John 10 is a beautiful chapter, portraying Jesus as the Shepherd. In ancient times, some families or clans would pen up their sheep all together at night in a large, circular area, enclosed by a stone wall. So, all of their sheep would be combined in this enclosure each night, and the one and only door to get to the sheep was guarded by a “porter”, who would lay down in front of the door all night in order to keep thieves from entering, and also to keep sheep from wandering out.
Don’t we also need protection like that? From thieves and from ourselves? The verse says the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. That means if he has to destroy you in order to get what he came for, then that’s just a bonus. Those that suffer from depression and end up taking their own life, are the ultimate victims of this, the cruelest of robberies.
Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out how much to blame on satan and how much to blame myself. But even if our hearts are deceitful above all else, and that is what the bible tells us, they are really just contracted assasins, coming back to report to him when the job’s completed.
How many times have I been too weak and just watched my joy, my peace, my contentment be violently ripped away from me? How many times have I lost pieces of my very soul simply because I wandered away? And how many times have I not even put up a fight at all?
In the morning, each shepherd would call for their sheep, and the sheep would only go when they heard their shepherd’s voice. Jesus calls Himself the good Shepherd in chapter 10. In my very limited brain functioning, I hear that as “ I am THE ONLY good shepherd! I think He wants us to know that his is the only voice we should be listening to, and, frankly, the only voice we NEED. Because in HIS voice, we hear forgiveness when others shout for vengeance. In HIS voice, we hear peace when the world screams for war. And in HIS voice, we hear love when all of the other voices chant at us to hate. His voice is truth. And in light of what all the other voices shout at us to believe about others and especially about ourselves, He is SALVATION.