Summary: Jesus is the Gate of Salvation, the Gate or Security and the Gate of Sufficency
I AM THE GATE
A few weeks ago we spoke about Jesus the Good Shepherd. He mentioned then that the Good Shepherd knows his sheep and his sheep know him. The shepherd was willing to lay down his life for the sheep. Sheep are defenceless animals that need protection.
Back in the 1950s George Reeves was the first actor to be Superman on TV. Back then TV actors were not quite as "elite" as some seem to be now. They would throw out the first pitch at a little league game. They would fire the starting pistol for a soap box derby race in Oklahoma City. They would be at the dedication of a statue in a city park in Boise. People could meet them, shake their hand, and, of course, get an autograph. George Reeves was popular for guest appearances, but his fame included risks. Kids might kick him in the shins or throw rocks to find out if he was the "real" Superman or a "pretend" Superman, the same way kids pull on Santa beards to find out if they are real. It seemed like every time he appeared in public as Superman, someone wanted to put him to the test.
In 1953, he faced real-life danger appearing at a department store opening. A young fan, who wanted to see bullets bounce off Superman’s chest, brought his dad’s loaded Colt 45. Reeves talked him into putting it down. He told the boy that Superman could survive the shot without being hurt, but "when bullets bounce off my chest, they might hurt you and others around here." He continued to make public appearances, but never again in the Superman costume.
Like George Reeves, even though other people may think you are strong, the reality is that non of us are bullet proof. All of us are vulnerable. All of us like sheep need protection.
John 10:1 "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. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them. 7 Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate - whoever enters through me will be saved - He 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."
Today we are ending our series looking at the I Am statements from the Gospel of John. Today we want to talk about the fact that Jesus is the Gate. What does that mean? In the chapter before Jesus had healed the man who was blind from birth. Because he was healed on the Sabbath, the Pharisees were angry and accused Jesus of wrongdoing.
John 9:35-40 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" 36 Who is he, sir? the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him." 37 Jesus said, "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you." 38 Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind." 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, "What? Are we blind too?"
In Christ we have been given everything necessary for abundant life. These things include:
1. The Gate of SALVATION - whoever enters through me will be saved
For abundant life there needs to be an understanding of salvation. Fear of death can be a prison. In July of 1944 the US forces attacked Japanese forces on the Pacific island of Guam. The fighting was fierce and there were heavy casualties on both sides. During the battle one Japanese man named Soichi Yokoi was separated from the rest his men. He hid in underground caves, coming out only at night to eat venomous toads, rats and eels. The war ended when Japan surrendered a year later on Aug 15 1945, but there was no way for Soichi to know that. He believed the war was still on.