Revelations from the Word

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John the Baptist, the Doorkeeper

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Most assuredly I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger but, will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which he spoke to them" (John 10:1-6).

One day, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming towards him, and he said as he noticed Him, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the One of whom l said: After me there is coming a man who preceded me, for He was before me. I did not know Him, but it is so that He may be manifested to Israel that I came baptising in water" (John 1:29-31). It was John the Baptist who came to prepare the way, that is to say introduce the Lamb of God, into the Sheepfold of Israel. The day after this encounter, John the Baptist who was still there with two of his disciples, said, "Behold the Lamb of God" when he saw Jesus pass by (John 1:36); and hearing him pronounce these words, these two disciples left him to follow Jesus (John 1:37).

Jesus was therefore introduced by John the Baptist, into the Sheepfold of Israel. The sheep of Israel who recognised in Jesus the voice of the Messiah, followed Him. For three years these sheep listened to the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who led them into new pastures, that is to say new teachings. By his death on the cross and by his resurrection, Jesus became the only Door into the sheepfold, the Kingdom of God, allowing other sheep who were not of the Sheepfold of Israel to enter to form one single flock (John 10:16).

The sheep of this flock hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, know Him and follow Him. Those sheep receive eternal life, and none will be able to snatch them from His hand (John 10:27-30). Jesus said of all the shepherds who came before Him that they were thieves and robbers (John 10:8) because they had not entered the Sheepfold through the Door, that is why He also said of them, "You do not believe in Me because you are not My sheep" (John 10:26).