Do you read this and think, “Jesus, why so serious?!”
This is a pretty intense claim...
That Jesus is the Gate and all the others are up to no good. This implies that anyone who is not Jesus or pointing exclusively to Jesus is trying to lead people astray, rob them of their worth, and ultimately lead them to death and destruction. That seems... severe. So Jesus, we'd like to know, “Why so serious?!”
Here's what it comes down to:
Jesus boldly claims that he is the ONLY way to be make the sheep (all people) right with God and will back up all this smack-talk. Maybe not smack talk... more like "real-life-talk." He proves in his life, death and resurrection that through faith, in him alone by Grace, we can walk directly with God. What an offer?!
Do we want to walk with God? Do we want to have direct access to God? Does any of this have your attention?
Consider the flip side:
Do you want to be separated from God forever, and never walk with him?
Again, serious… This isn’t to scare us, but it is a truth he is highlighting to show us how serious this reality is. He states that there is an enemy, a thief known as Satan. He does not want you to ever walk with God. Satan will do all that's possible in darkness disguised as light to lead us astray. Have you ever experienced that in life? Have you been led astray?
I have felt it many times. Enough to know that I need a new Shepherd, a new Master, a new Ruler.
He dramatically claims to be God and fulfill the payment due for sin. He offers eternal life, never ending pleasure. Take that, Hollywood! All of this is wrapped up in the present of Jesus himself. He pursues us in the most broken and dead, sinful places as people, and then offers us new life. Take that, Christmas presents!
That is why Jesus is so serious! He knows that he is the only one with that type of authority.
It all comes down to what we think about such an exclusive claim. Is he really the only way? Is eternal life really this serious? In some ways, you'll have to decide for yourself. For me, there has been nothing on this planet I have followed logically, emotionally, and experientially like the Good News of Jesus. I am learning to take him more seriously at his Word because of how grateful I am that he is passionate about what belongs to him: his sheep, his people. And that is Good News indeed to those being saved -- it is the Power of God (1 Cor 1:18, Romans 1:16).
Today I pray that we:
- Experience the power of God's grace by faith in the all that Jesus has done.
- Experience Jesus saying, "You can enter and have new, free, and beautiful life in Me."
- Respond with a radical, "YES!"
- Let Jesus fully be our Shepherd to lead us, teach us, carry us, and that we embrace all of that by grace.
- That we realize how beautiful it is to let him have full reign and rule in our lives. His empire will never fade and that is why we sing, "Holy Holy Holy" to the Lord God Almighty. (Try it right now…sing…even if it's under your breath - it will feel life-giving).
There has been a quote that has rocked me over the years...
Friends, that is exactly what has happened in my life. Jesus has given me free access to him forever. Wow. Grateful.
Thank You, Jesus, for making the will of the Father so serious; for giving us the ability to walk and run in your pasture forever!