Day 5

I Am the Gate for the Sheep

from the I Am: Statements of Our Savior reading plan

John 10:1-10, Numbers 27:15-17, Psalm 118:1-29, Ezekiel 34:25-31

BY Erin Davis

Sheep don’t know a gate from a fence row. As a midwestern sheep farmer, I can tell you this for certain. A recent run-in with a wayward sheep proves my point. Because the proverbial grass is always greener on the other side, our sheep are constantly stretching their necks to try to nibble the grass outside the fence. Occasionally, one will barrel through the wire to get to the “good stuff” she’s been denied.

So it was that we discovered one of our sheep outside the pen one hot day this summer. The solution should have been easy. We simply opened the gate. But due to stubbornness or oblivion, the ewe remained outside the fold. We called and whooped, summoning her back to the comfort and safety of her flock. Instead, she kept ramming herself into the fence. Time and time again. The gate was wide open, but she defaulted to futile attempts to make her own way.

Creation is constantly teaching us (Romans 1:20), and when it comes to revealing who Jesus is, sheep are especially good instructors. No wonder Jesus frequently asked us to envision sheep pens as He revealed His identity as “the gate for the sheep” (John 10:7). Long before Jesus spoke these words, David, once a shepherd, saw the character of the Lord (and his own identity) illustrated through his flock: “The LORD is my shepherd; I have what I need” (Psalm 23:1).

The theme woven throughout Scripture is this: we are like sheep, prone to wander from the fold in search of false hope that can never fully satisfy. Because our Shepherd is good, the gate to salvation is open, but we’ll never find it on our own. We try to be self-sufficient, to do all the good deeds, and we may even convince ourselves for a time that we’ve got our stuff together more than someone else. But the reality is, when left to our own devices, we will just keep ramming ourselves up against false hope and good intentions.

Jesus shows us the gate—no, actually, Jesus is the gate. He is the way. Listen for His call. Submit to His leading. Quit stubbornly ramming yourself up against your own plans. Instead, look to Jesus and enter in. He whispers to us, “I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture” (John 10:9).

Post Comments (36)

36 thoughts on "I Am the Gate for the Sheep"

  1. Amy Kane says:

    I’m realizing tonight that fence I keep ramming into, is addiction. That fence of God, alcohol, and shopping. Trying to numb my emotion just rams that emotion down and leads only to depression and anxiety! I must turn to God first, ask where does my heart lay with the lord? Every time it is Jesus who brings the joy. Gods way us not always the easy way, but it is the best way!

  2. Amy Kane says:

    So I’m realizing tonight that fence I keep ramming into, is addiction. The trap of food d, alcohol, and shopping. The

  3. Abbey Byrd says:

    I’m the oblivious sheep when left to my own devices I seek pasture in friendships, marriage, parenting and I ran my head over and over with all my might as I try to find rest in my own strength.
    Lord help me to listen and hear your voice, call me by name. I want to know your voice so intimately that the voices of other (even well intentioned) strangers would drive me closer to you, that I wouldn’t continue to wander for the greener grass. Lead me. ♥️

  4. Mariah Simeroth says:

    The real life example of the ewe ramming into the fence regardless of the open gate nearby really made the whole lesson sink it! It’s crazy that we are just like that with the things of this world.

  5. Allison Sherwood says:

    “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love” keeps playing on repeat in my head. Amen!

  6. Kellie LynaePerron says:

    “Quit stubbornly ramming yourself up
    against your own plans.” This year has been a year of total surrender for my husband and I. God had brought things our way that I NEVER would have expected, yet we have seen his grace through all of it. I’m done trying to “plan out” how I want my life to go. This year has brought so many things that I didn’t think I “wanted”, yet watching God use them for HIS glory has opened my eyes to see that His ways truly are better than ours♥️

  7. Kelsey Jones says:

    Ezekiel 34:31 gives me such a sense of belonging “you are my sheep, my human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God”

    The reminder that we often run into the fence trying to make our own way is such a simple truth but it speaks multitudes. We cannot find a way to God on our own, Jesus must be the gate we walk through. He’s always open ready to accept who we are and wherever we’ve wandered to but he wants to bring us into the fold to safety. It’s also a great reminder that we can’t bring people into the fold, only He can because he is the gate. We can call out and give signs and name noises but when we try too hard to get others to come to Christianity they will often become distracted and try to make their own way through the fence. He is the only way.

  8. Laura Smail says:

    So good. Thank you!!

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