Last week, I introduced you ever-so-briefly to the subject of shepherds. This because Jesus drew our attention to all-things sheep-and-shepherd-related when He defined Himself by saying, “I AM the door (gate) of the sheep.”
This week, in this PODCAST, we’ll discover together exactly what Jesus meant when He identified Himself as the “door of the sheep.”
The important point to remember from last week is this: Life for the shepherd was and is unpredictable and oh-so-difficult.
You might remember that when his or her world is rocked by undeserved trauma of some sort, a shepherd will never ask the question of God, “Why?” Or “Why me?” It is a given that life in the desert is tough, and that problems are the norm.
Shepherds “get it” — that in this world of ours, bad things do indeed happen. Bad things do indeed happen to good people. We live in a world where, as but one example, men are born blind. And as Jesus made crystal-clear in John 9, it has nothing to do with the man’s sins, or his parents’ for that matter, as assumed by the disciples who asked Jesus about that very thing.
In the thinking of a shepherd, the evidence of the blessing of God in someone’s life is NOT the absence of problems or pain. The evidence of God’s blessing is His peace-giving presence that shepherds us through our problems and pain.
As Peter (who knew his fair share of suffering and pain) completely understood, Jesus is and ever will be our “Shepherd, the Guardian of our souls.” (1 Peter 2:25) A shepherd who guards our souls not from trouble, but while we are in the midst of trouble — undeserved, unpredictable, oh-so-difficult problems and personal pain.
Given all of that, what then did Jesus mean when He identified Himself as the “door of the sheep”? More than you can possibly imagine.
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