Yes, I am the gate

John 10--7-8The Verse of the Day provides another metaphorical statement by Jesus Christ about himself where he relates to being the gate or door of the sheep:

John 10:7, 9-10 (NLT):

So he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.

Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

The door or gate to the sheep serves a dual purpose. Such a gate or door can be used to keep enemies or those with harmful intents from entering the sheepfold. It can also be used to keep the sheep within the confines of safety. Ron Graham elaborates on this reference:

A ‘Sheepfold’ is a secure walled enclosure in which sheep are penned when not out to pasture in care of the shepherd. The sheepfold might be a permanent barn-like enclosure for shelter, an outdoor holding pen with stone walls, or a makeshift barricade of briars and crisscrossed pointed sticks. A single narrow opening was provided for entry and exit. If there was no secure door or gate, a keeper would guard the entrance or at night sleep across it. The purpose of the sheepfold was to keep the flock together, keep out wolves or dogs, and to make it difficult for thieves or vandals to steal or harm the sheep. A flock of sheep is a very valuable but vulnerable asset. A good shepherd knows and loves his sheep and guards them with his life against all predators. He keeps his flock together and fetches back any sheep that stray. A sheepfold was necessary for the protection of the flock.

Farmyard GateThe photo of a farmyard gate shows sheep grazing on the other side of the entrance. Similarly, Jesus describes himself as a door or gate to the sheep.

The Sheep Gate is also mentioned in the rebuilding of the wall and the gates at Jerusalem during the time of Nehemiah. A teaching series on the gates of Jerusalem was the inspiration for this poem which comes to mind while thinking of John 10:

At the Sheep Gate

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep,

and am known by My own

As the Father knows Me,

even so I know the Father;

and I lay down My life for the sheep.

John 10:14-15

Here stands a company of priests, a holy nation,

Those called, chosen and set apart faithfully to serve,

To restore the sacred place of adoration.

Our lives have become open books for all to observe.

Even as priests prepared the altar of sacrifice,

We commit our lives to serve the Lord and vow to keep

Our covenant both with God and with one another.

As the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep,

We are willing to give our lives for a sister or brother.

We have been sent to the sheepfold to guard and protect

Indeed, we are willing to pay the ultimate price

To follow Christ that our love might be made perfect.

At the Sheep Gate God first speaks that His will might be known:

That shepherds with His heart should serve and preserve His own.

We close with this lively musical rendering of John 10:10: “I have come”

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