“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”Matthew 10:1-5
A parable is defined as “a simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson.”
In the parable of the Good Shepherd above, Jesus draws on a common scenario in first-century Judea. Nearly everyone would have been familiar the idea of how shepherds care for their sheep.
The shepherd’s voice is familiar and sheep follow their shepherd’s call, but in contrast with the shepherd, Jesus describes the person that sneaks in over a wall or fence and avoids the front door as a “thief and a robber.”
My study Bible tells me the word “thief” here may focus on entering under cover while the term “robber” speaks of the use of violence. The stranger means harm to the sheep in one way or the other.
In the story above, Jesus is the shepherd and those of us who will listen to His voice alone are His sheep. We need to listen to His word and live obedient lives. If we fail to listen to Him and follow His commands, the consequences will be ultimately lead to death.