The Door to the Sheepfold: Finding Safety and Security in Faith

Door to the Sheepfold notes. In some situations, the sheepfold was a large area used by more than one shepherd. A porter (guard) was placed at the door (gate). When the shepherd came, the porter would open the door. The shepherd would walk in and call his own sheep by name. The sheep would respond to their shepherd and the shepherd would lead them out. The sheep would not respond to a stranger for they know not the voice of strangers.


By Pastor Delbert Young

Door to the Sheepfold

Door to the Sheepfold

Scriptures: John 10:1-10, Numbers 5:22, Deuteronomy 27:26, Ezekiel 34:2-4, Jeremiah 23:1-4, Colossians 1:13, Ephesians 2:5-6

Door to the Sheepfold notes

John 10:1-10

Verses 9 and 10 say,

John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Verily, verily “Listen, listen”

Twenty-five times in the book of St. John does Jesus express a thought with a Verily, verily . . . The double Verily denotes an important point in the Lord’s doctrine. The Lord used the double verily twenty-five times in the book of St. John. It is bringing attention to an extremely important doctrinal point concerning the kingdom.

For example, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (Joh 3:3). Or, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (Joh 3:5). Or, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live (Joh 5:25). And, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you (Joh 6:53). Twice in this parable Jesus speaks the double Verily (Joh 10:1, 7).

“Verily” is the Greek word amen (Strong’s #281). Saying Amen in response to something is not always the response we think we are giving. The first use of Amen in the scriptures is in Numbers 5:22 where a woman is imposing a curse upon herself in the adultery test.

Door to the Sheepfold

Numbers 5:22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells and your thigh wastes away. “‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.” (NIV)

The next time Amen is used in the scriptures is when the people of God invoke the curses of the covenant upon themselves. Before the blessings of the covenant were announced in Deuteronomy 28, the curses of disobedience were announced. Interestingly, Amen was not spoken after the blessings of the covenant were spoken. Amen was spoken only after the curses (Deu 27:15-26). Here I only select one of those. There are twelve of them (Deu 27:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25).

Deuteronomy 27:26 “Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

The thought here is Verily, verily is not to be taken lightly. When Jesus spoke the double Verily it was always connected with a heavy thought. It was a thought if not heeded that could indeed bring bad results and something negative upon me. It is a “Listen, listen.” Listen with both ears. What is about to be said is vital and is certain. I need to make certain I comprehend what is said.

Door to the Sheepfold

I say unto you . . .

It becomes extremely important to properly identify to whom it is the Lord speaks this. The reason it is so vital is because the person(s) to whom this is spoken is a thief and robber and came to rob, still, and kill.

We have always been told the one who came to rob, kill, and destroy was the devil (Joh 10:10). In context the ones to whom Jesus here spoke and directed this parable were the Pharisees and Jewish leaders. Jesus had healed the man born blind in chapter nine. The Pharisees had interrogated harshly the man Jesus had healed and then threw him out. Jesus found the man and talked to him. Some Pharisees overheard the conversation and asked Jesus in an arrogant way, Are we blind also? (Joh 9:40). It was in the Lord’s response to the Pharisees that Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto you. At the end of this parable of the door and the next parable, The Good Shepherd, the Jews are still there (10:19-21).

This is important to recognize because this will identify the thief of which Jesus speaks in John 10:10. The thief is not the devil specifically. Rather, the thief is Judaism.

Door to the Sheepfold

The Lord directed this parable toward the Jewish system. The Pharisees and Sadducees were supposed to be the shepherds of God’s people (Eze 34:1-19; Jer 23:1-4). They taught they were the shepherds, keepers, and guides of God’s flock. Jesus said they were only blind guides (Mat 23:16, 24) who mistreated, robbed, stole, and killed. According to the scriptures, this was correct. We will note a few of those scriptures.

Ezekiel 34:2-4

2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

Jeremiah 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.


Jeremiah 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

Jeremiah 23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

Door to the Sheepfold

The context of John chapter ten is in direct association with the horrible way the Shepherds of Israel, i.e., Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes had treated the man born blind and all of God’s people. It is not directed toward, nor is teaching about, the devil specific. It is about the devil in the devil can manifest through bad religion and bad shepherds (Joh 8:44). They had not ministered to the man born blind much less healed him. When the man was healed, they condemned him and treated him badly. What their religious system did do was take from the flock. They did not care for the flock. Upon them, the Lord did visit the evil of their doings.

This is one reason people today see Christianity the way they see it. They do not see Christianity as a place to be ministered to, but rather only a place of laws and legalism and “dos” and “don’ts.”

