Daily Devotionals

March 22nd, 2023

Read John 10:7-10 focus on verses 8 and 10

7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

In Jesus’ day sheep pens would have been more of a communal type of thing. Often several flocks of sheep would have been herded into the same pen for protection. The sheep would be so trained on their shepherd’s voice that they would only come when called by their shepherd. The pen would have consisted of a low stone wall and a single entrance. Often the shepherds would physically place themselves in the entrance, sleeping across the opening at night while the sheep were in their care. Their bodies physically became the gate. No one would have been permitted into the pen if the shepherd didn’t allow it. Anyone or anything that came over the wall, avoiding the entrance,  would have been considered a threat with the intent to steal or kill the sheep within the shepherd’s care. I love the picture this creates, as we lay those ideas over this passage of scripture, of the protection Jesus provides for us. He stands as our gate – a barrier between us and the things of this world that aim to distract us, to harm us, and to steal us away from God’s love. Anything that doesn’t come through him is a direct threat to our well being with the intent to harm us. Jesus called out the religious leaders of the day who were too stubborn and prideful to acknowledge Jesus as God, calling them robbers and thieves who would steal God’s people away from the one true God. And although our lives look a little different we have thieves and robbers today, too. We allow people and things to come over the “wall” of protection that Jesus offers to influence us and draw us away from God instead of insisting that every thought, every person, every teaching be viewed through the lens (or the gate) of Jesus. Jesus offers his protection to us. Let’s surrender ourselves to that protection and train ourselves to his voice alone – so that those robbers and thieves don’t stand a chance.