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Finding Security:: 2


Gates have a couple of functions. For one, they provide a designated point of access; a place to enter and exit. Because of our strong evangelical leanings, we tend to make much of access into eternal life. So it would stand to reason that Jesus’ self description as the gate could make that impression. But gates do more than provide points of access and reception. They also provide security and safety.

(Jesus) explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before mea were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:7-10, NLT)

Scholars claim that in the ancient world that sheep pens were communal. A shepherd would lead his flock to graze in pastures, then at the end of the day lead the sheep to a communal pen for the night. These pens may have been the courtyard of a home or a partially fenced area adjacent to a natural rock formation such as a cliff. The shepherd would examine each of the sheep individually as they entered the pen. If an injury had occurred the shepherd would anoint the wound with oil. Each sheep would be given a drink of water. Then after all of the sheep were accounted for, he would physically lie down to sleep across the threshold of the entry way, providing a living gate that would guard the entrance through the night. That being said, I don’t think that Jesus’ metaphor of gate as security is a stretch. He is our safety and security in an unpredictable world.

The word secure has its origins in the Latin language. Se-, meaning “free from,” is coupled with -cura, meaning “care.” Free from care. That’s not a bad working definition for security. Are you free from care? Life in the 21st century is unpredictable. We find our faith challenged on every front as we are burdened with cares about our relationships, our health, our employment, our identity, and our retirement accounts. Our world grows more and more unpredictable as we read of challenges that cannot be solved through diplomacy. Natural disasters are becoming commonplace fixtures in the nightly news. The world is an unpredictable place. Yet there is security in Christ, for He is the gate.

How can Jesus provide guarantees of security when all of life seems so tentative? What is the basis of such a bold claim? Check in tomorrow and I’ll share the basis of His claims.

Categories : I AM, Jesus, John

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