I am the Door of the Sheep: “I AM the Door!
© 2022 C. O. Bishop
6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Jesus had just described himself as the true Shepherd who entered by way of the “Door into the Sheepfold,” presenting Himself to the doorkeeper, “the Porter,” as the true Shepherd, evidenced by the fact that he entered by the correct door.
We saw that the door into the sheepfold represented the fulfillment of prophecy; Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies regarding His genealogy, His place of birth, the nature of His life and ministry, and, eventually, His manner of death and His resurrection, specifically after three days and three nights. We saw, in fact, that the fulfilled prophecies, (in many cases supernaturally fulfilled) collectively, are the Credentials of God, and the Pedigree of the Messiah.
Now Jesus says, “I am the Door of the Sheep.” Notice He did not say, I am the “door into the Sheepfold.”
Jesus entered by the “Door into the Sheepfold:” the fulfillment of prophecy…all of it!
But the Sheep do not enter by that “door.” We enter through Jesus. Jesus had a very high “bar” to pass in order to enter as the Shepherd. Ours is easy: Jesus calls and we enter by faith, through Him, as the Door of the Sheep.
The invitation is open: “I am the Door: if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture.” We are to enter through Jesus, and then walk with Him. Remember, in verses 3 and 4, He said that He leads His sheep out. (Out where? Out into everyday life!) We still have to live in this world: Jesus wants us to walk with Him, and He will lead us to where He wants us, and feed us there.
Jesus said “I am the Door of the Sheep”
Perhaps it is important to note that the invitation is not only “inclusive,” in the sense that “whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” But it is also “exclusive,” in the sense that only those who believe in Him, placing their trust in His shed blood, can enter through this Door! And there is no other door.
Please turn in your Bible to Romans 3:25. In Romans 3:25… (Speaking of Jesus, he says,) “25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,”
Paul makes a quiet point, which is echoed all through the scripture, but which is “spelled out” here: Jesus satisfied the Righteousness and Holiness of God (That is what “propitiation” means: “satisfaction of God’s Righteousness”)…But how? It becomes a working reality “through faith in His Blood.”
There is nothing we can “do,” on our own, to seize upon His sacrifice, nor to “earn” God’s Grace. Grace is specifically unearned favor. What Jesus accomplished at the Cross was to open to ALL people, the way into God’s presence. But the way to enter in is by faith in His blood. Not by adherence to His commands, but by faith in His Blood.
Faith is how we enter in, and how we are saved!
Obedience is how we walk in fellowship with the living God.
By a New and Living Way
(Please turn in your Bible to Hebrews chapter ten, verses 19 and 20.)
In Hebrews 10:19, 20 we see this truth laid out in very stark, plain terms.
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Take note of several key words and phrases:
- Brethren…enter…into the Holiest…by the blood of Jesus
- Through the veil…His flesh.
Remember that the veil in the Temple, which blocked the way to the Holy of Holies, was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died, thus opening the inner sanctum, the Holy of Holies. Here in Hebrews 10:20, we see that the veil was a “picture” or a “prefiguring” of Jesus’s physical body: That is, until His body was offered as a sacrifice, and His Blood was shed, the way to approach God was still closed.
At His death, the way to approach God was opened. But we still enter in through that one way: “through the veil…His flesh.” And we enter in by one means: “by the blood of Jesus.”
We are still saved by Grace (it is never something we can earn.) and we are still saved through faith (this is the means by which we lay hold of the promise: we believe it!) But the faith is specifically to be in Jesus’s shed blood, as we saw in Romans 3:25.
What was “New and Living” about this “Way?”
We (all of us) enter in often, continually… via a living Savior; whereas, in the Old Covenant, only the High Priest could enter, and only once a year, and always with the blood of a freshly sacrificed lamb. And the sacrifice could not take away sin. Only Jesus can take away sin.
Look at Hebrews 10:4, while we are still in Hebrews: It says that it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin. Animal sacrifices cannot take away sin: they never could. They provided a temporary covering, through faith, looking forward to the Cross. But when John the Baptist introduced Jesus, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the Sin of the World!” That is new!
How many “doors” are there? Two Gates:
Another word for a “door” is “Gate.” Jesus pointed out two gates, in Matthew 7:13, 14.
Matthew 7:13, 14 “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
The Narrow Gate
The Narrow gate is Jesus, and His blood sacrifice. It is wide enough to include anyone who is willing to trust in Him for salvation, but it excludes all who try to enter in by some other means.
