Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.
All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.
They will come in and go out, and find pasture.” John 10:7-9
Previously, in this series, we’ve spoken of other ways Jesus identified Himself–as the bread of life and the light of the world. Now we come to another of His “I AM” statements, where He tells us He is the gate. Some versions say, I am the Door.
Obviously, in this passage, we the people are the sheep. Does that make you squirm a little, too?
I have little personal experience with sheep, but I tend to think Ewww… Sheep are smelly, stubborn, stupid creatures, which follow blindly.
Then again, maybe we relate to sheep more than I thought.
One of the earliest Bible verses I learned was Isaiah 53:6~We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
The thing is, Jesus knew exactly what was in a sheep. And a man. And a woman.
He was still willing to be the Door for us.
I heard a preacher tell a story about the sheepfold and the entry gate. There was one entrance into the fold, and there wasn’t typically a gate or door at the entrance. So the shepherds would lay there in the doorway to protect the sheep at night from intruders like wolves or from storms or maybe even night wandering…sheepwalking? Don’t quote me on that last part.
The shepherds became the door of the fold. By laying down there at the entryway. For their sheep.
Jesus does this for us. He provides for our needs. He protects us from the evil one. Yes, trials and suffering come whether we are His sheep who listen to His voice, or not. But the enemy will not overcome us or snatch us away from Him.
As the Door, He’s not about trying to keep out the Black Sheep. He’s about sacrifice, about laying Himself down for us.
As the Door, He’s not about sheltering or withholding life. He opens the door, and we’re free to go out and then come back home.
May we always find ourselves at home in Christ.
But when we stray,
May we quickly find our way to the Door,
The Open Door who welcomes wanderers home.