“I tell you the truth…”
Yep that’s how it always begins and ends with Jesus – He tells the truth. People may not accept what He says. His words have always divided as well as gathered people.
Look at the closing verses in today’s passage. They describe division – some people saying Jesus was “demon-possessed and raving mad”. They further posed the question “Why listen to Him?”
But others disagreed: “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
What was the truth Jesus told?
“I am the gate.”
Jesus tells the people plainly that whoever enters through Him will be saved, will find pasture, and will have life to the full.
“I am the good shepherd.”
The Shepherd leads safely, protecting His sheep even to the point of His own death for their life. Jesus was clear that He would be laying down His life by choice. No one could actually take His life because only Jesus had authority from His Father to both lay down His life and take it up again.
The sheep – well they know the Shepherd’s voice. They know Him as intimately as Jesus knows His Father. They follow Him.
This analogy of sheep and Shepherd is clear. In the face of people not understanding – Jesus speaks the truth of Himself plainly. Jesus assures us that He is recognizable by:
His knowledge of us
The Shepherd is the way the sheep know where to walk, He is the only truly safe place to be, and He is the One who guards the lives of the sheep with total commitment to their well-being.
John 14:6 – “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Truth will always divide and gather. Some people still think the whole Jesus idea is crazy. Others name and follow Him as Lord and Savior - the Good Shepherd who laid down His life and told the truth.