The Shepherd and Gate!
Scripture reading for May 18th: John 10:1-21
Jesus taught using illustrations that were familiar to the people of that day and time. One of the teachings recorded by John was that of the shepherd, sheep, and gate. Jesus used this illustration to help those understand that were teachable and to confound those who were convinced that He was demon possessed.
“The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10:2-5) Jesus told this story about the sheep and the shepherd to illustrate how a good shepherd and his flock relate to each other. The good shepherd of the sheep knows each one by name. He leads his sheep, he doesn’t drive them. They follow him because they know his voice and it is comforting to them. They run away from a stranger because the voice is not familiar.
“Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.” (John 10:7) The good shepherd, after gathering his sheep for the night, placed them inside a pen with one opening. This opening was the “gate” into the pen and the shepherd then laid down in the opening, becoming the gate or door to give access to the sheep. Jesus went on to tell them that only by entering through Him could they be saved. (John 10:9) Through Him they could go in and out and find safe pasture.
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” …”I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me–just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father–and I lay down My life for the sheep.” Jesus further identified Himself as the Good Shepherd who would lay down His life to save and protect His sheep! Jesus would willingly do this because He loved the Father. Have you entered by the Gate who is the Good Shepherd? Jesus Christ is His Name!