Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Gate

Submitted by Van Houser
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.  They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:1-5;9
The third “I am” statement of Jesus is “I am the door of the sheep”.  What did He mean since a sheepfold in that day had no “door” but only an opening?  In this kind of sheepfold, after the sheep had entered it, the shepherd would sleep at the entrance.  The shepherd became, effectively, the “door” of the sheepfold.
When Jesus told His disciples, “I am the door of the sheep”, He was telling them and us, “Inside My sheepfold, My sheep are always safe.  They are protected within the boundaries of the sheepfold and I guard the entrance so that no danger can come in for I am the door of My sheep.”
This analogy was not lost on the Jews He spoke to on that day.  They were well aware of the presence of spiritual shepherds or pastors provided to care for God’s people.  But the Prophet Jeremiah denounced the selfish and damaging roles these shepherds had played.  The sheep had scattered throughout the land and become lost in the peoples of the world.  They had abused the people (the sheep) by coming in through the unprotected gate and feeding them with food that had no eternal value and stealing them away. 
In Ezekiel 34, the prophet proclaimed that one would come from the house of David to bring the sheep back.  He would stand as the gate and separate them from the world.  No one would enter who would not be one of His sheep.  Read these words and rejoice!  "I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest," declares the Lord GOD. "I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment. As for you, My flock, thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats.”  Ezekiel 34:15-17
There are those who believe that there the concept of only one way to God being through Christ is merely a New Testament thought.  But here we see that Jesus is fulfilling the prophecy of Ezekiel as He declares, “I am the gate (door) for the sheep.”  Jesus’ declaration to these Jews in parabolic form was not an attempt to hide His identification from them.  They knew well what He was saying and the corrupt ways of those who had led the people astray.  They also knew well that God would at some time do a sifting of the people and now Christ tells them it will be at the gate of the sheepfold.
The gate?  It’s the cross.  Many will pass by but only a few will find the gate.  Jesus made it crystal clear when He stated in Matthew 7, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.  Matthew 7:13-14

Scripture to Claim:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  John 10:10

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