Lesson 59


The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

10:7 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Most assuredly, I tell you, I am the sheep's door. 10:8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn't listen to them. 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture. 10:10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.


 Today's Lesson 

Jesus draws two conclusions from the parable of the sheepfold. Today's scripture is the first. The first image that Jesus wants his audience to see from His story is, "I am the sheep's door."

 

Now in the story, the sheep are held in a common area for the night. The shepherd comes to the sheepfold in the morning and calls to his sheep. They hear his voice and follow him out to the grazing pastures for the day. In the evening, the sheep are brought into the sheepfold where they are protected at night by the gatekeeper and the community.

 

Jesus says, "I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture." Just as the door of the sheepfold represented safety and legitimacy, Jesus is our connection with God. He is the means by which we access the Father. By Him, we go to the Father for safety and strength. Through Him we go back into the world "and find pasture." That is, we do the works of God in the world, the works that He has planned for us.

 

Moreover, Jesus said. "All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn't listen to them." There are other people and other ways that purport to grant us access to the deeper, spiritual life that God has designed man to experience. People crave spiritual experience. It is a need that God designed within our souls. Its proper expression is to lead us to the Father. But, there were many before Christ and many after Him who claimed to know the way that we may gain access to God. There will be those telling us of ways that will lead us closer to the Father, ways that do not demand sacrifice and obedience. Jesus says that not only are these ways illegitimate, they are not effective either. They will not lead us to the Father and they do not lead the true sheep of Christ astray.

 

"All who came before me are thieves and robbers..." "The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy." The results of the actions of the thief are death and destruction, or in spiritual terms, sin. There are many people who want to lead the people of God. When men try to accomplish what God has not given them to do, the result is sin, for themselves and for those who follow them. Even if the intentions are pure, and often they are not, the results can still be tragic.

 

Jesus is the door by which the sheep enter and leave. He is the access to the safety of the fold. In Him, the people of God "go in and go out, and will find pasture." Only through Jesus Christ may we have life. And, the life that Jesus offers is the life of abundance. The life that God has planned for His children is not marginal subsistence. It is a life where every legitimate want is totally fulfilled. Not every desire is met. If a sheep were to desire to fly, no matter how high he might jump or how vigorous he might flap his legs, sheep don't fly. But, the life that God has planned for us is that every legitimate need of His sheep will be met, abundantly!

 

Perhaps this seems limiting to some people. Who is God to say that there should only be one door that His people should come to Him? Perhaps we should wander around and see if there is any other access to God than this door. In the Judean hillsides, there may have been some shepherds who preferred to not bring their sheep all the way to the sheepfold at night. But, no shepherd can be vigilant when he must sleep and there are wolves in the night.

 

God has given us a place of security. There is a sheepfold where His sheep may enter in and be safe. If we would belong to the people of God, we must enter at the door that God has provided. If we seek access to God in any other fashion, we are not of His fold. If we attempt to find shelter in any place accept for the sheepfold that God has provided, we will be devoured.

 

"I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture."

 

Psalm / Next Lesson / Past Lesson / Lesson Archive / Home

1998 adailywalk.com - These materials may be reproduced as long as they are never sold in any form.