Watch the most recent sermon on 9.19.2021 Go Now!
September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
“I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.”— John 10:9 (NLT, emphasis added)
There’s an old saying: “The grass is always greener on the other side.” We look on at the lives of others and think they have it so much better and easier than we do. We want what they have without ever having walked a mile in their shoes. And as is often the case, if we happen to get what they have, if we find our way into their side of the grass, we realize that it’s not as green as we thought. This is almost always the case . . . except when it comes to Jesus!
In today’s verse, Jesus tells us, “I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” You see, unlike the “greener” grass we perceive from the lifestyles of the rich and famous, from things like material wealth, worldly status, and even relationships, these things can never fully satisfy us, and thus, at some point, the grass will no longer appear as green as it once did. But the grass on the other side of the gate (the gate being Christ) . . . that grass is evergreen. In fact, it’s greener and more beautiful and lush than we could ever, in our wildest dreams, fathom.
Where everything else in this world will ultimately disappoint, and prove to be insufficient to satisfy us, bring us purpose, peace, and true joy, Jesus succeeds. Why? Because He is the only One who offers abundant and everlasting life. He is the only One who offers salvation and sanctification.
As the crowning jewel of God’s creation, we were created in His image, the image of Christ. Mankind was created not only with a physical body, but like God, with an eternal spirit. This separates us from animals. God created man to live forever in His presence, deeply connected and bound to Him. But when sin entered the world, we lost our connection to the very purpose we were created for—to glorify God, love Him, and be in relationship with Him. This left us with a hole in our hearts, one that needs to be filled in order for us to be whole! And this hole causes us to seek and search for something more, something beyond ourselves, something that gives us purpose and meaning to life—to restore that which was lost because of sin.
Restoration, purpose, and wholeness is what we find in Jesus. Theologian Alexander MacLaren wrote, “Jesus Christ presents Himself before the whole race of man and declares Himself able to deal with the needs of every individual in the tremendous whole.”
That’s why the imagery of the sheepfold is so fitting. You see, the sheepfold was a place of security and comfort for sheep. There, they found rest and nourishment. It was the place where the grass was greenest because it was home, their true home. But in order for them to find themselves in the fold, the sheep had to enter through the gate. There was no other way in than the one gate, guarded by the gatekeeper.
For us, that is Jesus, “for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 NIV). We have access (Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18) to the evergreen pastures of God’s kingdom through the narrow gate of Jesus (Matthew 7:13–14).
So, the next time you hear someone say the grass is greener on the other side, you can know with certainty and confidence that as a believer in Christ, as one of the Good Shepherd’s sheep, there is no greener grass in all the world than the grass found at God’s gate.
DIG: Read John 10:1–21.
DISCOVER: What’s different about this grass than the grass of the world? What makes this grass in Christ’s sheepfold greener? How have you seen this in your life?
DISPLAY: Make a list of all the ways your life has changed since you became a believer. What has made your life more evergreen and full of color and life? What purpose and meaning has your life been given? Show your list to another believer and encourage them to do the same.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.