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"I AM the Door" - The Claims of Christ

“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

 - John 10:7-9 -

 

Jesus Christ was a Man like no other; all loving and all powerful. Everywhere He went, His glory was found in His compassion. Standing before a blind man, Jesus tells His disciples: “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). The cross of Calvary looms on the horizon, yet Jesus insists that He must do God’s work while there is yet time. Therefore, Paul tells the Ephesians: ‘Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are alive. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do’ (5:15-17). Never put off what you can do today as tomorrow may never come.


 

Spiritual blindness is a curse of the devil. Paul writes: ‘The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God’ (2 Cor. 4:4). The Lord asked Jeremiah: “To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it” (6:10). The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were supposed to shepherd Israel but, due to spiritual blindness, the people suffered harm. Many were led astray by such insincere shepherds with demonic agendas. Ezekiel describes similar men in his day: ‘The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered’ (34:4-5). What an abuse of duty!

 

The shepherd’s duty is to feed and guard the flock. God takes this seriously, saying: “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” (Jer. 23:1). Sheep need a shepherd as they’re the most helpless of animals. Left to themselves, they get lost and are incapable of finding the flock even if it’s in plain sight. They’re also utterly powerless against predators. They can neither defend themselves nor flee. They just stand still and become easy meals for wild beasts. They fear fast moving water. That’s why Scripture talks of shepherds leading them to still waters and lush pastures. In Jesus’ day, sheep were laid down in shady places to rest. Then, when the sun began to set, shepherd led them to the protection of a sheepfold.



Jesus weaponized this common knowledge to rebuke false shepherds, saying: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep” (John 10:1-2). Villages had walled sheepfolds where shepherds brought flocks at night. The walls were made of stacked stones and could hold several flocks. A hired doorkeeper was stationed at the entrance to guard the sleeping sheep. In the morning, shepherds came to get their sheep. They didn’t climb the wall but entered by the door. Thieves and robbers, however, didn’t use the door. They climbed the wall and stole the sheep. Therefore, Jesus calls Pharisees false shepherds as they gained illegitimate power over God’s people like thieves and robbers, stealing them away from their true masters.

 

The Pharisees gained status not out of a love for God or desire to serve, but out of their own self-interest. Jesus develops the analogy, saying: “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:3). Doorkeepers recognized shepherds and let them enter the sheepfold to get their sheep. Flocks intermingled at night but each sheep knew their shepherd and came when called. “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers” (10:4-5). Each voice we obey is a shepherd in our life. We mustn’t listen to the voice of Hollywood or the evening news, but instead obey the voice of Christ. Even when there’s lots of noise in the world, Jesus reminds us that “My sheep hear My voice.”



Most people have one-way conversations with God, if they talk to Him at all. They do the talking and expect Him to do the listening. They’re not interested in what He has to say as long as they unburden whatever’s bothering them. They need to learn to be still long enough to know that He is God (Ps. 46:10). They need to learn it’s less important what you say to God versus what He says to you. This is why Jesus says: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matt. 11:15). How can we walk with God if we can’t hear His instructions? The problem is too much unnecessary noise. There’s gossip in the air, music that glorifies the devil, and nonstop lustful entertainment. But the biggest problem is the sound of one’s own voice. We talk way too much. So much, in fact, that it hinders our ability to hear from God.

 

So, how do we hear from God? Step one: learn to be quiet. That’s a nice way of saying: “Shut up!” We can’t hear God if we’re talking all the time. Put down that telephone, turn off the TV, and send the kids outside to play. Then go into a backroom by yourself, get still, be quiet, and tell the Lord: “Speak, for Your servant hears” (1 Sam. 3:10). Then wait. Resist the temptation to unload all your cares and concerns. There’s a time for that, but this isn’t it. He already knows what you’re going through. You don’t have to repeat what He already knows. You need to hold your tongue and open your ears. We have one mouth and two ears, which means we should do twice as much listening as talking. In other words, be still and know He is God. We give God due honor when we are quiet long enough for Him to speak, and getting still shows God that we think what He’s about to say is important.



As common as shepherding was, these Jewish leaders still didn’t understand what Jesus was saying. They thought they were the doorkeepers of righteousness. It was by their intercession (they thought) that others were made right with God. Jesus rebuked them for this, saying: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Matt. 23:13). The blind can’t lead the blind. Their lives are roadblocks to God’s kingdom. They refuse to enter and won’t let others in either. The blind man in John 9 was one of their sheep, and instead of celebrating his healing, they cast him out of the temple. These leaders cared about their own glory more than God’s. They failed to comprehend the King of glory in their midst, full of love and compassion. They hated Christ, rejected His salvation offer, and continued to walk in spiritual darkness.


Jesus goes on: “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” (John 10:7-9). In the countryside, far from villages, shepherds kept their flocks in private sheepfolds at night. Since there was no gate to shut, shepherds kept sheep in and wild animals out by laying across the gap in the wall. He literally became the door to the sheep. And so Jesus is the door to salvation. Only through Him is salvation possible. Anyone who offers salvation another way is a thief and a robber: “The thief comes not except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (10:10).



Now while doors are entered, they also divide. As Jesus says: “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division” (Luke 12:51). There are those inside and those outside. Some walk in light; others walk in darkness. Without a doubt, Christianity is the most exclusive faith. Only those who believe in Jesus can enter the sheepfold. Nothing gets to us unless it passes through Him first. The only trials Jesus lets in are the ones believers overcome in Him. Hear Paul: ‘No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it’ (1 Cor. 10:13). We were bought with a price and are now members of God’s household. It pleases Him when we seek Him and enter the door of prayer to spend quality time with Him. He loves and He cares for us; thinking about us all the time.


We enter the sheepfold by having faith in Jesus and Him alone. He is the only door that gives protection and blessing, but it will open for anyone who truly seeks to join the flock. Open your ears and listen for Christ calling you as Hebrews warns: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion’ (3:15). When you hear His voice, respond to it! Don’t delay until tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come. Those who wait for tomorrow often die today. Unbelief kills its thousands, but procrastination kills its ten thousands. So what should you do? Let Solomon’s words burn in your heart: ‘Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do’ (Prov. 6:14).

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