We’ll continue the “I AM” series next Sunday with a message by Adult
Discipleship Pastor Jeff Walser. He’ll be teaching about Jesus’ words in
John 10:9, “I am the Gate.” As we prepare our hearts for that message,
we are focusing our devotionals this week on John 10.
This week we are reading John 10:1–10, focusing today on verses 2 and 3. The text below is taken from the NIV, but feel free to read from the translation of your choice.
1“I tell you the truth, the man who does not
enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a
thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Throughout the Old Testament, God’s faithful people looked to the day
when the Messiah would come. He would be God’s own Shepherd, sent by
the Father to care for His people — to guide, protect, lead, and love
them — even lay down His life for them.
In John 10:2, that long-awaited Shepherd-Messiah is recognized and
welcomed through the door of the sheepfold. Here Jesus identifies
Himself, not as one of the thieves and robbers who sneak in over the
fence to do harm, but as the True Shepherd who is welcomed in to take
His rightful place and minister to His flock.
This is the Shepherd of the Psalmist and other Old Testament writers.
This is the Shepherd who would make them lie down in green pastures,
lead them beside still waters, and restore their souls, provide for
their every need, and faithfully walk with them through dark valleys,
comfort and protect them. This is a Shepherd worth following.
Sent by the Father, the Messiah-Shepherd has all His credentials in
order. He is recognized by the watchman, who swings open the gate and
welcomes Him into the sheepfold. This is no stranger, randomly assigned
to care for this flock. This Shepherd knows His sheep and calls them by name!
He knows them intimately and personally — knows what they need, knows
where they hurt, knows how they’ve failed and the sin struggles that
have dominated their lives. He knows it all — and He cares.
Many people today are looking for spiritual satisfaction through
following a creed or trying to “live right,” but all is ultimately
meaningless spiritual activity outside of a personal relationship with
Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. Knowing and being known — it’s a truth
that resonates in the hearts of all who hear it. If you have heard Him
call your name and followed Him out in faith, then you know and
Thank You for knowing me and loving me just as I am. Help
me to hear Your voice and follow You, even when other voices try to
distract and call me away from Your path. Thank You for sending Jesus to
bring me the promise of eternal life. Just as I have welcomed you into
my heart, today and in the days to come, I want to welcome You into my
life. Day-by-day, hour-by-hour, even minute-by-minute, Lord, help me to
rest in Your leading and trust in Your loving, all-sufficient care.