Read: John 10:1-10
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Safe within Jesus’ Gate
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“I am Jesus little lamb, Ever glad at heart I am; For my Shepherd gently guides me, Knows my need, and well provides me, Loves me every day the same, Even calls me by my name” (Christian Worship: 423). Some parents fondly remember holding their little infant in the middle of the night, tired and exhausted, but cherishing every second of quietly singing “I am Jesus little lamb” to the precious little lamb in their arms.
There’s something we love about the picture of Jesus, our Good Shepherd, and us as his sheep. It’s calming to imagine the sheep peacefully grazing in the pasture without a care in the world because the shepherd is caring for them. It’s such a peaceful picture because so often we don’t feel that peaceful. Sometimes life seems chaotic, as if every second of every day is a battle for peace. And that peace seems so distant. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the peace and serenity of sitting in the rocking chair singing, “I am Jesus little lamb”?
In God’s Word today, Jesus tells us that he is not just our Good Shepherd, he is our gate to peace. There is no way to the peace we long for apart from Jesus Christ. And here’s the best part, the peace that Jesus promises isn’t just some temporary peace that is here today and gone tomorrow, Jesus gives us a peace that lasts for all eternity!
There are so many people and things that try to steal that peace away from us: the temptations of the world, those who don’t speak the truth about Jesus, things that you think will bring peace but only make you feel better for a moment. The devil himself wants to steal the lasting peace that is yours in Jesus Christ. But through Jesus, our gate and our Good Shepherd, we not only have life, we have a full life! We have a life of peace and security. That doesn’t mean we won’t have struggles and challenges in this life, but we can face them knowing that our Good Shepherd has eternal peace waiting for us in the green pastures of heaven.
Dear Jesus, our Good Shepherd, always keep us safe in your arms through the trials and temptations of this world until the day that we stand with you forever in the green pastures of heaven. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What are two things that you know about sheep? Why do sheep need a shepherd?
- What are some ways that Jesus takes care of you, just as he promised?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Explain how Jesus is a gate for us, his sheep?
- List two ways that Jesus as your Good Shepherd brings you comfort.
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Jesus talks about “thieves” that try to steal the sheep. What kind of “thieves” might try to steal you away from Jesus?
- How can you stay safe from the “thieves” that might try to steal you away?
Hymn: CW 432:1 – I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb
I am Jesus’ little lamb;
Ever glad at heart I am,
For my shepherd gently guides me,
Knows my needs and well provides me,
Loves me ev’ry day the same,
Even calls me by my name.