We are in a world where the building of walls and fences, of travel bans and other restrictions on people’s and peoples’ lives are suddenly becoming more popular.

 

We seem to live in a world which is limiting freedom rather than expanding it. 

We at All Nations are blessed to be situated in the countryside. Students and staff get to live and work in the countryside, surrounded by fields, even when we are only 30km from the centre of London (yes you can see the Gherkin, the Shard and Canary Wharf in the distance from the top of our hill)! One thing that you encounter a lot of in the countryside are gates; very often accompanied by a sign politely asking “please shut the gate.” Gates, in my eyes, are often seen as barriers to stop somebody coming in or going out. 

In John 10:9, Jesus says,

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”

In the ancient world, sheep were kept in a pen or I AM the Gateeven a larger courtyard area and there could have been a barrier to open, given what verse 3 says. When Jesus is speaking in verse 9 he is referring to the gate or door as an access point, not a barrier. 

Jesus’ reference to being saved refers to safety. Jesus is the one who brings salvation, all the sheep has to do is to walk through the door and be safe. There is an additional reference in this verse however, and that is access to sustenance. Because he is the gate, the sheep can come in and go out, and find pasture. 

Through a relationship with Jesus Christ, we have the possibility of finding salvation and sustenance; or as verse 10 says “life to the full.” Paul talks about the way the Gospel breaks down the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles. As a mission training college and as a member in the church body, we have the mission to announce the wall breaking gospel in a divided and fearful world.

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