John 10a

The first 21 verses of Chapter 10.  Jesus the Good Shepherd.
Several different illustrations of who Jesus is are given here.  The gate and the Shepherd.  It reminds me that illustrations can only be taken so far, because the gate cannot literally be the shepherd.   Obviously, Jesus is using these things metaphorically to help us understand truths of his character.  No one metaphor completely defines Jesus.
1.  There is one, and only one valid way to enter the sheepfold, and that is through the gate.  Anyone who attempts to interact with the sheep by coming over the wall is proven to be false.  Heaven, or the kingdom of God is the sheepfold.  Each of us who believe in Christ are a part of it, and the only way to enter in is through Jesus Christ. Period.  Others will offer up alternative ways, that’s simply a wall climber trying to manipulate the sheep.   And, as ignorant as sheep are (don’t grimace, you know it’s true) even they recognize the voice of the shepherd.   It’s the same voice that has led them into safe pasture before.  The same voice that has warned them of danger.  It’s the voice that called out for them when they were lost and separated from the flock.  Yes, the sheep know the voice of Master, and they trust him and respond to him.   The Master doesn’t need to force the sheep anywhere, he simply sets out and they follow.
When Israel was still wandering in the desert, the presence of God stayed with them continually as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  When the presence of God began to move away, the people simply followed.  They never plotted their own course, they simply followed the presence.   We do the same thing today, whether it is in our work life, home life or our worship service.  We call it “presence-led” which is simply another way of saying “we try and remain perpetually sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is doing, and follow His lead”.
Following Jesus,