Jesus, drawing on Old Testament imagery of sheep and a shepherd says that he is the door of the sheepfold by which God’s sheep enter. Further he calls himself the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep
Paul doesn’t seem to tire of certain subjects. We probably shouldn’t tire of them either. How Christians should behave is one of them. The plain facts of the gospel are another. He covers both of these again in this last chapter to Titus who is serving on the island of Crete.
“Organized religion ‘will be driven toward extinction’ in 9 countries, experts predict.” So read the headline of CNN’s Belief Blog earlier this year. People today are feeling less and less comfortable with “Organized Religion.” The Apostle Paul, if he were here, would not be one of them. In fact, for him, the churches on the island of Crete were not yet organized enough. The reason he left his assistant Titus there was to set things in order.
The Christian life can be compared to a race, but it’s a special kind of race.
– It’s like a relay because we don’t run alone.
– It’s like a marathon, because it requires endurance to make it to the end.
– It’s like an obstacle course, because there are a variety of difficulties along the way.
Paul is at the end of his relay-marathon-obstacle course and he hands the baton off to Timothy in the chapter we are reading today.