The FAITHFUL Door, Shepherd, and Flock.
As Jesus makes clear in the 10th Chapter of John, He is the DOOR, the GOOD SHEPHERD who has come to create through salvation “one FLOCK under one Shepherd.” (John 10:16)
As the DOOR, Jesus is the One and only way to the Father—the only source of salvation; the Presence through Whom we must enter and be cleansed in order to actually live in His fold and be part of His flock. He is the Covenant Maker and Covenant Cutter who has made a “new and living way through His Body and Blood” into the Holiest Place of God’s full presence.
Since the evil one cannot enter into our lives and thoughts through Jesus, the front and only true covenant Door, he must come as a thief to enter another way—through a back door of sin, hurt, lies, gossip, failures, and fears. Satan lives to make us feel those cracks and crevices describe and define our lives, even after we have entered through the DOOR. Satan is, after all, the “father of lies” who has come only to “steal, kill, and destroy.”
Isn’t it indicative of the times we live in that many would try and convince us that there are many doors of equal value to enter. What lies of hell! There is One Door—the same Door “yesterday, today and forever”—JESUS!
As the GOOD SHEPHERD, Jesus is the One who knows our voice, and opens our spiritual ears to know His voice. To know His voice is to Know Him as the Word, and to follow Him as He leads the flock. I am convinced that the Good Shepherd calls us forward to new pastures of growth and maturity to help us not fall more in love with the pasture, or the grass, or the fence, than we are with HIM… Just because “grandpappy” gave “that fencepost” does not mean that Jesus is confined to OUR pasture of emotions and memories. He calls people to move forward with Him, not to glorify emotional experiences as if they were Spiritual ones…
The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the Sheep—something Sheep cannot do for themselves. Jesus is not a hireling who cares little for Sheep or for the Father; He is the ONE who loves both perfectly, leading His Flock Home…!
As the Shepherd of one FLOCK, Jesus has a very specific and non-negotiable call on His Flock—that we be one, even as “He and the Father are One.” Jew and Gentile, young and old, rich and poor, male and female, every tongue, tribe and nation—together as His One Flock. To “flock” to a place in the fold where everyone looks like, talks like, earns like, dresses like, and has the same degrees and worldview as MINE is an affront to what the Good Shepherd died to create.
Different congregations can serve differing roles in the one FLOCK; some act mainly as front doors, others as mission sending posts, others (like ours!) as places that call forth deeper maturity and Holy of Holies dwelling. NONE of these congregations (including ours!) is the full Flock, and none can exist apart from the other parts. We are ALL Sheep in One Flock under One Shepherd so there is no room for arrogance or separation. Holy Place dwelling and holier-than-thou attitudes have no place with each other in our Shepherd’s one flock. We must always celebrate what God is doing in every congregation that has entered through the same DOOR we have—Jesus!
AS we enter 2017, we celebrate the ONE DOOR, Jesus-uniquely God the Son, the One way to the Father. We celebrate Jesus, the GOOD SHEPHERD, who listens for us constantly and who has equipped us by the Spirit to hear HIM; and we celebrate the ONE FLOCK He has created for us to live in!