The Shepherd and The Gate
Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
John 10:6-10 NLT
In John, chapter 10, Jesus identifies Himself as the gate for the sheep and as the good shepherd of the sheep. Both identities fit together.
In the ancient world, and in some parts of the world today, a shepherd would lead his sheep out daily to find food to eat. In the evening, he would lead his sheep into a pen—often surrounded by rocks piled up for protection. The shepherd would lay down in the opening to protect the sheep from any invaders that might try to come in the night to harm them. He was the door or gate—his physical body would scare away predators.
Jesus is our protector. He stays with us when others run away. He is watching over us even while we are sleeping. When we aren’t aware of it, Jesus is working on our behalf.
Thank You, Jesus, for being my Protector. Thanks for keeping me safe even when I don’t realize it.
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