““I assure you: Anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the door but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.” Jesus gave them this illustration, but they did not understand what He was telling them.”, John 10:1-6 HCSB
“So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them. This happens because he is a hired man and doesn’t care about the sheep. “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep. But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.” Again a division took place among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and He’s crazy! Why do you listen to Him? ” Others were saying, “These aren’t the words of someone demon-possessed. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind? ””, John 10:7-21 HCSB
- I found this looking for an image of a sheep pen to better wrap my mind around what Jesus was saying in the above passage:
“Now if a shepherd was not close to a town and so had to keep the sheep out in the fields through the night they would find one of many small stoned pens that dotted the countryside where they could keep their sheep safe for the night. The problem with these pens was that there was no gate, so the shepherd would literally become the gate, or door, by lying down across the entrance to the pen. The presence of the shepherd would keep the sheep inside the pen through the night by becoming a physical barrier that would keep them from just wandering off. The shepherd’s presence also helped keep the wild animals away. So the shepherd literally become a door that closed off the dangers of the night and then in the morning when the shepherd got up the door would be open for the sheep to go out and find food and water for the day. As a good shepherd, Jesus is the door…”
- I did not know that about sheep gates but knowing that makes Jesus’ words so much more powerful (and makes way more sense).
- I believe it takes much training to distinguish between Jesus’ voice and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ voices. I believe the latter use bullying, strong accusations, manipulation, deception, etc.