I AM: Jesus in His Own Words

Day 3 of 7 • This day’s reading


I AM…The Gate for the Sheep

The third and fourth of the seven self-descriptions are within the same passage—one in which Jesus calls upon imagery from the world of sheep and shepherds. In this third “I AM” statement within the book of John, Jesus declares himself to be “the gate for the sheep.” A sheep pen was an enclosure with just one entrance. Its walls kept dangers out and sheep from wandering. In the pasturing season described in this passage, these would have been temporary shelters in which the shepherd himself would lie across the opening during the night, thus becoming the gate for the sheep. As the gate, he not only offers protection but allows them to find pasture and “have life, and have it to the full.”