We can see only one name on this gate: there is only room for one. Acts 4:12 says, “neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved.” That was Peter, speaking to the Jews, regarding the Name of Jesus. Philippians 2:10, 11 says that a time is coming when “at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess…to the glory of God the Father.”
Jesus: That is the Name on the Narrow Gate.
The Broad Gate
But the Broad Gate has lots of room, and the name of every other “way” is posted there.
Going back to John 10:8, we see that Jesus said all the other “saviors” who parade themselves as the “way” to God, or who claim that “all ways lead to the same God,” are “thieves and robbers.”
Now, that sounds harsh, and judgmental, doesn’t it? But you want to remember that this is Jesus, God in the Flesh, warning us that there are enemies in the world and that the result of following those enemies can be eternal loss.
Theives and Robbers!
There was a fellow named Jim Jones, back in 1974, who claimed to be a savior, but he taught communism, and by 1978, he had moved 900 of his followers to Guyana where he forced them all to commit suicide, and those who resisted were shot to death. They had entered in by the broad gate, following someone who specifically had rejected Christianity: Jim Jones threw his Bible down, publicly saying, “You don’t need the Bible! You need me!” And they all died!
There was another fellow, before him, who called himself “Father Divine” and claimed to be God. There have been hundreds down through the years, who have made similar claims. Some were famous, like Sun Myung Moon, and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Others were less famous, like Roy Masters, of Oregon, who claimed he “could do no wrong.” But all of their names comfortably fit on the “Broad Gate.”
Some are not even names of people, but rather, of organizations, churches, creeds, secret societies, clubs, world views, etc. That is really not an important difference: Either you ARE placing your faith in Jesus, and His shed blood; trusting in His completed work at the Cross, or you are not! If you are not, then you are attempting to enter by the “Broad Gate.” And there are countless names there!
But Jesus is the only name on the Narrow Gate…He is the “Door of the Sheep.”
“Oh, but, that’s Narrowminded!” (But, is it?)
This is a point of contention to a lot of unbelievers, as they immediately begin to complain that this is an unreasonable restriction; it’s very “narrowminded,” and that “all the millions of other ‘religious people’ can’t all be wrong!”
Unfortunately, truth is not determined by a vote: things either are true, or they are not. As an example: all of us depend on oxygen, every moment we live. No one sees fit to rebel against that, or to complain that they ought to be able to live in a pure helium environment, or any such thing they choose.
We are aware of many things that are “just the way it is,” where arguing doesn’t help. Some such things we cheerfully accept, others regretfully. We appreciate gravity, most of the time, but we don’t like that fact that we all die. Yet both are universally true. We have to embrace reality!
Jesus truly is God’s only provision for the salvation of the Human race. If you think that is a “bad thing,” you can argue with Him about it, if you want. But do bear in mind that He doesn’t “owe” us anything! Throughout our history as a Race, we have consistently rebelled against God, our Creator, at every step of the way. We only get worse, not better, and we still think that though God provides our very lives, and all our sustenance, we don’t need or want Him to have anything to do with directing our lives. We want to be our own boss!
So, the amazing thing, to me, is that He chose to offer us His Grace at all. It does not surprise me that there isn’t a “grab-bag” of different ways to approach Him, or a “smorgasbord” from which we can select the things we want, and reject the rest. God is Holy! He is the Ruler! There is no other God, and He does not owe us a thing! It is amazing that He offered us anything at all! But it leaves us with a choice.
We can choose to be eternally safe with Him, trusting in His promise, or we can choose to be eternally separated from Him, in our rebellion and unbelief. Those are the choices.
Jesus said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
He does not “demand” that you do anything: He only invites you to enter.
In John 14:6, however, Jesus makes a claim, that we must not ignore: Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”
So, when you (or anyone you know) is making that choice, it is important to know that Jesus said “no other way will lead you to God.” You can accept that, or reject it: but that is what He said.
Once you choose to believe, and enter in by the Door of the Sheep (Jesus) you are eternally His, and He invites you to walk with Him, in faith and obedience, reaping the blessing of that ongoing relationship. Sheep need the Shepherd: In the next verses we will see how Jesus presents Himself as that Good Shepherd.
But for today, we will stop with just knowing the choice that must be made. Some of you have sought to share your faith with others. Perhaps these things we have read today will help you to do so.
Lord Jesus, open our hearts and minds to the urgency of the Gospel, so we can see the vital need to make good choices, and to begin by choosing Life in Christ. Then help us to make choices that honor You and that cause us to shine as lights in this dark world. Glorify Yourself through Your Church.