The world is filled with thieves. Jesus says that thieves are those who steal and kill and destroy. Our world is full of those people ... and many of them do not even know they are thieves. Sometimes they come with malice, but other times, they come with a sincere belief that they are helping! But their words and action lead people away from the door of the sheep – thus they are stealing joy; killing the opportunity to connect with God; spiritually killing those they are trying to assist.
Jesus says, “I AM the door.” Ancient shepherds would lead their sheep from pasture to pasture; from watering hole to watering hole. Often he would build a pen in which to keep them at night. This would be, perhaps, in a cave. Then the shepherd would open the gate and count them as they passed from the pen into the pasture.
Jesus has already compared Himself to the shepherd, but now he compares Himself with the gate! He is the door through which the sheep pass through. He is the way to good pasture. He is the way to nourishment and freedom. We only find that through Him.
Which takes us back to thieves. Anyone or anything that leads people away from the door – whether willingly or unwillingly – is a thief! Your job can be a thief, if it promises fulfillment and riches that can only be found through Christ. Your money can be a thief, if it promises security and joy that can only be found in Christ. Pop culture can be a thief, if it promises to make you beautiful and accepted – things that can only be found in Christ. Your relationships, even your closet ones, can be thieves if they promise to “complete you” – something no person can ever do for you. The deep intimacy you crave can only be found in Christ. Look around you – you have probably empowered thieves to rob you of the best parts of life.
Jesus said, “9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”