In this Chapter:
1-21: The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
22-42: Jesus Claims to be the Son of God
Storytime with the Son of God:
Jesus likes to use stories and cultural illustrations to connect His audience with things that He is trying to teach. Often, a lot of what Jesus says doesn’t quite makes sense to them, because He is trying to teach spiritual and eternal truths to people who are only focused on the physical and temporal; things they can only see, hear, and feel. It’d be like trying to explain some pro’s competition run to someone who has never even seen snow before.
The first of Jesus’s teachings deals with “salvation”. He wants His audience to know that He is humanity’s only shot at eternal salvation. Since farming, livestock, and things of that nature are commonplace in the lives of those He is with, Jesus uses the gate to a sheepfold to illustrate His point. Just as there is only one gate into the place of safety from the dangers of the wild for the sheep, there is only one way, or gate, for the safety (salvation) of our souls. Jesus is this way, the only way.
The second teaching is that there are things all around us that Satan uses to try and pull us away from Jesus. If someone were not to use the gate into the sheepfold, then he must be a thief. If someone tries to teach another message of salvation other then faith in Jesus Christ, he is like a thief who is trying to steal people and lead them away from Jesus. Satan is the ultimate thief who is trying to lead people away from Christ, even those who have already placed their faith in Christ. Like a good thief, he uses stealth to set a false sense of security, but he ultimately desires to kill and destroy.
Often times Satan tries using things that are right around us to lead us away from Christ. Maybe it’s the negative influence of friends who say there is no God. Or maybe it is the pursuit of a pro status, with all the fame and fortune as things to blind us from recognizing our need for a Savior. Or maybe He is using those very things to distract you from what God may have planned for your life so that you will actually become useless to God, because you are only focused on yourself and the pursuit of wealth and happiness. Don’t let the desire for physical and temporal things rob the spiritual and eternal things from your life.
The third teaching is that Jesus is the good shepherd, and as the good shepherd, He is the leader of those who place their faith in Him. He is deeply invested in their lives, even to the point of laying down His life for them, not only for salvation, but also for protection from Satan’s attacks.
The fourth teaching is the eternal security of everyone who places their faith in Jesus as their Savior. Many believe that even after you have received salvation you are in danger of losing it. It is true that Satan is doing whatever he can to pull people away from Christ, but when we place our faith in Christ we become His possession and our salvation is in His hands. Jesus says very boldly that no one is able to pluck those who believe in Him out of His hands (John 10: 27-30).
It is of first importance to realize that Jesus is OUR ONLY WAY to salvation. He is the gate. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and we cannot get into Heaven except through Jesus.
Are there things in your life that Satan may be using to pull you away from believing in Jesus or following Him with your life after you have already believed? How can we as brothers and sisters challenge each other to stay free of those things?
Jesus is our leader. He is there to guide us, protect us, and even lay down His life for us in times of need. Are we grateful to Him? What does it look like to demonstrate our gratitude in our every day shred life?
If you have placed your faith in Jesus, your salvation is eternally secure. Booya! There is nothing that can be done to lose your salvation. You are forever in God’s hands. How crazy! Celebrate! “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever!”