When you go home at night how do you enter your house? Down the chimney? Though an open window? By digging a tunnel? Of course not!
You enter through a door. It might be a garage door. A side door. A back boor. Or an elaborate and expensive front door. It might be wood, metal or glass. But it’s a door.
In one of the 7 vivid I AM statements of Jesus, he says, “I am the door” in John 10:7-10.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
Eastern sheepfolds had a single door. It was the only entrance. And was guarded by the shepherd. This way the sheep were protected against robbers and wild animals.
In the book God So Loved, Studies in the Gospel of John, Thaxter Dickey made this observation about Jesus’ claim.
“He is the only door to the true fold. As the true door, He welcomes the weak and the helpless and then protects them from intruders. Those who had come before Him claiming this power were false messiahs. But he is the door.”
“In this context,” Dickey continues, “it is clear that this I am claim, like the previous two, raises the bar from claims of being like a door for the sheep or even being a particular door for the sheep to being a claim that in His very essence He is the door of the sheep.”
There are not many doors into the Father’s sheepfold. Just one. Jesus Christ. Marilyn Murphree tells about being at a counselor’s seminar where the discussion leader said, “Jesus is optional today. You can get to heaven in a variety of ways.” That woman was wrong! Any other way than “the door” is the way of the thief and robber.
Luke records that Paul “opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27 How? By teaching the “one faith.” By preaching the gospel. By proclaiming Jesus as the Christ.
The metaphor of Jesus being “the door” conjures up several thoughts.
(1) The door offers an invitation to enter. Jesus issues that invitation. He says, “Come.” He calls, “Enter in.” He pleads, “Open the door of salvation.”
(2) The door renders a means of separation. Only those who are the true sheep can enter in through the door. All others are on the outside. Separated. And apart from the Shepherd’s care.
(3) The doors supplies a means of safety. Just as the door of your house keeps out intruders, so Jesus, the door, offers security, safety and refuge.
Through Jesus’ vicarious sacrifice and triumph resurrection, He has become to the door for us to enter into a place of peace. To join those identified as his redeemed Sheep. And to come into the presence of the Father.
Timothy Archer tells a story about a doctor that went to visit a very sick man, back in the days when doctors made house calls. The doctor took his dog along with him, and the animal waited outside, barking every once in a while to remind his master that he was there.
The man said, “Doc, I’m scared. What can you tell me about death? What’s on the other side?”
The doctor said, “I can’t tell you much.”
Then he got up and opened the door. His dog bounded inside, leaping gratefully all over his master.
The doctor continued, “My dog has never been here. He had no idea what was on the other side of this door. All he knew was that his master was on the other side. I can’t tell you, friend, exactly what’s on the other side. But I know that my master is waiting there. That’s my view. I don’t know exactly what is waiting. But I do know WHO is waiting.”
Don’t stand outside. Jesus bids you to enter. He’s the door of salvation. He invites, “Come in.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman