John 10:1 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (KJV)
John 10:7 – Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (KJV)
The swimming pool at our local YMCA has a baby pool at the edge, where the steps leading into the pool are located. Dividing this pool from the deep pool, there is a rope that has been stretched across the area for protection. Swimmers have lots of fun describing the various ways people handle this rope. Some duck under the rope. Others climb over it. Still others unlock the rope and enter the deep pool through the opening, which would be the gate.
Jesus was very emphatic about how one was to go through the gate. "I am the gate," He says. He tells us that there is no way to be saved except through Him. Those who enter over the rope or under the rope will not enter the right place. Only those who open the gate — who know Jesus, the gatekeeper, on a personal basis — enter through the area that has been designated as the gate. Those who remove the hook and enter will have done it the right way.
We all love shortcuts. Why take time to come through the gate if we can climb over or under? But that is not what Jesus said. "I am the gatekeeper — the good shepherd — you must come through me."
Jesus is our shepherd, our protector — the gate to our safety. Just as the rope divides the deep water from the shallow water and protects those in the pool, Jesus guides and protects us. But we must go through the gate — not over or under or around.
Jesus stands ready at the opening to protect that which is His own. Those who hear His voice and follow His instructions are His sheep. Those who enter through Him are safe.
John 10:10 – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (KJV)
Christ's abundant life is fulfilled in us when we enter through the gate. As the gate, He is still there when we come back out from His presence to go into the world, with the assurance that we are not alone.
Prayer: Lord, we recognize You as the gate into the sheepfold and also the gate back out into the world. If we recognize Your voice and follow Your instructions, You will keep us safe wherever we are. Amen.