One Pink Toothbrush

Welcome to One Pink Toothbrush, where I will be posting moments from my days as a mum and as a wife. Funny moments, messy moments, thoughtful moments, teary moments.... and hopefully using each moment to see what God might be saying.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Have You Any Wool?

Due to the two year old's new love for all things Baa, I am aware of sheep again and again. I recently read John 10, and thought about Jesus' description of us as his sheep. (As I mentioned in my last post). He talks about thieves who come to steal the sheep, and why He cares for the sheep, and the fact that there are some sheep still to be found. It's hard to remember that he is talking about us as he refers to sheep, but He is. He talks about the sheep having eternal life and never being snatched from Him. He talks about Himself as the shepherd, the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. But He also talks about Himself as the gate, which to be honest I haven't always understood.

I read something recently, which helped me understand it better. I read A Slice of Infinity, which is a daily reading from the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). It is written by a lady called Jill Carattini. She explained parts of John 10 in her daily reading, which was new to me, so I thought I would share her thoughts here;

As Jesus was standing in the temple preaching, He would have been surrounded by real "baaing" sheep. Sheep which were being bought and sold,  and then led through a door into the temple, in order to be used as a sacrifice. There was a gate on the north of the city of Jerusalem which the sheep were led through. It was fittingly called the Sheep Gate. When the sheep were inside the city, inside the temple, there was no way out. An entrance for the sheep, but no exit. They were then sacrificed for the sins of men and women. Jill Carattini writes "For first-century hearers of Jesus' words about sheep, such knowledge added to the shock of Christ's words: "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.... I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.""

The hearers of Jesus' words would have known that the sheep had no way out, that they were heading for death. For Jesus to say that He was the gate for the sheep, He was declaring that there was a way out for the sheep. And we remember that Jesus refers to us when He talks about sheep. So He was saying He was and is the way out from death for us. If we come to God through Jesus, we are rescued from death and given life. This is wonderful news for us, and a reminder that those who don't yet know Jesus as their rescuer and saviour are still heading for death, and we need to point them in the right direction, towards the gate, towards Jesus.

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
 I am the Good Shepherd" John 10v11

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