7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
Jesus now changed the picture of His relation to the sheep. He set off this section from the preceding by presenting Himself as the door to the sheep. Since the Jews failed to understand His point in the first six verses, where He was pictured as the authentic Shepherd, He now took a position at the doorway to the sheep.
The point of this new section was that Jesus is the only way people can have a relationship with God. Maybe those who did not understand would get the significance of the next picture of Christ.
Then Jesus said to them again,
Jesus changed His story location from an enclosed pen in the town in verses 1-6 to an open pasture. His sheep were now entirely separated from other sheep. Jesus now depicted Himself as the door to the sheep or enclosure.
Verse 1 began with “most assuredly” and now in verse 7 we have another solemn statement by Jesus. Here is one of the great “amen, amen” statements of the gospel of John, indicating the importance of the new assertion.
I say to you,
Jesus claimed authority for this new pronouncement about the security of the sheep.
I [emphatic] am the door of the sheep.
With the emphatic “I,” Jesus made the claim to be the exclusive door to eternal life. There is no other way other than He. Jesus said in effect, “I, and I alone, am the way to eternal life.”
He is the way into the fold of those who possess eternal life. The shepherd slept at the entrance of the sheepfold in open pastures. By this means he guarded the sheep and only permitted authorized sheep (people) to enter.
This is the third time of seven that the words “I am” is followed by an assertion (“the door of the sheep”) in the gospel of John. See other uses of this grammatical construction (predicate nominative) in the following verses: Jn 10:11; 6:35; 8:12; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5.
All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers,
Previous leaders in Israel led Israel astray. The Pharisees did not genuinely care for the spiritual welfare of their people. They seduced people to go far afield from the truth. The most severe denunciations in Scripture from Jesus were for religious leaders who directed innocent flock off course from God (Mt 23).
but the sheep did not hear them.
Believers who truly know Jesus inherently know who the fakers are.
Jesus is the exclusive way to receive eternal life.
It is only through Jesus that sinners can be saved from their sin and possess eternal life. He is sole solution to man’s relationship to the Father (Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Ti 2:5). The Shepherd alone determines who enters into eternal life at the point of salvation.