Gospel – 5/3/20 – John 10:1-10
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
He is the Shepherd. In the area that sheep are raised (Europe, Asia South America mainly) there is a sheepfold. A sheepfold has a single small gate. There are walls built out and around like a corral. In the evening, the sheep are brought in and they are protected from danger. There are several flocks quite often, and all are kept together with the shepherds not far away. One shepherd would lie across the gate to keep the sheep inside and others out. If you don’t enter through the gate, you are a thief – a robber.
When morning comes, the Shepherd comes to gather his sheep and lead them to pasture where he tends them until they return to the sheepfold in the evening. The Shepherd’s sheep know his voice and follow him. He doesn’t, if you notice, drive them – he leads them. Each shepherd calls his own flock.
Psalm 23, describes God the Father as a shepherd who cares for all our wants. In the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to himself several times as “I AM”, which speaks to his divinity – he is God Incarnate. So, his reference to himself as the Shepherd once again is telling them who he is. Of course, the Pharisees, to whom he’s speaking don’t make the connection.
He is the one who cares and protects the sheep (children of God) and provides for their needs.
WHO he is, is the Good Shepherd.
But Jesus knows of the corruption within the Pharisees – they are attracted to power over the people, not for the people. So, Jesus calls them thieves who come to steal the people from God with their desire for earthly power. But, Jesus is here to protect the people from the evil that the Pharisees, in large part, have become.
He is the gate that will keep out the thieves.
WHAT he is, is the gate.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…