John 10:7 – “Jesus said again, “Truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.”
Before coming to Treasure Lake Church, I , Pastor Hamilton, served a church south of Washington D.C. near the Army base of Fort Belvoir. There I was honored to serve the spiritual needs of those that serve our country and their families. While there I experienced many things, including gates. Not really gates like we have here at Treasure Lake though. Rather, they were seemingly impenetrable steel gates with heavily armed guards who where ready to stop any attempt at entry that was not authorized.
And that was the key to entry, authorization. If I wanted to see church members who lived on Ft. Belvoir, I needed to be authorized to pass through the gate. On the other side of these gates were homes and workplaces that were isolated and protected from those that lived outside of the gates. The gates of the base were imposing, the guards intimidating, and the process a little frightening, and for good reason. The role they served was vital to the protection and provision of those inside the gates.
I am reminded of this when I read the words of Jesus in John 10:7, “I am the gate for the sheep.” and I think of the sheep pens crafted by shepherds in the middle east. Simple earthen rock structures, they were built to provide a level of protection for the sheep herd during the night. On one of the sides an entrance was left open and there the shepherd would sit during the night, not permitting the sheep to leave or wander off or for anyone not “authorized” to enter and do harm.
This is the role that Jesus gives himself here in John 10:7-10. Here are a few things I think we can learn from the words of Jesus. First, there is a sheep pen that we are invited into and in the pen is protection from those wishing to do us harm. Secondly, there are those outside this pen that would do us harm if they could. Thirdly, all are invited into the sheep pen for protection. And lastly, only those who enter by way of Jesus are “authorized” to enter the pen. Jesus is the gatekeeper of his pen and those that enter by him find rest and safety.
Jesus is not talking here so much about the protection of our physical state, but rather the protection of our very souls. Entering in by way of Jesus is to find assurance that our enemy, Satan, who will destroy us if permitted, cannot lay claim to us. Entering “God’s sheep pen” through the gatekeeper guarantees the safeguarding of our souls and our salvation.
This is truly good news and it should revive us once again to worship at the feet of Jesus. What a wonderful savior we have, and what an assurance we have when we enter God’s protection by way of Jesus. No longer do we need to fear death, no longer do we need to fear this world, no longer do we need to fear our circumstances. Rather, because Jesus has overcome our enemy and has invited us to enter in his pen, we can have hope and peace in this world of trial and tribulation.
We at Treasure Lake Church pray you have found this brief meditation encouraging. We invite all Treasure Lake residents, and those in the surrounding community, to gather with us as we worship Jesus, the gate by which we enter. We are located at 1427 Bay Rd. and gather weekly for worship services on Saturday at 6:00pm (children’s ministry provided), and on Sunday at 8:30am (no children’s ministry) and 11:00am (children’s ministry provided) as well as Sunday School at 10:00am for all ages.