John 10:7-10 (NIV)
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
As we continue to look at the “I AM” claims of Jesus, our Verse of the Day brings another focus of His identity for us to consider during this season of Advent. Jesus declared that He is the GATE for God’s people (sheep); and I believe the purpose is to signify that He is the “entry point” or “opening” for us to enter to the field of true life … eternal life. Some translations use the word “door” in place of “gate” in the verse, but either word evokes the concept that He is the place of “entrance” that God has provided for us to receive abundant life.
When Jesus foretold His disciples that He would soon be leaving this world, He affirmed to them, “You know the way to the place where I am going.” But Thomas questioned Jesus and said to Him, “Lord we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered him and said, “I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Cf. John 14:4-6) So even in this context, Jesus continued to affirm that He is the entrance, door, gate, or way to enter into the place that He has prepared for those who love Him….
I just love these parables … these spiritual metaphors that Jesus used to communicate His divine identity to the people. The imagery is easily understood and relatable. I know this scene firsthand as my grandfather raised sheep on his farm; and I can remember him calling them from the hillside to gather them and lead them through a gate into another pasture or to the barn. Indeed, they knew the sound of his voice. My presence would sometimes startle them, but they would come to my grandfather and follow him because they knew him. I often think about those youthful days whenever I read this passage of scripture because it resonates with my experiences on the farm….
Again, as we meditate on Jesus during this season of Advent, it is my prayer that His “I AM” claims will fully reveal to us WHO was born in Bethlehem that calm, silent night. The Son of God … the Word of God … became flesh and made His dwelling among us. He was sent by the Father to be the supreme witness of His Being … to reveal His Identity … and to bring us to faith in the GREAT I AM! Indeed, Jesus is everything He claimed to be, and all we need to do is believe Him.
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being…. ~ Hebrews 1:3