By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: May 13, 2019
May 13, 2019

Gospel JN 10:1-10

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Reflection:

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”

Even today in the Middle East caring for a flock of sheep is a serious responsibility. In addition to his own sheep, the shepherd’s flock commonly includes sheep that belong to his neighbors. The very livelihood of people depends on the well being of their flocks.

The shepherd is the person who leads the sheep to green pasture. He stands between the sheep and the wolves, bears and other predators who would devour them.

In talking to the people of His time, Jesus used the analogy of shepherd and sheep in the hope the people would relate.

But sadly, they simply did not understand.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.”

A “gate” is an entryway. In using this term, Jesus is trying to tell the people, in the common language of their time, that He is the gate. Through Him they can enter into a fulfilling way of life on this earth and into an eternal life of peace and happiness.

But still, the people did not understand what He was trying to tell them.

So, once again He said,

“I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

The question is, do I get it?

Do I understand that if I enter life through the “gate” of Jesus,
I will find the green pastures of peace of mind and heart. I will know the certainty of my Father’s love and be able to trust that all will be well in the end?

“The word of God is food for the soul, not simply reading the word of God, so that it passes through our minds, just as water passes through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering it over and applying it to our hearts.” George Muller



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