The gate and the shepherd

I AM the Good Shepherd3So Jesus said again… It is evident to Jesus that the disciples do not understand, so Jesus offers another explanation. Commentaries have long asked how we are to understand the relationship between vv.1-6 and vv.7-18. Are the latter verses making an allegorical explanation to the already presented parable? The problem with such a view is that characters and imagery has changed. In any case, few people seem to believe that if vv.7-18 are a clarifying or additional explanation, it likely was not any more effective.

But some see that a change of scene/place is implied (from “driven out…walks ahead…follow). Whereas the opening verses were within the village: the courtyards and narrow streets on to which they opened. Now the setting is the open country into which the shepherd led the sheep for grazing, and where in the summer months shepherd and sheep might spend the night. Overnight the sheep were placed in roughly constructed round stone-walled enclosures. The top of the dry-stone wall was covered with thorns to keep out wild animals. Inside the enclosure the sheep were safe so long as the entrance was secured by the shepherd. He slept across the entrance as there was no door and no doorkeeper. Continue reading