7/21/20 – In today’s reading, Jesus describes himself as the gate to a sheep’s pen, the gatekeeper to a sheep’s pen, and the good shepherd to the sheep. To us this seems like a strange image to draw upon but for those hearing at the time they would have understood what Jesus was comparing himself to. There is a ton here to unpack but in short, Jesus is saying that HE alone will call, protect and lead his followers and that the religious leaders have no real authority over his sheep. In fact, they are like thieves trying to take his sheep by force. This understandable divides those who heard and angers the religious leaders who view themselves as authorities by God to lead the people. This is yet another moment where Jesus shares a vision of hope for the lost and of conviction for the proud and self righteous. Jesus is the GOOD shepherd. He is good and he is good in shepherding those who follow Him towards true freedom, joy and purpose in Him.