This Lesson is part of John’s Gospel Easy Notes Series.
“When he [Jesus] brings us to the Father, he calls himself a Door [or gate]; when he takes care of us, a Shepherd.”—Chrysostom.
In Palestine there were two types of sheepfolds. There were communal sheep-folds were the entire flock of a village was sheltered at night. That had a strong door and only the guardian had a key. Jesus was referring to this one in verses 2 and 3 (Chapter 10).
But in warm seasons the flocks did not return to the village at night, but stayed in open fields [see Luke 2:8; it could not have been winter then!]. They were then taken care of in sheepfolds that were just open spaces enclosed by a wall. There was no door to it but just an opening. At night the shepherd himself lay across the opening. No sheep could get in or get out without going over the shepherds body. Truly, the shepherd was the gate or the door of the sheep.
“This is what Jesus was thinking when he said: “I am the door.” Through him, and through him alone, men find access to God” – William Barclay
(see also Ephesians 2:18 and Hebrews 10:20).