Our scripture this week is John 10:1-10.
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
In this passage Jesus uses an analogy to try to explain His coming to the Pharisees. It is also a reprimand for the poor leadership they have provided to God’s people. Jesus tells them that they have not followed the plan and become like robbers and thieves.
Jesus was never gentle in His assessment of the religious leaders of that time. Many we meet in the scripture accounts have become vain, power-hungry and more concerned about maintaining their position than actually leading. Jesus warns that as leaders they are responsible and will be held to a higher standard.
He tells us that He is the gate, the way of reaching the safe pasture of God’s salvation. In other lessons He taught “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He has called us by name to follow Him into the fullness of life.
Loving Lord, let us hear Your voice and obey. May we be faithful followers of Your teachings, called to be part of Your flock. Amen.