Walking In Truth Devotional Update
Jesus Blends Two Metaphors
In this beautiful passage Jesus speaks of Himself as both the Shepherd and the Door (Gate). The images of the shepherd and the door to the sheepfold are woven together in John 10, because both refer to Jesus. This explains how Jesus can be the door into the fold when He also enters the fold and leads the sheep out of the fold (vv. 2–5, 9) as the Shepherd. Jesus often blended two metaphors together as we can see in the following passages. Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:35), and yet He gives the bread (Himself) to hungry sinners. Jesus speaks the truth (8:45), but He also is the truth (14:6). Jesus imparts life to believing sinners (6:50–51), and yet He is life (14:6).
These two expressions (Shepherd – Door) must be distinguished from one another because they don’t mean precisely the same thing and yet they must not be separated because they are closely related.
In the text, verses 2-6, Jesus pictures a sheepfold in and around a village where several shepherds would keep their sheep and a gatekeeper would be on guard and in the morning each shepherd would be allowed into the sheepfold and would call his sheep and take them to pasture. However, if the weather was warm and nice the shepherds would keep the sheep in the pastures overnight in a small sheepfold like the one in the picture and the shepherd would become the gate or door protecting the sheep. This is the picture in verses 7-10. As you know the picture of shepherds and sheep have deep roots in the Old Testament (Psalm 23; Psalm 77:20; Psalm 79:123; Psalm 95:7).
This passage is a continuation of chapter 9. Jesus is teaching that the religious leaders of that time had been called by God to shepherd His people but were like thieves and robbers who had no real concern for the wellbeing of God’s people. To understand this better you should read Ezekiel 34:2-16 as it reveals the attitude of God toward shepherds as Jesus was dealing with in our text. In Ezek.34:23-24 God spoke of His servant David feeding and being God’s shepherd, but this is a prophecy of the coming of Jesus who would perform the services prophesied. (David had been dead for a long time when Ezekiel prophesied.
“Therefore, Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate (door) 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 (Door); 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.”
What Jesus is saying about Himself is that the Kingdom is exclusive, not inclusive, and that it doesn’t have 15 doors or fifteen different ways to get into it. There is only one door. There is one meditator (I Tim. 2:5). The flock of God has one shepherd, one door and the only way into the kingdom is that one door, Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; John 14:6). If there was ever a time when Jesus made a statement that provoked conflict among His contemporaries and people today it is this statement about Himself. If you want to be inclusive of all the major religions in the world you are on a collision course with the Scriptures and Jesus.
This was according to prophecy: Psalm 118:19-20; 22-24:
Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord,
Through which the righteous shall enter.
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
23This was the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Christ is the door to salvation from sin and is the only way out of one’s old life of sin and guilt. I don’t know of a more desperate need on the part of people today than the need to know that their sins can be forgiven, that their guilt can be done away with, that they can be accepted, and that the door to the past can be shut behind them.
Have you entered the Kingdom through Jesus Christ?
By Guy Roberson
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