May 11, 2014: 4th Sunday of Easter
“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 the shepherd 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,
the Pharisees 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.” (John 10:1-10)
We are not very familiar with sheep and shepherds, especially if we live in the city. Perhaps we need to think for a moment what they meant to Jesus’ listeners. Sheep are gentle and attractive animals, but they aren’t too smart and they need lots of care. Jesus says we are the sheep, well cared for by Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Maybe you don’t like to think of yourself as a sheep.
It’s a good idea, however, to recognize that we don’t “know it all.”
We need care and guidance and for that we have the Good Shepherd, who will never give up looking out for us.