I AM the Gate and the Good Shepherd
1 “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. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper 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 the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They 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.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
My premise: The more we know about Jesus, the safer we are spiritually (doubts, fears, lies), the better equipped we are to serve (parents, grandparents, teachers, leaders) and the more effective we are at making disciples (inviting others into relationship with Christ or inviting them to explore their faith).
Sheep gates and shepherds
Jesus as the Gate
Sense of ________________________
______________________ to the sheepfold
Entrance into the ______________________________
Jesus as the Good Shepherd
Is Jesus your shepherd? Let Him lead you today - in whatever is happening in your life - let Him shepherd you.
Mighty God - thank you for watching out for me, protecting me - many times in spite of myself. Forgive me when I doubt or question, forgive me when I get distracted and wander away, forgive me when I don’t listen for Your voice. Help me to follow where You lead, to obey what You say, and to be an example and witness to others who need You to lead them. In Jesus name, Amen.
Randy Reese is Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC