Front doors. Back doors. Car doors. Bedroom doors. Bathroom doors. Office doors. Doors on “Monsters Inc.” A band called “The Doors” from a few years ago. Lots of doors. Why do we need doors? What do they do? And why would Jesus refer to himself as a door?
“I assure you: Anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen 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. The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.”
Jesus gave them this illustration, but they did not understand what He was telling them.
So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. (John 10:1-10)
A door is the way in and the way out. A door protects you from the bad guys. A door lets everyone know where to enter. A door says a lot about what’s on the other side of the door.
In the context of shepherding in the first century, the shepherd would take his sheep into the fields and near the quiet streams during the day. They would get the food and water they needed, and be safe as they followed the shepherd where he wanted them to go.
At night, the shepherd would bring the sheep into the sheep pen. It was normally a stone wall with four sides without a roof. During the construction of the wall, briers would be carefully placed by the shepherd on the top of the wall to keep predators from climbing over during the night to hurt the sheep. The only opening in the wall was at one end, a doorway that allowed the sheep to enter and exit at the shepherd’s command. It was in this opening that the shepherd would sleep each night.
The shepherd was the door!
The sheep pen was not constricting. It was safe. Too many people think that following Christ is constricting. But in reality the way of Christ is the best and safest place to be. God provides the guardrails that keep us protected from how the enemy would want to destroy our families, our dreams, our very lives. I’m thankful that Jesus is the door.
As the door, the shepherd also made the decision on when the sheep should move out of the pen. The sheep recognized his voice and he knew each sheep by name. Wow. What a picture. Jesus guides me everywhere I need to go, and he knows me by my name!
Jesus is the door. There is no other way to God but through him. He is the way to God. And once you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will discover the life of abundance that is mentioned in John 10:10 (above). The thief (aka, the devil) wants to destroy your life. He wants to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus wants you to experience abundant life.
Put your trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. And follow him daily. The abundant life in Christ is an amazing adventure. The God of the universe, who knows your future and has a plan for you, has provided a way for you to know him. Just walk through the door.