google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Investigating Jesus - Part 20

Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 20
Who did Jesus say that He was?

"The Gate and the Good Shepherd"

 


“Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I AM the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:7-11, 14-15).


Throughout the Old Testament, God is revealed as a shepherd and his people are the sheep of his keeping. The sheep are always God’s, even though he temporarily entrusted them to people such as Moses to care and tend them. Therefore, Moses and others like him, such as the true prophets, were forerunners to Jesus. Here Jesus proclaims that he is the door or gate to salvation. It is through Jesus that salvation is found and through Him alone as the door or gate that people are led safe and sound into spiritual freedom, spiritual light and spiritual sustenance.

Unlike others who come only to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus offers spiritual safety and nourishment. Jesus does not just offer a way out, but also a way in. The security offered by Jesus is because he is always near those who follow Him. Jesus calls all those who follow Him by name (John 10:3) and they know each other.

Jesus is the great shepherd only through the sacrifice he must make for his sheep. Here Jesus is looking ahead to the sacrifice he will make on the Cross. His love for all of humanity compels Him to make the ultimate sacrifice. Just as all shepherds will endanger themselves for the safety of their sheep, so too will Jesus endure the pain and suffering of the Cross, so that people can be led into the safety of God’s kingdom. It is in this role of shepherd, that Jesus exhibits true leadership, which is self-less and sacrificial. Ezekiel 34:11 tells of God searching out for his sheep among all nations, and this is fulfilled through Jesus. Through his perfect, obedient and voluntary sacrifice on the Cross, not only will salvation be available to the Jews but also to those of other nations (John 10:16).

 

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