Theme of the Week: Who Is Jesus?
Bible Verse: I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. John 10:9
Scripture Reading: John 10:1-10
When I was a young boy, we had a hobby farm. It was only a couple of acres, but we had a very productive garden (easier to do with the help of three conscripted weed-pullers). We also had animals. We raised chickens for both eggs and meat. We had rabbits (at one point we had 150 in cages). We raised a couple of pigs. And we had a couple of goats. Those goats were . . . ornery.
Ginger and her companion did not like people. They would butt and chase anyone who came into their pen. They would, in stereo-typical goat fashion, eat nearly everything. But the funny thing about them was that they would respond to their names, at least Ginger would. We had to wonder if it wasn’t just her orneriness that made her come to the fence when we called—she would, after all, butt the fence separating us.
For all the eye-rolling unfortunate comparisons that can be made when comparing people to sheep—dumb, followers, easily frightened etc.—the Bible constantly compares the people of God to these creatures. And in John 10, Jesus refers to himself as nearly every important thing for a sheep’s safety and well-being. After insisting that His sheep hear and know His voice, he compares Himself to the door of the sheep pen.
It’s easy to see the spiritual significance of this metaphor as Jesus says that whoever enters through Him will be saved. It aligns with His claim to be the way, the truth, and the life (come back Friday for that). But that’s not all He says. He says that as the door, He provides, not simply the way in, but the way out, and passage to “pasture.” The in and out imagery confuses the salvation metaphor, but it gives us insight into the famous line to follow about giving life to the full.
The imagery of sheep going in and out and finding pasture evokes thoughts of safety and sustenance, of provision and protection. Jesus pictures Himself as the one through whom we are granted what we need for our health and nourishment. The question for us is, do we go through the gate, or do we try to jump the fence?
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for offering a path to salvation and the provisions we need. Help me to follow you in the way that you have provided. Help me to understand that you are the way to full life.
Reflection: Does Jesus serve as the door to life for you? Not merely in the spiritual sense, but to everything is everything you do in and through the life of Jesus?
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