The parable

The Lord told his parable. He told of a sheepfold which is a fenced area where the sheep were placed for protection. There the sheep should be safe and could not scatter. However, the sheepfold made the sheep easy prey for thieves and robbers. In the darkness of the night, the robber could silently climb into the sheepfold and steal or kill the sheep. If possible the thief would catch a small lamb and carry the lamb away. If this was too difficult, the robber would silently cut the throat of a sheep, remove the hide, and perhaps a quarter of the meat to sale.

In some situations, the sheepfold was a large area used by more than one shepherd. A porter (guard) was placed at the door (gate). When the shepherd came, the porter would open the door. The shepherd would walk in and call his own sheep by name. The sheep would respond to their shepherd and the shepherd would lead them out. The sheep would not respond to a stranger for they know not the voice of strangers.

Door to the Sheepfold

The difference between the thief and robber and the shepherd of the sheep is the entrance into the sheepfold. The shepherd of the sheep enters the door (gate). The thief and robber climb in some other way.

John 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again . . .

At this point, John wrote how the Pharisees knew Jesus was speaking a parable, but they did not understand what he meant. The Lord then made it perfectly clear.

Verily, verily I am the door

Again the Verily, verily is given followed by I am the door of the sheep (Jon 10:7). First and foremost, Jesus is the door of the sheepfold. Four times will Jesus speak of the door. Before Jesus identified himself as the good shepherd, he identified himself as the door of the sheep. Before he can lead us as the good shepherd, we each must come through him to enter his kingdom. The shepherd of the sheep must pass through him. Jesus did not say thieves could not enter. He is saying indeed they do get into the sheepfold. The difference is the entrance.

The genuine shepherds must meet his approval. They must enter correctly. Though they may think they are given a position by someone else, in the final analysis, they must come through him.

Door to the Sheepfold

All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

Jesus said All . . . We understand he meant the Pharisees, etc., but did he mean the prophets and even Moses also? Certainly, he does to a degree for the sheep did not hear them. The major complaint of Moses and the prophets was the people were stiffnecked and would not listen to them. Definitely, until Jesus, there were none who was the Christ.

if any man . . .

The Lord repeated and amplified his statement saying, I am the door (Jon 10:9). The Lord expands the thought from only the shepherds passing through him. The sheep too must pass through him. He said, If any man…” Then he gives the process for salvation. Jesus said . . . by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. We have a conjunction. We link saved with find pasture. The purpose of salvation is to find pasture.

First, there is the entering into the sheepfold to which he is the door. The sheepfold is the church which is to be the expression of the kingdom of God. Going through the door is an individual’s response to the Father’s drawing. This response provides salvation. The Bible says we are delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of Christ (Col 1:13).

Door to the Sheepfold

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

The Bible also teaches we were dead in that we were separated from God, but when we pass through the door, we are quickened or made alive. At this time the Bible says we are raised up and made to sit together in heavenly places (Eph 2:5, 6).

Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Once in the kingdom through Christ the door, we have access to all the kingdom benefits. Our lives will change as we apply the teachings of Jesus. We are not only guaranteed eternal life but an abundant life.

…he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The person, after entering, can then go in and out. Once we have entered the kingdom, the kingdom goes with us to every place we go. Jesus said we are in the world, but not of the world (Joh 17:14). We are to salt the earth (Mat 5:13). We are the light of the world (Mat 5:14). So we are not to hole up, but rather to go forth. If we will go and do what we are supposed to do, the promise is we will find pasture.

Door to the Sheepfold

The salvation the Lord provides is to find good pasture. For a sheep, pasture is abundant green grass. For you and me, pasture is the abundant life. Pasture is success. Pasture is peace and joy, and pasture is a good life. Jesus explains exactly this as he says,

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Maybe one day streets of gold and walls of jasper will be what I need, but today I need the abundant life. Perhaps one day I will need abundant death, but Jesus came to give life and that more abundantly! This is a promise.

Today I need a functional family, not dysfunctional. I need a job I enjoy and feel fulfilled. I need money to not only pay my bills but enough to enjoy my life and leave some for my children and grandchildren. Also, I need my health. Moreover, I need to be spiritually alive. Jesus came to give me abundant life!

Door to the Sheepfold notes

Door to the Sheepfold notes

Door to the Sheepfold notes

Other Related Sermons:

Parables of Jesus sermon series

Time What Do I Need to Learn part 2

The Good Shepherd – sermon video audio notes

Psalms 23 Psalms Sermon Study Audio

New Beginning sermon audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Delbert Young Sermons YouTube