“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
In this day and age, many people are all about custom-made religion. Pick-a-little, choose-a-little, and form a faith that works for you. Borrow a little from Buddhism or Native American spirituality, and put together your own religion.
That’s not what Jesus is talking about here. Jesus calls himself the gate for the sheep. He is the one through whom one enters the sheepfold. The only one. To read the Bible is to realize that we cannot go around picking out parts we like and rejecting other parts, just because they are difficult or harder to live. No doubt, some things make us uncomfortable, or we will seem to be out of step with our culture, but that cannot be helped.
I cannot presume to be God, but I do want to accurately reflect God’s word given us in scripture. God will judge our actions and our faith at the time of God’s choosing. I do not wish to be called a robber or a thief, taking people away from what Jesus has deemed is right. There is but one pathway to God as Jesus calls it, and that is through him. May we not add anything else to that truth.
Lord, give us the courage to stand up for what you have told us, and not to add or subtract from your truth as we see fit. As you have called us to faith in Jesus, so keep us strong in him, to the glory of your name. Amen.