Shepherd's Gate


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The Parable of the Shepherd’s Gate

    I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. -- John 10:7-10

The parable of the shepherd’s gate comes between two renditions of the parable of the good shepherd. When the Pharisees didn’t understand what he was telling them, he told the parable of the shepherd’s gate, depicting himself as the gate, rather than the shepherd, followed by a retelling of the parable of the good shepherd.

Both parables should perhaps be taken together, as Christ told the one to explain the other. This is the parable that came before it, which the Pharisees did not understand.

    I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. -- John 10:1-5

Having contemplated Jesus as a shepherd, one who knew his flock from the distinguishing signs by which they are recognized.

The fold

  • The church, however diversified, one fold and one shepherd
  • Christ is the only entrance
    • No salvation except through Christ
    • Cannot come to the Father except through Christ
    • Any other mode is climbing over, and is the entrance of the thief and robber

The pastures

  • The Word
  • Ordinances
  • Prayer

Christ as the good shepherd

  • Unbounded love of the flock
  • Care of the flock
  • Future and final destination

At the fold of Christ, when perfected in the heavenly state

  • Gathered from all generations
  • Gathered from all nations and people
  • Gathered to upper and better fold in heaven
  • Gathered to enjoy celestial pastures

Application of the parable

  • The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ
  • Any other paths to heaven are for thieves





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