There is a chain of fast food restaurants in California called In N Out burgers and as fast food goes they are pretty good. This really has nothing to do with the topic of today's post other than the name just wanted to give them a shout out.
I have read the title verse probably a hundred times and I never knew why Jesus was talking about going in and out, but I knew it was there for a reason, and that it had application for a believers life not just for sheep. One day the question came into my mind, who doesn't have the ability to go in and out at will? People who are in jail or prison cannot for they are held captive.
Then the Holy Spirit brought to my mind Isaiah 61:1,a prophecy regarding Jesus the Messiah. "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners." Wow! Liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners! Now this applies to people in a huge way and it is something believers in Jesus Christ can receive, freedom, liberty, the ability to go in and out at will!
Of course there are many kinds of captivity, and varieties of prisons. Sin applies to all people and it makes slaves of all. But Jesus conquered the power of sin on the cross, He broke its back and all who enter through Him, all who believe in Him as the risen Son of God and confess Jesus Christ as Lord receive forgiveness of sins but also freedom from the death grip that sin held over them! "Having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." Romans 6:18.
What about the captivity of addicts? Drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography just to name a few take away all liberty, held captive they are powerless to break free. But these are the very people Jesus came to deliver, He didn't come for the self righteous, He came for those that were sick, those who knew they were sinners. And to all who believe in Him He set free, so that they can walk at liberty and find good pasture.
What does the pasture represent? To a sheep it is food, all they need to thrive. To a person it is all we need to thrive; food, clothing etc. Matthew 6:31-34; "Do not worry then saying, "What will we eat? or What will we drink? or What will we wear for clothing? Your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
Psalm 119:45 NLT; "I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to Your commandments." Sometimes a child of God is held captive by their ignorance of who they are in Christ, because they don't know the Scriptures, they don't know the power of God and sadly that is a self imposed limitation. Jesus told a group of scholars that they were in error because they don't know the Scriptures or the power of God. Mark 12:24. We must know Scripture to know Christ.
The good news is we can all come to Christ Jesus and in Him we have liberty to go in and out and find pasture. Call out to Him now, today, and He will hear your voice and answer you. How do I know? Because I am a former prisoner of sin and now because of Christ, I come and go freely. I read these words in Scripture and I believed them and cried out to Him and He heard me and He will do the same for you. "Whoever will call on the name of the LORD will be saved." Romans 10:13