April 19, 2023

Jesus, the Gate of the Sheep

John 10:1-10

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”

—  John 10:9

Shepherds had to keep watch over their flocks constantly so that predators would not attack. At night they often rounded up their sheep and kept them in improvised sheepfolds. And if more than one shepherd was in the area, there would be more than one flock in the fold. The shepherds themselves were the gateway to the sheep. And the sheep knew their shepherd’s voice. So in the morning when they heard their shepherd call, the sheep followed.

It is in this context that Jesus says he is the gate for the sheep. This metaphor suggests three truths. First, Jesus is the door to salvation: “Whoever enters through me will be saved.” There is no salvation outside of Jesus. He is the way to God, the door of salvation. No one can reach God by their works or even by their religiosity. Christ alone is the door!

Second, Jesus is the door to freedom: “They will come in and go out. . . .” There are many doorways and roadways in life that lead to captivity and slavery. They are wide and spacious, but they lead to danger and misery. Jesus, however, is the door to freedom.

Third, Jesus is the door to provision: “They will . . . find pasture.” Christ provides every­thing we need in order to flourish in abundance. He came so that we “may have life, and have it to the full”!

Lord and Savior, thank you for the full, abundant life you give. All other pathways in life lead to slavery and death. Only you lead and guide us faithfully. We praise your name! Amen.

About the author — Hernandes Lopes

Rev. Hernandes Dias Lopes grew up in a Christian home in Brazil. Following his 1981 graduation from Seminário Presbiteriano do Sul in Campinas, Brazil, he served two congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Brazil. In 2000, he earned a doctor of ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Rev. Lopes has been the voice of the television program Verdade e Vida (“Truth and Life”) since 2006. In 2010 he was appointed Portuguese ministry leader for Back to God Ministries International. Rev. Lopes and his wife, Tinha, have two college-age children.

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