‘And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.’
‘And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd.’
Well, this verse describes the work of the Lord bringing our lost souls home to himself, home to safety and under his eternal care. What a picture it is!
I want to begin this evening by looking back through some of the verses that lead up to verse 16. Christ describes himself (many of you will know this) in many ways, and one of the most famous ways is with those great ‘I am’ sayings. And we have two of them in this chapter: firstly ‘I am the door’. Each of these ‘I am’ sayings describe some aspect of his person and his work and his relationship to his people, and that’s certainly true of this one. So he says in verse 7 ‘I am the door of the sheep’.
What does he mean? Well, he is speaking about access to God, access to peace and all the blessings of salvation. When we speak of the door, it reminds us that there is an outside and an inside, and we are outsiders to God. Do we realise that that is how we are born? It’s how we live until the Lord draws us to himself in love and grace and conversion – we are outsiders, we are shut out from heaven, we are excluded from many of his blessings. He gives us food and clothing and physical provisions here upon Earth, but all the deep blessings of salvation and forgiveness of sin and access to his throne we are excluded from.
But Christ here announces himself as the door of the sheep. It’s by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, when we come to him, that we can approach unto God. Why? We are guilty and God is holy. There is need for a mediator, one who can plead our case, and through whom we can find acceptance with God. And Jesus Christ, by his death at Calvary’s cross has paid the price of sin, and all that plead that salvation-work can be received at heaven. So we have access to God through Jesus Christ alone.