BBG Sneak Peek of the Day

This morning’s excerpt comes from Chapter Four, which is about Jesus breaking the boundaries of the priesthood. Enjoy!

“Priests were meant not to work alone but to serve and encourage others. Somewhere along the way they began serving as gatekeepers, those who stood as buffers between God and the rest of us, doling out religious goods and services to those deemed worthy. Institutional religion has always been quite good at this. It seems there are plenty of creative ways to stand at the gate and choose who comes in and out. You can use doctrinal statements, make people sign declarations, ask people to jump through hoops to become members, require strict codes of conduct–the list goes on and on. But Jesus did not act as a gatekeeper or call himself a gatekeeper. He did, however, call himself a gate.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus describes himself as the gate through whom sheep pass to find safe pasture and abundant life. He doesn’t describe himself as a gate (or in some translations, a door) because he wants to keep people out. He is the door because he wants to provide a way in. And once this door is open, people can come in and go out and find a good spot on the grass. When the curtain tore in two, Jesus was letting all of us know that the door into God’s presence was permanently open. Jesus shows us that a faithful priest is not a gatekeeper but a door opener.”

3 Comments

  1. Johan van der MerweSeptember 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I have just come across your Twitter page and there found the link to this page. The Gospel of John is my favourite book in the Bible and I think you have succeeded in echoing an important thought in John 10 in a way that is both true and fresh.

    Re the priests serving at the temple it is somewhat unnerving to remember that in actual fact one would not regularly have seen them in beautiful white garments, as is usually depicted in children’s Bibles, etc. On a typical day at the temple a priest’s garments would have been smeared by the blood of the slaughtered sacrificial animals.

    So, you’re quite right: Jesus could never have been a gatekeeper. He is the gate. And He is the gate because He is also the high priest covered in blood – his own blood. Because he has given his life so that we may have abundant life in Him.

    But the abundant life in which we share, is not a life of material wealth, but precisely the Christ-life, a life of abundantly serving God and our fellowmen in Christ’s love, his sacrificial love.

  2. That is beautiful.

  3. Glad you have found your way to the blog, Johan! Thanks Chad!

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