Healer of Wounds

Read: John 10:1-9

I am the door. (v. 9)

The “I am” sayings of John 10 provide personal and meaningful images of who Jesus is in relation to his people. Many of us live quite apart from the common farm images in the New Testament. Perhaps we can imagine Jesus as a shepherd. Jesus as a door, however, may be a challenge. To our ears a door pictures vertical planks hung that swing open and shut. It seems rather impersonal until you know what first-century people knew.

Sheep were led out to pastures by day and brought into the sheepfold each night. The sheepfold was a circular stone-wall enclosure with a shoulder-wide opening for the sheep to enter and exit. There was no physical door. The shepherd himself stood in the gap. Each sheep entered by passing between his legs. The shepherd’s hands moved over every sheep to find where there might be wounds from the day’s journey. Any injury would be treated with oil to cleanse, soothe, and heal. During the night, the shepherd laid himself across the opening to keep the sheep safe. How beautiful!

Notice once again the wide open invitation of Jesus in verse 9, “If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” Are you bruised by life’s difficulties? Have you wandered far from the fold? Are your wounds throbbing? Come to Jesus. In him is healing and life. Of the Lord, King David sang, “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Ps. 23:5). —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, ask Jesus to heal your wounds.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.