JOHN 10:1-10, 27-29
1. [Jesus said,] "Honestly I tell you, if a man doesn't enter the
sheep yard through the door, but he enters another way, that man is a
thief and steals.
2. But the Shepherd of the sheep enters through the door.
3. The gate keeper opens-the-gate to HIM, and the sheep hear HIS
voice, and HE calls to HIS sheep with their names, and HE leads them
4. After HE leads all HIS sheep out, then the Shepherd goes first
and the sheep follow HIM, because they know HIS voice.
5. They will not follow another man, but
they escape from him, because they don't-know the voice of the other
6. Jesus told this hard picture language
to HIS friends, but they didn't understand HIS words to them.
7. Again Jesus said, "Honestly I tell you, I am the only door for the sheep.
8. All the other men before ME were thieves and stole; but the sheep didn't attend to them.
9. I am the only door. If anyone
enters through ME, then God saves him. And he will enter and
leave and find good food.
10. The thief comes only to steal and kill and
destroy. I came because then they can have life and have life
27. MY sheep listen to MY voice. I know them, and they follow ME.
28. I give them eternal life. MY sheep will never be-lost, and no one can take-away them from ME."
Many years ago [in 1919] a young Presbyterian missionary named William McElwee Miller went to the Middle East, to a country named PERSIA. Today the name of that country is IRAN.
Pastor Miller stayed there 43 years, sharing Jesus with Muslim people.
One time, while Pastor Miller was traveling with a donkey through Iran, he stayed over-night in a small village [sign: city].
Pastor Miller did not plan to stay in that village. But the next
morning he woke and saw the land covered with deep snow.
So he and his donkey were stuck there for one more day.
While Pastor Miller waited for the snow to melt, he went out, walking around and looking around.
Outside the city, he saw a small hill, covered with snow.
He looked more closely and found that people had dug out the middle of
the hill and they piled the dirt around the sides, making a round
wall. That place looked like a large bowl.
Then he saw that on the wall a lot of dry THORN BUSHES.
Pastor Miller walked around and found an opening in the wall. The opening had no door, so he could look into the big bowl.
He never so anything like that before.
He wondered, "What is this place? People use this for... what?"
A man who lived in the city saw Pastor Miller looking around.
So the man followed Pastor Miller to see what he was doing.
Pastor Miller asked that man, "Peace to you. Please tell me about this strange place. What is it?"
The man answered, "That is the place we bring our sheep for the night when the weather is warm."
Pastor Miller: "Oh-I-see. Now I understand. But why do you have dry thorn bushes on the wall?"
The man: "Those bushes keep the wolf out."
Pastor Miller: "How? The wolf is big, strong, and can push away those bushes, then jump over the wall and kill the sheep."
The man: "No. If the wolf touches those bushes, they make a
loud noise. That noise wakes the shepherd. The shepherd
runs to the wolf with his big stick and chases the wolf away."
Pastor Miller: "Ok. But the wolf does-not need to jump over
the wall. Here the wall is open, and it has no door. The
wolf can walk inside through this opening and kill the sheep."
The man: "No. The shepherd sleeps here. The shepherd lays in this opening. The shepherd himself is the door. He keeps out wolves and robbers. No one can enter." *
That true story that helps us understand the picture that Jesus tells us, when He says: "I am the door for the sheep."
Shepherds lead their sheep to a safe place, and the shepherds protect their sheep against robbers and wolves.
Jesus also leads us to a safe place with Him --
our ONLY safe place.
The devil and his servants are like robbers and wolves,
wanting to destroy us.
They tempt us with their promises,
trying to lead us to their fun place,
their pleasure place,
their rich place,
their power place.
their false "safe" place.
Only Jesus opens the way for us to a truly safe place,
with Him forever.
When we are in Christ,
the devil and his servants don't give-up.
They try to sneak into our church fellowship,
into our home and family,
into our thinking and actions.
Jesus still is the door, protecting us against the destroyer.
A true shepherd will fight for his sheep.
The shepherd fights against the destroyers,
for protecting and saving his sheep.
Jesus already fought for us.
Jesus fought against the devil,
and in that fight Jesus suffered and died,
for saving us,
for making us His sheep,
And through Jesus' sacrifice, He saves us.
Jesus invites us to enter eternal life through Him.
We are Your sheep.
You are our true Shepherd.
Thank You, because You gave Your life
for saving us.
You are our door to heaven.
*From Tales of Persia, by William McElwee Miller, copyright 2005 P & R Publishing, Phillipsburg, NJ." (pages 71-73)