So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
In John 10:7-10 and in John 14:6, Jesus made clear that He is “the gate” and “the way” to the Father:
“No one comes to the Father except through me.”
In so doing, Jesus made clear not only His divinity, but also drew a clear line of demarcation from Judaism — that the church He founded is the one true Church, whereas rabbis and leaders of other religions are false shepherds (“thief” and “robber”) who can only lead the people (“sheep”) astray.
As recounted in John 10:1-6, an astonishing passage in its boldness and implications:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
And this is precisely why although Jesus, in the words of 1 Peter 2:22, “committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth,” and although Pontius Pilate had found Jesus not guilty, the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders insisted that Jesus be put to death by the Romans’ most extreme form of execution, reserved only for the worst criminals (John 19: 6-7):
“Crucify him! Crucify him!
…because he called himself the Son of God.”
1 Peter 2:23-25
When he was insulted, he returned no insult;
when he suffered, he did not threaten;
instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,