THE DOOR TO THE SHEEP
In the same chapter of John’s Gospel where Jesus describes Himself as the Good Shepherd, He also describes Himself as the Door, or Gate, to the sheep (John 10:7). This would have conjured up a wonderful picture for those listening to Him. Sheepfolds of the time were roofless, and constructed of stone walls with a gap left for the sheep to enter and exit. This gap would have no physical gate. Once all the sheep were safely herded in, then the shepherds would take turns to sit in the gap. They would protect the sheep with their own bodies, keeping them in peace and safety, and only letting other shepherds who they knew near the sheep. They were a physical barrier against thieves and wild animals. So the door and the shepherd were one and the same thing.
The Greek word for door used in John 10 :7 and again in v 9 can also be translated as ‘entrance, passage, or way’. In calling Himself the door, Jesus was re-emphasising the truth that He had come to be the only way to the Father. In John 10: 9 He states that those who ‘enter’ through Him, will be saved, and be a sheep of His sheepfold. Free to go in and out, following Him to the best pastures, and following Him to the best places to rest. In John 10:10 He promises those who become His that they will have life in abundance. In John 14:6 Jesus says ‘I am THE WAY, the truth and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except by Me.’
THE NARROW GATE
There is a warning though. The gateway is a narrow one and not always easy to enter. It might be off-putting to some. Believing in Jesus demands we lay down everything else at His feet. Yes the life He promises is one of abundance, a life that will last for eternity, but it might cost. It may not be easy to follow the Shepherd. Luke 13 :22-28
How beautiful a shepherd He is that He laid down His life to be the Doorway to the fold that is His kingdom!
How wonderful that we know we are secure in Him, and that although following Him might not always be easy, He will always protect and guard us. And His gift to us is life in abundance.
Pray today for those you love who have yet to find Jesus the Door.
‘We can all know God’s love and blessing, but some of us choose to take what He has given us and squander it, while others live with ingratitude and a feeling of entitlement and self-righteousness. All He wants is for us to come back to Him with repentant hearts and He will embrace us and celebrate us, and restore us to right relationship with Him. Living as God’s son in a close, love relationship with Him, is the absolute best. It is what we were designed for.’
‘But that Father in the story didn’t even care what the son had done. He didn’t judge him for it or hold it over him. That boy didn’t get the punishment he deserved, and instead got the honour he didn’t deserve. God surely can’t turn a blind eye to our sin?’
‘That is the point, Philip. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that you or I, or anyone has done that will stop God from loving us and welcoming us back to Him with open arms. We need to repent, to admit our wrong, but He couldn’t stop loving us and wanting us, not for anything. He is calling all His sons back home.’
THE HEALING p 71
Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.
‘The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022
More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com