Discover His heart: He has provided the gateway into His presence
Even though the wonderful relationship between the Shepherd and His sheep expressed in Psalm 23 needs no affirmation, John 10 does just that. David explained that relationship from the viewpoint of a sheep, and Jesus confirmed it from the viewpoint of the Shepherd. I can’t help but give pause to John 10. Here’s an excerpt from Intimate Moments with the Shepherd, Chapter 48, a visual impression from the Lord entitled,“The Gatekeeper.”
Night was advancing across the countryside as the sheep rushed past the Shepherd to the fold, tired and ready for rest. As the Shepherd approached the fold, He found a bottleneck at the somewhat narrow gate as the sheep pushed and jostled to move through it. The Shepherd moved to the middle of the gateway and stood, allowing the sheep to pass one by one on either of Him safely into the fold.
Although it would seem that His position at the gate would narrow the passageway even further, it actually brought order and safety to the flock. As the sheep passed by Him one by one, the Shepherd, knowing each name as He did, was able to see who was there and who was not.
Why not have many gates and avoid all this chaos? More sheep could enter more quickly and rest would come all the sooner to the weary flock. “‘I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep,’ [Jesus] said.” (John 10:7) Why is the gate so narrow? “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” (Matthew 7:13) Why is there only one way into heaven? Wouldn’t a loving God want everyone there? “All others who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes I am the gate. Those who come through me will be saved.” (John 10:8-9) “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
None of our questions will change the facts. The Lord our Shepherd is the only gateway into eternity with God and He was chosen by God to fulfill this role. God, our creator, overflowing with great love for His lost creation, sent His Son, the only part of Him that our finite minds could ever understand, to be our gateway to Him. All that is required of us is to accept this Savior and to follow Him to His Father.
Any other gate would be an insult and a mockery of God’s sacrificial gift to us. “There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and there is only one God and Father, who is over us all and in us all and living through us all. However, he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:4-7) Paul, not known to mince words, laid it out plainly in this passage. An individual who believes someone or something created life other than God may take exception to this declaration. Unfortunately, eternity will clear that up one day should that mindset continue.
Order was not the only benefit given to the flock by the Shepherd positioned as the gate. Their Shepherd was a very personal shepherd, and He knew each one by name. Because of this familiarity, the Shepherd would know immediately if one had failed to pass by Him, and He would search for the missing sheep.
Our God knows us by name, as well. In fact, His knowledge of us is so personal that He actually has numbered the hairs on our head. (Matthew 10:30) For those who are hair challenged this may not be such a big deal, but for most of us, it screams intimacy—intimacy with our Creator. Although He will not force our devotion, He will pursue us and abundantly fill us with His love. Bless the Gatekeeper!
Moving Forward: I’m so thankful for my intimate relationship with the Shepherd today. I know Him, and He knows me…intimate moments.
Tomorrow @ 2 Timothy 3-4