Q: Aaron K. writes, Do you believe God is in control to any extent?”
A: I believe that God has all power, but his authority on earth is limited to the prayers of his believers. I believe this is what Jesus meant when he said in John chapter 10 that through him – the door of the sheep – you and I can, “come in and go out, and find pasture.” We can connect with God and get the things we need from him through prayer. Jesus proclaimed himself to be the door that makes it possible for us to “leave the sheepfold” and pass into God’s presence.
Here’s that passage from John 10 again, where Jesus talks about himself as “the Good Shepherd” and speaks of the Shining One and the other fallen angels as “thieves and robbers” who “climbed in some other way,” than to be born of a woman.
John chapter 10 (below) speaks of two doors.
The first is the door “into the sheepfold” – the earth.
The second door is “the door of the sheep,” which Jesus says is He, Himself.
If you see one door instead of two, the parable makes no sense at all.
“I tell you the solemn truth, the one who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep… and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own sheep out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not recognize the stranger’s voice.” Jesus told them this parable, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So Jesus said again, “I tell you the solemn truth, I am the door for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly…
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep… This is why the Father loves me —because I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from my Father.”
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