So today we’re looking at John 10:9 when Jesus declares: “I AM the gate, whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture.”
On the surface this one doesn’t seem quite as bold a declaration as the first 2 but let’s hold that thought in check.
A gate is a way in. The designated way in that is. Yes, we know there are many who would just climb over the fence or enclosure if they wanted access to an area bad enough. Jesus actually addresses that in the beginning of the chapter pointing out that anyone who would sneak over the wall rather than going through the gate must be a thief or a robber! The shepherd enters through the gate and calls his sheep in. From the first verses of the chapter it is learned that Jesus is speaking about His followers in context of sheep and their shepherd. Something we are not too familiar with in this day and age in some countries. But tending sheep was and is a common practice in Israel and the middle eastern countries. Sheep need a shepherd. They are defenseless animals, prone to go astray, they have poor eyesight, will tend to follow others without paying attention, and they are stubborn. Yes, we humans do have a lot in common with sheep so it is understandable why Jesus would call us His sheep! And use a parable of sheep to teach a truth.
Through various readings I have learned that in Jesus’ day shepherds spent much time with their sheep out in the pastures and fields to find the needed food and water. At night the shepherds would gather their flocks into a ‘sheepfold’. This could have been stone walls made by the shepherd for this purpose or natural enclosures such as a cave. The shepherd would use his rod to herd the sheep into the sheepfold for the night and would himself sleep by the opening or entrance to ensure the safety of his sheep. He himself would be the gate. Do you get that? The sheep could not get out and stray away during the night to get lost or injured. The shepherd would not need to worry over the sheep’s safety. He was their gate of security. They were safe in the fold. Enter His fold and be safe. Saved from the enemy. Practically speaking the sheep were safe from themselves. No wandering around aimlessly to get lost or injured. Spiritually speaking – we are saved from ourselves as well – from the sinful nature within each us of – which destines us to an eternity of separation from God. But through Jesus Christ we have access to the Father for Jesus is our access. Which comes up in a future I AM statement Jesus makes!
JESUS IS OUR GATE. The designated entrance way into the presence of God to everlasting life. Like the shepherd, He has entered the gate and calls His sheep in! Have you heard His voice and entered the fold? All who will are accepted.
You can rest assured that the present as well as the future is well guarded by His keeping. He is THE gate of security.
So it seems that ETERNAL SECURITY is the implication of Jesus’ declaration – I AM the gate. Which is just as bold and audacious a statement as the first 2!!
Once you are in His fold your eternal future is out of your control and in HIS hands. No one is able to take you out. Not even you! You may let go of Him, but He will never let go of you. From now to infinity. You are secure.
You can have this hope in the depth of your soul, in the flood or the flame He’s with and He won’t let go. Even if your faith feels thin… He won’t let go. He has you safe in the fold. He is your gate of security.
Until next time rest easy, don’t sweat this life and the trials it will bring. A needed reminder to myself!!