The inclusive fold

Tell me, when you hear this teaching, do you hear a story of inclusion or exclusion? When I hear Jesus say: “I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” All I can think about is the people who don’t enter through the gate. What about the other sheep? What about those who are left behind?

The Good Shepherd in John’s Gospel

As Jesus was walking he came upon a blind man. His disciples asked him, because he was a prophet and someone who seemed to known secret truths, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” His disciples wouldn’t have known that the man was born blind. And, in their understanding of illness and disability it was a life of impurity and wickedness that caused difference or sickness. This was a theology you couldn’t investigate too deeply, because there were good people who grew sick, and wicked people who prospered. But in a world where everything was appointed by God, this kind of thinking made the most sense.