that the sheep knew that the shepherd only wanted the best for them. They knew he would only take them to good eating places and drinking places. They knew he would keep them safe. So, the sheep did not have to be driven or forced to go in a particular direction. The shepherd would simply walk in front and the sheep would follow.
We are to follow Jesus. He is our Shepherd. We are his sheep. Jesus will only give us good things to eat and good things to drink -- the words of the Bible. Jesus will keep us safe from danger if we will obey his words.
In John 10:1-3, we read, "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 verse 9 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."
The shepherds would take turns being the porter at the entrance of the sheepfold. The porter was to make sure that no one broke into the sheepfold and stole any sheep. The porter knew all of the shepherds and would not let a stranger come to the door and lie about being a shepherd. The porter would turn him away as a liar, knowing that the liar only wanted a sheep so he could kill it and eat it.
The porter would sleep at the entrance. He would lie down across the entrance way. This made him the door. There was no man-made door, so the porter by lying down across the entrance became the door. Nothing could get in the sheepfold without the porter moving. And nothing could get out of the sheepfold without the porter moving.
As long as the sheep went through the entrance of the sheepfold and stayed there at night, they were safe. In the morning the porter would allow the shepherd to call his sheep outside of the entrance. The porter would allow the sheep to go through the entrance to follow their shepherd. They would be on their way to good pastures with their shepherd.
Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He is also the porter who watches us. And he is also the door. If we enter in through him, he will watch us during the dangerous times and keep us safe [spiritually]. Then he is always there to guide us in the good spiritual pasture, the Bible.