In verses 1-6 he implies that he is the shepherd of the sheep of Israel. This, of course, was an image that the people would understand. Many of the Old Testament images of the Messiah involved sheep and shepherds. (For extra credit, read Ezekiel 34.) Then Jesus makes this image explicit in verse 11 when he says "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
But right in the middle of his teaching (verses 7-9) he says this: "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep... Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture."
What does that mean? Is Jesus the shepherd? Or is he the gate? And what do those images tell us about the God we can know?
I look forward to exploring this with you on Sunday.
If you are a regular attender of the 8:15 service, or if you just like good music, make sure to listen to this song this week. We'll be singing it in the 8:15 service and want you to be prepared!