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. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
But he [Jesus] who enters by the door
The shepherd has the right to enter the sheepfold by the door.
is the shepherd of the sheep.
The shepherd who enters by the door is a genuine shepherd.
To him the doorkeeper [hired undershepherd] opens,
The watchman of the sheep pen only opens the door for the authentic shepherd. He vouches for the shepherd.
and the sheep hear his voice;
Jesus came to the sheep pen of Israel and called out His own. Sheep who recognize the voice of the divine Shepherd are authentic believers. These are people who respond to biblical revelation. They can discern between what is false and what is true.
Sheep are helpless creatures. They tend to go astray. When they go astray, they are defenseless. Sheep require close and constant oversight and tender care.
and he calls his own sheep by name
The shepherd calls his own sheep by name from among many other sheep in the pen. Naming of sheep indicates their nature. The naming also indicates that Jesus recognizes their individuality, not their collectivity.
and leads them out.
Sheep follow the right shepherd out of the pen because they recognize his familiar voice. He brings them to pasture and leads them to water.
And when he brings out his own sheep,
The shepherd brings sheep out of the sheepfold. Jesus led Israel out of Judaism into His crowd. He led, He did not drive.
he goes before them;
The shepherd leads the sheep; he does not follow or push them. Near Eastern shepherds lead, not drive, their sheep.
and the sheep follow him,
The sheep follow the shepherd into the fields for feeding.
for they know his voice.
The voice of the shepherd is familiar to his sheep. This is the reason they follow him.
Yet they will by no means follow a stranger,
Sheep will not follow a stranger, because they do not recognize his voice. True believers will not follow a false shepherd such as a Pharisee. They will not abandon the good Shepherd.
but will flee from him,
True sheep flee from false teachers. They will not follow strange philosophy or theology.
for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Genuine sheep do not respond to heretical teaching.
Genuine believers never reject their Shepherd.
No genuine believer will turn from Christ (1 Jn 2:19). Rejection of Christ indicates that a person who does this never was a genuine believer (1 Jn 2:20-24). Genuine believers never leave Christ for those who deny the truth.