Summary: Abundant life comes through Jesus alone. Jesus’ way is the way of sacrifice and service.
"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice." 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.A He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The sun is rising over the rolling hills. The warm light pours through the window next to you as you unroll your newspaper scroll to read up on the latest…the steam tickles your lips as you prepare to enjoy the first sip of your morning coffee…
The Galilean Gazette says it will be another cool day. 56 degrees! A record low for late fall!
Jesus is in the news again. The headline reads: "Jesus Accuses Galilean Pharisees of Sheep Stealing"
The headline caught your attention, so you decide to read on---
"The Pharisees, who do not believe Jesus is the Messiah spoken of in prophecy, accused him of being demon possessed. Experts argue as to whether or not a demon would heal and do good works. In response to the accusations, Jesus healed a blind man and said that He, "came into this world to make the blind see and the seeing blind." Some Pharisees who were on hand investigating the Jesus Phenomenon, reportedly asked, "We are not blind too, are we?" Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ’We see,’ your sin remains."
What He said next may be the most critical clue in the Messiah mystery surrounding Jesus. For years, many have speculated that Jesus may indeed be the Messiah of ancient prophecy. But, to date, Jesus has remained amazingly quiet on the issue, and at best, ambiguous.
But in the most recent turn of events surrounding the controversial Jesus of Nazareth, he has made some of the most startling claims yet.
Eyewitnesses report that Jesus used one of his trademark parables. This story about shepherds and sheepfolds puzzled the crowd of onlookers. As the weather begins to turn cold this time of year many different shepherds pool their flocks together in one sheep pen surrounded by walls, open to the sky, with only one entrance. The shepherds rotate watches, to guard the entrance. What Jesus meant by citing what is common knowledge remained a mystery. The crowd asked him to explain. Jesus is reported to have said, "I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door, if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly."
This seems to be Jesus’ closest claim to the throne yet. Although speculation continues on exactly who Jesus meant by "all who came before him", representatives of the Sanhedrin stated today that they feel this is a threat and false accusation aimed directly at them. They are pushing for a hearing where Jesus would be made to explain himself. In the meantime they are remaining firm on their previous position that Jesus is, indeed, possessed by a devil or insane. They are encouraging the public to disregard him and his bizarre statements."
The whole thing stirs you up somehow. Setting down your coffee, you go off in search of a clean scroll and a quill-
"Dear Editor", you begin:
"My name is John. I am a disciple of Jesus. I’m not just one of the hundreds that follow him in any given city, but one of the twelve handpicked by the Rabbi to study under Him.
I am writing in response to your article concerning Jesus in the 27th day of Chislev edition.