Summary: Jesus is the Shepherd who is the gate for the sheep to find life abundantly.
I am the Gate
A. story of a spy captured and sentenced to death by a general in the Persian
1. general had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice
a. the firing squad and ’the big, black door."
b. spy to the Persian general,
c. ’What will it be, the firing squad or ’the big, black door?’"
d. The spy hesitated for a long time.
e. Finally he chose the firing squad.
2. A few minutes later, hearing the shots ring out confirming the spy’s
a. the general turned to his aide and said, ’They always prefer the known to
the unknown. People fear what they don’t know. Yet, we gave him a
3. ’What lies beyond the big door?" asked the aide.
a. ’Freedom," replied the general. ’I’ve known only a few brave enough to
take that door."
B. Doors, they are one of the most common things in the world.
1. There are so many kinds and types of doors.
2. There are ornate doors of cathedrals, steel doors to vaults in a bank, canvas
doors to tents, large and small doors in all kinds of vehicles, glass doors to
greenhouses, and every other kind imaginable in homes throughout the
3. They can be expensive or inexpensive, strong or weak, beautiful or
unattractive, but they have one thing in common they are doors!
4. As in a bank vault the door is designed not for beauty but for strength.
5. Doors for our homes are a combination of beauty and strength, a
combination of being inviting yet offering a level of security.
A. Easter season, Eric & I – Jesus “I Am” statements
B. 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.
He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
C. There were two ways that sheep were kept in Jesus day.
1. In towns, the sheep were kept in a large, communal pen where shepherds
would often bring their flocks at night.
a. So several flocks would be mixed together under the care of a watchman,
b. In the morning, the shepherds would walk up to the pen and call their
sheep and the sheep would respond to the voice of the shepherd.
c. That is we hear in John 10:2-4 “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.
2. The second way that sheep were kept in Jesus’ day was when the flock was
in the field or the countryside.
a. The shepherd would make a makeshift pen without a door—just an
b. The shepherd would literally become the door to keep the sheep in and
the wild animals out.
D. Jesus introduces this teaching in the middle of a sort of tug of war.
1. Jesus had just previously healed a man who had been blind from birth.