Who is Jesus? I AM Part 4

I am the GATE
I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 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.....
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. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life; and have it to the full.
John 10:1-10
When we think of a gate, we might think of a white picket fence, or even a security gate with a guard that lets in people who have been "cleared." When Jesus talked to people in Bible times, they understood these passages because they were familiar with shepherds and gates. I researched a little and found:

"The gate that Jesus is referring to belongs to the kind of sheep pen that shepherds would use during summer months. The shepherds would stay out in the fields with their sheep for weeks at a time. They would do their best to find good pasture land, and then they would gather some stones to build a make-shift corral that would have one single opening.
Then at night the shepherd would herd his sheep through that opening into the pen. He would then lie down across the opening. The shepherd himself became the gate to the sheep pen.
He was literally the sheep’s protection. He was their security from thieves and robbers who wanted to kill, steal, or destroy the flock." -Bible notes

Wow! What I see is that the shepherd was the PROTECTION for the sheep. He lied across the opening with HIS OWN BODY. If anyone wanted to enter the sheep pen, he had to go through the shepherd first!
I love the illustration that Jesus paints for us here. He is the gate and the only way to get into His Kingdom is through him. Jesus says He is "THE" gate...not "A" gate....
There is only one way into the Kingdom of God...through Jesus.
The shepherd calls each sheep by name and leads them in and out the sheep pen.

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
Father God, thank You that You give me eternal life. Thank You that You call me by name. Thank You that I can hear Your voice because I am Yours. Thank You that You protect me. Thank You that I have abundant life here and now. Jesus, You are precious. And, it is in Your Name we pray. Amen.

This is a series I am re-posting on "Who is Jesus" during the Lenten season. Please scroll down for the first 3 parts or click here, here, and here.

3 thoughts shared....:

Denise said...

Awesome post.

Kathryn said...

Lovin' this series, Tracy! :-)

Miss Charlene said...

Wow! I never knew that the shepherd would be the gate with his OWN body! Jesus laid down his own body for us, and saved us! Amazing! Thanks for sharing that!