Our scripture today 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.”
Jesus uses the illustration of the shepherd and sheep to explain to the Pharisees (and us) the relationship His followers have with Him. It is a lesson about those who are leaders for their own selfish purposes – Jesus calls them thieves and robbers. He has come for another purpose, “that they may have life, and have it to the full”.
Jesus refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd later in this passage to teach us that He has come to lead us home. He always tells us the truth, unlike human leaders who may take us down the wrong path. If we follow Him, we will always be on the path that leads to eternal life.
We are sometimes more foolish than sheep, following whatever voice calls to us. Jesus says “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Following Jesus is the only way for us to be forgiven and saved.
Gracious God, in Your mercy You sent Your son to gather us up and bring us back into a loving relationship with You. Send us to tell all our brothers and sisters about our Good Shepherd. Amen.