“Truly I tell you, anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.”
No Forced Entry
Have you ever been robbed? When I lived in Houston, the tiny place I rented backed up to an alley. One burglar broke in through the back door, and another squeezed through the bathroom window. Both stole items from my home.
Intruders are never welcome.
Who’s The Intruder Here?
If we backtrack to John 9, we learn that the Pharisees did not understand this message. They identified anyone connected with Jesus as an intruder to their faith. When Jesus healed a man blind from birth, they held a list of offenses against Him. Then, they threw the blind man out of the synagogue. But it was the blind man who could now see; the seeing Pharisees instead were blind to Jesus’ teachings.
The once-blind man boldly professed to the Pharisees: “If this man were not from God, He wouldn’t be able to do anything.” Later, he confessed to Jesus, “I believe, Lord!”
Enter By The Gate
Jesus continues the discourse by telling a parable that contrasts false shepherds with good shepherds. The Pharisees were the robbers in His story. They were seeking entrance not through the door, but through burdensome rules that benefitted themselves.
These self-righteous leaders were denied entrance into the kingdom because of their calloused hearts. But the blind man gained access to the Father through Jesus. Just like the blind man’s invitation, the Son declares to us, “The door’s unlocked; come on in!”
An Open-Door Policy
What robs us? Like the blind man, we, too, have boldness to enter the Father’s presence. Our Good Shepherd knows our name. His open-door policy is 24/7. He’s available at the midnight hour when sleep evades us.
When burglars seek to rob you, you can come to Him for rest. When you’re alone in the darkest valley, He’ll walk with you. His goodness and mercy follow us everywhere.
Take a moment now to consider the things we allow to rob us of our time with Jesus. Reflect on the ways you can be on guard against these distractions, remembering Christ’s call to you: “The door’s unlocked; come on in!” Thank Him for this invitation and ask Him how you can extend this same grace to others.