(NKJV) John 10
1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
(Believer’s Bible Commentary)
Jesus, the Door of the Sheep
10:1 These verses are closely linked with the latter part of chapter 9. There the Lord Jesus had been speaking to the Pharisees, who claimed to be rightful shepherds of the people of Israel. It was to them, in particular, that the Lord Jesus referred here. The solemn character of what He was about to say is indicated by the expression “Most assuredly, I say to you.”
A sheepfold was an enclosure in which sheep were sheltered at night. It was an area surrounded by a fence and having one opening that was used as a door. Here the sheepfold refers to the Jewish nation.
Many came to the Jewish people, professing to be their spiritual rulers and guides. They were self-appointed messiahs for the nation. But they did not come by the way which the OT predicted the Messiah would come. They climbed up some other way. They presented themselves to Israel in a manner of their own choosing. These men were not true shepherds, but thieves and robbers. Thieves are those who take what does not belong to them, and robbers are those who use violence in doing so. The Pharisees were thieves and robbers. They sought to rule over the Jews, and yet did everything in their power to hinder them from accepting the true Messiah. They persecuted those who followed Jesus, and eventually they would put Jesus to death.
10:2 Verse 2 refers to Jesus Himself. He came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He was the true shepherd of the sheep. He entered by the door, that is, He came in exact fulfillment of the OT prophecies concerning the Messiah. He was not a self-appointed Savior, but came in perfect obedience to the will of His Father. He met all the conditions.
10:3 There is considerable disagreement as to the identity of the doorkeeper in this verse. Some think this expression refers to the prophets of the OT who foretold the coming of the Christ. Others believe it refers to John the Baptist, since he was the forerunner of the true Shepherd. Still others are equally sure that the doorkeeper in this verse is the Holy Spirit who opens the door for the entrance of the Lord Jesus into hearts and lives.
The expression and leads them out may refer to the fact that the Lord Jesus led those who heard His voice out of the sheepfold of Israel. There they were shut up and enclosed. There was no liberty under the law. The Lord leads His sheep into the freedom of His grace. In the last chapter, the Jews had cast the man out of the synagogue. In doing so, they had been assisting the work of the Lord without knowing it.
I really like the commentary of the Believers Bible here. What do you think? I vote for the Holy Spirit as the door keeper although it’s the Shepherd and Sheep that are key here.