John 10 :1-5, 7-18 Jesus first says He is the gate, then He says that He is the shepherd. The One who knows His sheep by name. The One who lays down His life for those He loves, but with the authority and ability to take up His life again. We need to understand that Jesus is the only way to security, salvation and abundant life and to learn more of His intrinsic goodness.
‘I tell you the truth, I am the door [gate] for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:7,11).
In John 10 Jesus gives us an account of who he is. He tells us he is the gate, not a gate or one of many gates, but the gate. He also tells us that he is the good shepherd; the shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. But what does this mean?
To understand what Jesus meant by saying that he is the gate and the good shepherd, we need to contextualise the analogy. At the time Jesus was speaking, many people would have understood what it meant to be a shepherd in a much more profound way than we do today. Jesus was referring to the sheep pen that shepherds would have used during the summer months. The shepherd would find the best pasture land that they could, then they would collect stones and build a pen for their sheep with one single opening for the sheep to get in and out. The shepherd would watch over the sheep as they grazed and then he would gather them into the pen at night. When the sheep were all gathered safely into the pen and they were all accounted for, the shepherd would lie across the single opening to the pen. He would literally make himself the gate. In this way, he used his own body to protect the sheep from harm; anyone or anything that wanted to get into the sheep pen had to go through the physical body of the shepherd. He would keep the sheep safe and protect them from any thieves in the form of wild animals or people who might seek to steal, kill or destroy his flock. It is not difficult to see the comparison between the shepherd here and Jesus.
The shepherd makes himself the gate, but what does a gate actually do? It makes a way through a barrier. This is exactly what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross. The way for man to reach God was impassable; our sin made it impossible for us to get to God, but Jesus made himself the way. He is our gate, our means of access to Father God. He very deliberately stated that he is the gate, giving us no reasonable option to consider that there may be another way through the barrier to God.
Jesus said, ‘A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life—life in all its fullness’ (John10:10).
Jesus did not come only to give his sheep life and to protect them from being stolen, killed or destroyed, but he came to give them life in all its fullness. The good shepherd not only protects the sheep, but he also provides for them, cares for them, nourishes them, helps them, searches for them when they wander off and get lost and knows them individually by name. The shepherd allows the sheep to live a life that is free of worry and care because they can rest in his protection. Jesus gives life in abundance.
Jesus is the ultimate good shepherd because it was always his intention to give his life for his flock. He knew that we, his sheep, were in mortal danger, not from wild beasts or wolves, but from sin and death. That is why he came to be the Shepherd that would lie across the entry way and sacrifice himself to make a way for us to Father God and to save us from our own sin.
This is taken from here, Scripture Union Bible Study.
Be blessed friend as you contemplate what The Shepherd has done for you,