A 19th century biblical scholar tells of traveling one day in Israel and coming across a shepherd and his sheep. He fell into conversation with him and the man showed him the fold into which the sheep were led at night. It consisted of four walls, with a way in. The visiting scholar asked him, “Is this where the sheep go at night?”
Yes,” said the shepherd, “and when they are in there, they are perfectly safe.”But there is no door,” said the visitor. “I am the door,” said the shepherd. He was not a Christian man and wasn’t speaking in the language of the New Testament. He was speaking from a shepherd’s viewpoint. The scholar looked and him and asked, “What do you mean you are the door?”When the light has gone,” said the shepherd, “and all the sheep are inside, I lie in that open space, and no sheep ever goes out but across my body, and no wolf comes in unless he crosses my body; I am the door.”
Perhaps, this will better help us understand the words of our Lord, “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 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” (John 10:1-5).