Background Story: When Jesus preached to the masses, some followed Him but some walked away due to His claims. Today is no different.
Read John 10:7-18
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Big Idea: Jesus is the only way to God.
Most people in our culture like the idea of God, but Jesus is another story. They might like the baby Jesus found in the manger but they can become offended by the Jesus we see in John 10. Why? We live in a world that says, “what’s good for you is good for you and what’s good for me is good for me.” It’s ok for you to believe something as long as you don’t claim it to be truth.
In John 10:7, Jesus calls Himself the gate or the way to God. He says, “whoever enters through me will be saved.” In John 14:6, Jesus says something even more shocking when He makes the statement, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” No other way? In today’s world, these statements are seen as intolerant because they leave no room for alternate options. But the reality is… either Jesus is who He says He is or He is a liar. We can’t pick and choose through Jesus’ words like choosing which food to eat in a buffet line.
Jesus became the perfect sacrifice for sin laying down His life on the cross to take our sin and punishment. No one forced Jesus to the cross. Speaking about His life, Jesus said, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” Jesus did not just talk about love but demonstrated His love in sacrifice. In Acts 4:12, we read. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Even if these verses are unpopular and not trending, they are as true today as when they were spoken over 2,000 years ago! So the question is…what do we do with this Jesus?