Vicar’s weekly thought – Here is the Gate

Here is the Gate – for you to come and go through

We often hear Jesus’ picture of himself as the Good Shepherd (and we’ll hear more about this next week). But less well-known is how he also said ‘I AM the Gate’ (or sheep-gate). Middle-eastern sheepfolds would often be built against a hill-side, or the wall of a house, with stone walls quite often topped by thorny briars. And they had just one narrow gate in, through
which the sheep had to come and go. Quite a sensible solution to looking after sheep once you think about it – for protection from wild animals, thieves and other threats, particularly at night; and a normal part of sheep leading a healthy life together as the shepherd greatly desires!

As Jesus said, [through the gate] ‘they will come and go freely and will find good pastures.’ Jesus is painting quite a simple picture really, that we need to come and go through Him to receive all the Father in his love wants for us – plus it’s quite a claim that no other route will do if we are to
have ‘life in all its fullness’. Indeed Jesus is clear, the ways employed by others have at their heart deception, robbery, and even destruction. We know only too well the other forces at work around us and in our own lives. In the end it is a simple claim and appeal by Jesus, to come and go through Him if we want to receive all His Heavenly Father really wants for
us. He will even give his life at that Gate to protect those sheep!
John 10.9;  John 10.10