Jesus makes it clear that the determinative factor in knowing who Israel’s Messiah is, has to do with whether he enters, and the door opened by the gatekeeper. The sheepfold describes the totality of the nation of Israel. Later in the explanation, Jesus will incorporate the Gentile inclusion to His sheepfold (see verse 16). But this setting describes the ethnic nation of Israel. Those intent to harm and to steal sneak in other ways. This is a clear indictment of the Pharisees and the wicked leaders of Israel. There is only one legitimate shepherd and that is the One who comes through the promised seed of David and in accordance with the promises of the Old Testament. Jesus Christ is the Shepherd of the Sheep.
Sheep recognize their shepherd and follow him, so those who truly belong to Jesus will recognize Him and follow Him.