December 18th: Jesus, The Gate

John 10: 7-10

 

      On the gameshow, “Let’s Make A Deal”, Monty Hall used to ask contestants to choose from “door number 1, 2, or 3.”  If they chose correctly they would walk away with a great prize like a new car.  But if they chose incorrectly, they would win something like a live goat, or all of the bananas they could carry.

      As we reflect on this passage of Scripture we are told by Jesus Himself that there is only one door (gate) for us, and for every human being, and He is that door.

      In Biblical times, good shepherds would bring their sheep into the fold (an area walled off by stone or thorny branches) where the sheep could rest in safety for the night.  There was only one way into and out of the fold, and that was the gate (door).   If there was no actual door, the good shepherd would lay his body across the doorway—both to keep his sheep safely inside and to be prepared to fight off any who would try to “steal, kill, and destroy.” (10:10)

      The sheep cannot enter the fold by any other way.  They cannot climb over the wall.  The only way to find safety and rest is to enter through the one and only gate.

      The gate not only served as the way to come in to safety, but also as the way to abundant life (10: 10).  When morning would come, the good shepherd would take the sheep out of the fold and into the pastures he had scouted out ahead of time to give them nourishment, refreshment, and life.

      During the Christmas season we tend to focus on the “Let’s Make A Deal” type prizes, and hope that we will get to keep doors 1, 2, and 3.  This Advent, may we instead find true peace and contentment knowing that Jesus is THE Good Shepherd (10:11, 14); that we are HIS sheep; that He lays down His life serving as the one and only “gate” by which we enter into His protective care, and through which we pass into the abundant life—here and now, as well as in the life to come.  May we find rest in the knowledge and experience of His tender care, protection, and provision.

 

***If you want to learn more, read Phillip Keller’s book, A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23.

 

 

Submitted by Matthew Bullard , Director of Christian Education