Alex Enabnit – Programming Coordinator
This weekend we continued our “1×8” series about the eight “I Am” statements in John with Jesus’ fourth statement, “I am the gate.”
Reading from John 10:1-10, Jesus uses metaphors to explain his nature, saying that he is a shepherd (which we will talk more about next week) and the gate. Calling oneself a “gate” is an interesting term to western ears, but Jesus’ Jewish listeners would have heard it differently.
When a shepherd leads his flock into the country for grazing, oftentimes there is a sheepfold, or enclosure of rocks, where the shepherd can lead his sheep at night for protection. The only thing the enclosure is missing? A permanent door. So instead of leaving his sheep in a pen without a door, the shepherd lays in the opening of the sheepfold, protecting the sheep from wandering away and keeping unwanted visitors out. Quite literally, the shepherd becomes the gate.
So what does Jesus mean when he says this? He’s saying that he is the only way to heaven, and that entering by some other way marks the intruder as a thief and a robber (verse 1). In other words, the way you enter determines the way you’re treated. Unlike every other religion that explains how to climb the wall and the steps to follow to get into the fold, the gate is wide open. All you have to do is receive the grace of Jesus to walk through. Are you still climbing? Just walk through the gate!
Verses and quotes from the message:
John 10:1-10; John 20:19; John 20:26;Proverbs 8:1-3; James 5:9; Matthew 7:13-14
Nothing but the Blood – Andy Cherry
Forever (We Sing Hallelujah) – Bethel Music
Cornerstone – Hillsong