Heb.13:20 “Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood”
Jesus is the Shepherd of our souls and He is the great Shepherd of the sheep. When you read John 10:1-42, the two things that jump at us from this passage of scripture about our Shepherd are;
#1. John 10:2 “But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.” The shepherd enters through the gate. He is the legitimate owner of your soul and He enters through the gate. Everyone else that tries to enter through the window or scale the fence is a thief. The Shepherd enters confidently through the gate. As a parent and the owner of the house, when you get home from work, you are going to walk in confidently through the front door. If you see the father or the mother of the house trying to scale the fence to get into the house, something is wrong with that altogether. We must make our lives accessible to Jesus from the front gate because He only wants to come in through the front gate. He says, “I stand at the door and knock…”; Jesus is not going to jump in through the window. No, He stands at the door and knocks. Anyone else that comes in through the window is a thief.
Jesus uses alternate illustrations in John 10 about the Shepherd and the sheep. On one hand, He will use an illustration of a big sheep pen that there is a wall around and there are several shepherds each having their sheep inside the pen. There is also a watchman or the gatekeeper that allows each shepherd to come in and take his own sheep. Then Jesus switches again to an illustration where it is one Shepherd that has the fold and all sheep belong to him. We will see Him switch back and forth just to highlight who He is as a Shepherd.
#2. John 10:9 “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.”. In this passage, Jesus has shifted to the fold of a singular shepherd and He is now the gate. In point one, we saw Him approaching the gate and the gatekeeper opening the gate. Jesus is saying, that is one illustration and He explains how He calls the sheep. But here He is saying that He is the gate. The Shepherd is the gate. What is the significance of that? At night, the Shepherd lies down at the opening of the gate. Where the sheep are kept only has a perimeter fence and there is usually an opening with a rock on either side of the opening. Then the watchman, or the gatekeeper, or his band will man the gate for all the shepherds that bring their sheep to that pen overnight. It is like an outsourced service. But when the shepherd owns the pen, he lies down at the opening of the fenced area where the sheep are. He becomes a living gate to keep the sheep in and the predators out. It is an amazing picture because in the Semitic regions, the nights are usually very cold, and the days are very hot. Jesus is saying, I am the gate; I lie down there and keep the predators out of My Church, out of the lives of my sons and daughters and keep them safe in the pen. Wow!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my Shepherd and I am Your sheep, in Jesus Name. Amen!