Reflection 12th August

The Gate. 

“ I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9).

I wonder when we speak of gates what kind of images spring to mind. For many it is the entrance or exit to places; it can be there to keep things in or shut things out; for others it is there for protection of themselves and their property, and yet for others it is there to stop animals or people from escaping and causing havoc.

Jesus calls Himself ‘the gate’.  So what type of gate is He? In order to clarify what He means by this saying we need to remind ourselves that He came as ‘the good shepherd’ to lead His people and He is speaking about ‘the gate’ in terms of His sheep.

It may be helpful to know that a sheep pen normally has one doorway, and that the shepherds of the Near East often slept in the doorway, acting as the door itself. That is plain and easy to see for the sheep in order to enter the pen through the doorway. Thus, in the same manner, metamorphically speaking, through the shepherd, Jesus is saying He Himself, and no other, is the means by which the sheep may enter into the promised fullness of life.

Jesus is saying that the way into life goes through belief in Him and Him alone. He is the entrance. He tells us in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life; and have it to the full.” This is a  way of insisting that there is only one means of receiving eternal life, only one source of knowledge of God, only one fount of spiritual nourishment, only one basis for spiritual security-Jesus alone”.

Jesus also says that “whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture” (John 10:9b). Here, though Jesus does not explain exactly what he means to “be saved“, it can indicate having “eternal life” or “salvation” linked with John 3:16-17. Thus, we can imply that salvation can only be received through Christ. He is not only the Saviour and the One who gives freedom, but He is also the Sustainer and Satisfier for His sheep find pasture in the Word of God. This is what Jesus is proclaiming as ‘the gate.’

There is only one gate, one door to salvation – that way is following Christ. Today we are reminded of this in the ‘I am’ sayings; we have a choice – to open or close the gate. I hope you will vow to open that gate a little wider and allow Him further into your lives today.

God Bless you all.

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