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::Devotional:: ‘I am the gate’

August 19, 2009

Options, options options.  There are so many choices in our lives, so many things to choose from, and so many different types of anything we would ever choose; it’s a wonder we can ever decide on anything.  Television and radio have now become loaded with various digital channels, there are books upon books about every subject you could think of and then of course there is the Internet.  Did you know that Google estimates its index contains some 2 billion pages on the Internet?  It seems as though with all of our options there’s hundreds of ways to go about doing the same thing, going the same place, or gathering the same information.  I guess that’s part of our post modern society where nothing is presented as an absolute.  Over 2,000 years ago Jesus made a declaration that would draw a line in the sand of absolutes when he said “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved“.  Now, all these years later, we still read of those words in the Gospel of John and they are as relevant as ever.

Jesus had healed a blind man on the Sabbath which really went against the grain of the Pharisees and it got them pretty upset.  In fact, they interrogated the blind man, who could now see, several times even to the point of bringing in his family.  They were desperate to know who had healed this man and how he did it, yet they refused to believe it was in fact Jesus of Nazareth.

Being the master communicator he is, Jesus took an opportunity to explain to the Pharisees who he was.  Several times in fact.

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.’  John 10:7-9

What does that mean?

When it comes to being restored from sin to our original design there is only one choice, Jesus.  There are not options, there are no substitutions, there are no plan B’s.  Jesus is the way.  When Jesus stated that he was the gate, he was communicating a truth to the Pharisees that faith in the Son of Man was the only choice in order to be declared righteous in the eyes of God.  To men who were proud and pompous about their ability to uphold the law, including not breaking the law of the Sabbath, this was tough to swallow.  Truth is sometimes hard to get down, but once it is digested it is life changing.  Jesus is the gate.  Those who want to be saved, restored to their original design, reunited with their creator, and be declared righteous though they are like tattered rags in sin; must go through the gate, having faith in Jesus Christ the Son of Man.

Why did he choose of all things, a gate?

Raising sheep was part of the culture during those days and it looked pretty much the same no matter who did it or where they did it.  Each flock had a shepherd and each day the shepherd would open the gate to the pen and lead the sheep out to pasture and then at the end of the day he would lead them back to the pen and close the gate.  All the sheep had to pass through the gate coming and going from pen to pasture.  Jesus said I am the gate because he was emphasizing the point that faith in him was the only way to be saved to a group of men, the Pharisees, who believed they could enter another gate by adhering to the law of Moses.  Needless to say some of the Pharisees couldn’t see past themselves to this truth and never understood it.  However, the blind man who could now see explained everything so honestly when he said “One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see.”

How does any of this relate to me as a Christian?

Well, as a Christian, you have already walked through the gate by having faith in Jesus Christ.  What we have to focus on now is reaching out to those lost sheep who are trying to get in through other gates that simply aren’t there.  Jesus is the gate and he is willing that all should come in and that none be left out.  Maybe you have a friend or a co-worker who has talked to you about their life and you know they are searching.  Can I encourage you to share with them why you went through the gate and how they can too?  Prayerfully look for the opportunity that God may present you with today to help usher someone through the gate.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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