I Am The Door
When Jesus came to the nation of Israel, He came the appointed way, just as the Scriptures promised. Every true shepherd must be called of God and sent by God. If he truly speaks God’s Word, the sheep will “hear his voice” and not be afraid to follow him. The true shepherd will love the sheep and care for them.
Since the people did not understand His symbolic language, Jesus followed the illustration with an application.
So Jesus said again, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that I Myself am the Door for the sheep.
All others who came [as such] before Me are thieves and robbers, but the [true] sheep did not listen to and obey them.
I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture.
John 10:7-9 (AMP)
Twice He said, “I am the Door.” He is the Door of the sheepfold and makes it possible for the sheep to leave the fold (the religion of Judaism) and to enter His flock. The Pharisees threw the beggar out of the synagogue, but Jesus led him out of Judaism and into the flock of God!
Many who hear the word of Christ, do not understand it.To get a clear picture of Jesus’ meaning in this statement, it is helpful to understand a little of that ancient culture, especially of sheep and shepherding. Of all domesticated animals, sheep are the most helpless.
Sheep will spend their entire day grazing, wandering from place to place, never looking up. As a result, they often become lost. But sheep have no “homing instinct” as other animals do. They are totally incapable of finding their way to their sheepfold even when it is in plain sight. By nature, sheep are followers. If the lead sheep steps off a cliff, the others will follow.
Additionally, sheep are easily susceptible to injuries and are utterly helpless against predators. If a wolf enters the pen, they won’t defend themselves. They won’t try to run away or spread out. Instead they huddle together and are easily slaughtered. If sheep fall into moving water, they will drown.
However, sheep do fear moving water and will not drink from any stream or lake unless the water is perfectly still. This is why David in the 23rd Psalm tells us of the shepherd who “makes [us] to lie down in green pastures, he leads [us] beside the still waters . . . though [we] walk through the valley . . . [we] will fear no evil. For You [the Shepherd] are with [us].”
It is clear in the Gospel record that the religious rulers of Israel were interested only in providing for themselves and protecting themselves.
- The Pharisees were covetous (Luke 16:14) and even
- Took advantage of the poor widows (Mark 12:40).
- They turned God’s temple into a den of thieves (Matt. 21:13), and
- They plotted to kill Jesus so that Rome would not take away their privileges (John 11:49-53).
The True Shepherd came to save the sheep, but the false shepherds take advantage of the sheep and exploit them. Behind these false shepherds is “the thief” (John 10:10), probably a reference to Satan. The thief wants to steal the sheep from the fold, slaughter them, and destroy them. We shall see later that the sheep are safe in the hands of the Shepherd and the Father (John 10:27-29).
When you go through “the Door,” you receive life and you are saved. As you go “in and out,” you enjoy abundant life in the rich pastures of the Lord. His sheep enjoy fullness and freedom. Jesus not only gave His life for us, but He gives His life to us right now!
One who believes the gospel (Hebrews 11:6) and repents of sin (Luke 13:3) is assured of being in “the fold” and of having entered by “the door.” As followers of Christ, Jesus is both our Shepherd and the Door to the sheepfold who provides for all our needs.
Knowing that the world is full of predators whose sole intent is to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8), we are always under His protection. More importantly, we are fully confident that “when the Chief Shepherd appears, [we] will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Peter 5:4).
DECLARATION OF FAITH
Jesus is the door for the sheep. I enter into God’s blessings and salvation through Him alone. I know that every claim of getting into the kingdom of heaven any other way than through Jesus is a false claim. Those who make such claims are thieves and robbers who would take from me the salvation that is rightfully mine.
I am one of the true sheep. I neither listen to nor obey the voice of a thief.
Jesus is the Door and I have entered through Him into this mighty covenant communion with God that I now enjoy. In Him, I enjoy true freedom and liberty, and find such pasture that whatever the circumstance, good or bad, I have all that I need and more.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name, Amen.
|Great Lives: JESUS Bible Companion
By Charles R. Swindoll / Thomas Nelson
The Bible study companion to The Greatest Life of All: Jesus by Charles Swindoll provides guidance for applying the teachings of Jesus to everyday life and in-depth questions to help deepen your relationship with Christ. 20 lessons include reading Scripture, answering questions for more in-depth understanding, commentary and historical notes. Learn on your own or with a small group.