To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.…
In olden times, cathedrals were regarded as places of sanctuary, where criminals and others might take refuge. Over the north porch of Durham Cathedral was a room where two doorkeepers kept watch alternately to admit any who at any time, either by day or by night knocked at the gate, and claimed the protection of St. Cuthbert. Whoever comes to the door of our house of refuge, and at whatever time, finds ready admittance.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)Of all means of protection, the least trustworthy are those which are trustworthy only at times. Ship's boats that cannot be lowered at the critical moment; fire escapes that can be swept by the rushing flames; towers of refuge that are locked and barred when the need for refuge comes; — all these inspire a false confidence, and are the more untrustworthy that they seem so trustworthy. It was a wise provision of the Romans when they instituted the office of Tribune of the Plebs for the protection of the common people, that the doors of the Tribune should stand open night and day. And so they stood; and to these wide-open doors of refuge the oppressed plebeian could flee by day or by night, sure of always finding a refuge there. Such, too, is the Christian's privilege.
(H. C. Trumbull, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.