Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Good morning friends. The use of metaphors to describe oneself is a very powerful tool for self discovery. It is very simple and easy to implement in one-to-one or group settings. In its most simplistic application, it can be used as an icebreaker with a view to getting to know participants below their facade. At an in depth level, it can draw out participants’ intuitive self; and how it might affect their world view; this concept is widely known as Metaphor Coaching.
Jesus used a lot of metaphors in His preaching and teaching ministry. In these verses; He describes Himself as “the door”, His audience as the sheep, and the devil and his agents as thieves or hirelings. Doors lead us to passages, corridors, rooms, exits, entrances, stairs etc., in the same vain He opens their minds to endless possibilities by using this metaphor. He takes them on an extraordinary journey, explaining the various dynamics in the relationship between each subject, and finally he crystallises his presentation with a prophecy about His death and resurrection.
However, it was still far fetched for His disciples and followers, as the idea of His death as an atonement for sins, and His resurrection; were perhaps still contentious today as it was then. He said:
Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father
These words reminds me of David’s testimony to Saul as he tries to convince the young shepherd to reconsider his decision to fight against the vicious and more experienced giant by the name, Goliath. But in response, David said:
“Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
The level of his commitment to the sheep in his care was unquestionable. He puts his life in harm’s way to ensure that they are kept safe from predators, he provides shelter for them from the elements, and green pastures for their nourishment.
I close this thought with a passage captured by Matthew. I believe it highlights the difference between Jesus’ commitment to His fold, and that of David or any other leader in humankind’s history:
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!