Friday, June 19
Apostles' Creed Focus
“and in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord”
“Therefore Jesus said again, Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” - John 10:7-10
Though this might be confusing for us, Jesus understood his audience and they understood sheep. Shepherds were with their flocks around the clock. At night, they led their sheep into an enclosure with an opening, but no door. The shepherd would lie in the opening and be the door. If a sheep tried to get out, or a predator tried to get in, he’d wake up. Although sheep are helpless (they often wander off, follow each other into danger, and can’t defend themselves), they know the voice of their shepherd.
The thieves and robbers he’s talking about are the religious leaders of the day. He’s letting the people know that their motives aren’t pure and that their brand of religion is nothing like the life he has come to offer. If you’ve been involved with believers who are legalistic, you understand how Jesus can compare that kind of religion to a thief coming to steal and destroy. So many people who want nothing to do with Jesus have a past where “thieves and robbers" taught them things Jesus would never condone.
Our Jesus doesn’t just offer eternal life after death. He also invites us to a satisfied life here on earth. So, what is the satisfied life? A big house? Nice car? Beautiful, well-behaved children? Nope. You may have those things and they are blessings, but the satisfied life is so much more than that. It’s a life of meaning. One where we allow God to use us to do his work. Have you ever shared your faith with someone who wanted to know more about God? It feels exhilarating. What about service? It seems cliche to say, “serving blesses the servant more than the one being served” but it’s a cliche because it’s true. It feels wonderful to be the hands and feet of Jesus. As soon as we figure out what satisfies our soul, we can stop trying to fill our lives with things that will never satisfy us. Jesus wants us to live a life of meaning for him with His strength and protection. We are the sheep. Without our shepherd, we are helpless. But if we know his voice, we will listen when He calls us. We can resist those who seek to steal and destroy. We can have the satisfied life.
Jesus is the door to that life. There is no other way in or out. Have you taken the step to enter?
Jesus, you are the only way to a life of satisfaction. Help me hear your voice so I won’t be fooled by those who seek to steal and destroy. I want to live a life that has meaning and I know that can only be done with your power. Thank you for loving me so much. Amen.
Verses for Further Reflection
Luke 19:10; Matthew 23:13; 2 Peter 2:1-3
Take this devotional a step further and share it with the children or students that you are intentionally discipling each week.
Watch this video together with your kids for a simple explanation of Jesus as “The Gate” to life! Then, ask your kids these questions:
- Where did the sheep sleep at night?
- Whose voice did they love to hear and follow?
- How did they get in and out of the pen?
- Could the thief get through the gate? How did he try to get inside?
- Why did Jesus call himself the door/gate?
Imagine a house without a door! We would have no way to get inside. When Jesus said that he is the door, it was a way of saying that we can go through him to the kingdom of God. Jesus keeps us safe and through him we have eternal life. To go into the house we have to go through Jesus!