“Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” John 10: 7-9, NIV
Have you ever thought “What led me here?” Whether it be a simple shopping trip to Kroger or a train of thought that has taken the wrong path, wouldn’t it be simple if everyday we had a shepherd that guided our path and reminded our feeble mind what it should be focusing on? Being a mother of three, I cannot fathom how many times I have been misguided by my own lack of control, meanwhile doubting the decisions that I have been entrusted to make with these mini-me’s of mine.
John’s continuous theme of Jesus being the one and only way to salvation takes on a metaphorical and very simple understanding with the statement “I am the gate.” In these times, sheep would’ve been kept in a court surrounded by walls but open to the sky, and with only one entrance, the gate. This shepherd was in charge of a large fold. The sheep weren’t herded out of the court, but lead by the unique voice of their shepherd. His sheep, and only his sheep, would follow him.
Jesus warns of the “thieves and robbers” that have come before him, tempting to lead the sheep astray. He warns in an earlier passage that the sheep will run away from a stranger’s voice. What if we could so clearly hear our Savior’s voice and know, without fail, what direction we should go? So many times we listen to every voice, but the one we should.
Ultimately, Jesus is very clear about the gate that is to be entered, knowing that the Jewish leaders are still divided. He continues on and says that “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them with me.” Jesus states that other sheep, meaning the Gentiles, will also follow his voice. They will come to Jesus and go back out to pasture to find a place to rest.
Dear God, thank you for being our Gate. Help us today to listen to your voice only. Amen.