|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-5 Here is a parable or similitude, taken from the customs of the East, in the management of sheep. Men, as creatures depending on their Creator, are called the sheep of his pasture. The church of God in the world is as a sheep-fold, exposed to deceivers and persecutors. The great Shepherd of the sheep knows all that are his, guards them by his providence, guides them by his Spirit and word, and goes before them, as the Eastern shepherds went before their sheep, to set them in the way of his steps. Ministers must serve the sheep in their spiritual concerns. The Spirit of Christ will set before them an open door. The sheep of Christ will observe their Shepherd, and be cautious and shy of strangers, who would draw them from faith in him to fancies about him.
Verse 2. - But he that enters in by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. Let him be who he may, Pharisee or priest, prophet or king, pastor or evangelist, unless he approach the sheep by the right "way" he demeans and condemns himself. If he come by the door into the fold, he may be so far presumably a shepherd. One fold might contain several flocks, and a shepherd might lead these flocks into different enclosures according to his wisdom and care for his sheep. Neander, Godet, and Watkins think it possible that the whole imagery may have been borrowed from the eye. The shepherds towards evening were probably gathering their scattered flocks, according to Oriental custom, into their well-known enclosures, and Jesus with his audience might have seen them doing it if they gazed out from the courts of the temple over the neighboring hills (see also Thomson, 'The Land and the Book,' 1:301, a passage which provides an admirable commentary on this parable). There is no absolute need that the customary and well-known habit of the country-side should have been visible at the moment. The abundantly attested practice furnished to his hearers all needful corroboration. The deeper significance of the passage lies in the prophetic symbolism of Jeremiah 23:1-4; Isaiah 40:11; Psalm 23:1-3; Psalm 78:52; Numbers 27:17; Ezekiel 34:23, 31; Ezekiel 37:24. Jehovah was the Shepherd of Israel (Psalm 80:1), and he would appoint once more in their Messiah-King a David, who should be his gracious Representative and Agent. All these representations were gathered up in Christ's wonderful parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7). Thoma endeavors to credit the author of the Gospel with this ideal picture of the contrast between the true and false shepherd.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But he that entereth in by the door,.... With a divine commission, and by a divine authority, who comes not of himself, but is sent; does not take the honour to himself, or thrust in himself, and assume an office to himself, but is called unto it, and invested in it, he
is the shepherd of the sheep; by whom Christ means himself, as is evident from John 10:11, whose the sheep are, and who takes care of them, and feeds them, as a shepherd does his flock; and which holds true of any under shepherd, having his mission and commission, and deriving his authority from Christ.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep—a true, divinely recognized shepherd.
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