“I Am the Door”

Pt. 1 of the Series: “The ‘I am’ Sayings of Jesus.”

March 31, 2019

 

John 10:1-10

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.  So Jesus again said to them, “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 listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (English Standard Version)

 

There was once an Amish boy and his father who went to the big city for the very first time. They were amazed by everything they saw.  Having grown up and lived all their lives on a rural farm, everything was completely new to them.  The Father and son left Ma in the horse buggy and went into this huge skyscraper. As the boy and father entered the building two shiny doors that could move apart and back together again left them spellbound.  They stood watching these doors until the son asked his father, “What is this, Father?”  The father, never having seen an elevator before, responded, “Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life, I don’t know what it is.”  While the boy and his father were watching wide-eyed, an elderly lady in a wheel chair rolled up to the moving doors and pressed a button.  The doors opened and the lady rolled between them into a small room.  The doors closed and the boy and his father watched small circles with numbers in them light up above the doors.  They continued to watch the circles light up in the reverse direction.  The doors opened up again and a beautiful 24-year-old woman stepped out.  The father said to his son, “Boy, go get your mother!”

 

Today, we are going to examine a passage from Scripture in which Jesus said, “I am the door.”  When Jesus spoke about being a door, somehow, I don’t think what the Amish father and son experienced was what Jesus was talking about.  What Jesus said is known as one of the seven “I am” sayings of Jesus.  The term, “I am” is a technical phrase.  It goes back to the burning bush incident where, in the Old Testament, Moses appeared before the burning bush, asked God for His name and God, from within that bush, said, “I am.”  That is my name, “I am who I am.”  This should not be lost.  In these sayings, Jesus is claiming to be one with the Father.  He is claiming to be God.  Once Jesus said, “…before Abraham was, I am,” and the religious leaders then picked up stones to stone Him because by saying, “I am” He equated Himself to God.  So, in these 7 “I am” sayings, Jesus is claiming divinity.  He said, “I am the door,” and “I am the Good Shepherd,” and “I am the Bread of life,” seven different sayings in all.  Each time, He was claiming equality with God, that He is God.  In the next weeks, we will be looking at almost all of these sayings.  Today, we turn to John 10 where Jesus says, “I am the door.”

 

John 10 begins with Jesus talking about the sheep pen.  The sheep pen is God’s Kingdom which is only entered through faith.  But, Jesus referred to thieves and robbers, trying to enter the sheep gate by another way.  He was referring to the religious leaders who, in setting up rules upon rules, were acting as thieves and robbers, robbing the people of a relationship of love with their God, robbing the people of God’s grace.  Jesus said that the one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  Jesus mixes metaphors.  The shepherd and the door are one and the same.  The video you just saw shows how that was done, how the shepherd gathered the sheep into the sheep pen and then sat or laid in that narrow opening so that no sheep could get in or get out without going through him.  Jesus says that the sheep listen to the shepherd’s voice, that they won’t respond to someone who is not the shepherd.  He says that the shepherd leads the sheep out.  Notice, he doesn’t drive the sheep from the back but leads them from the front.  That’s the way God is.  He leads His sheep and doesn’t force any sheep to follow. Then, in verse 7, Jesus said, “I am the door, for the sheep.”  Now, there are 3 ways that Jesus is the door, three meanings for what He is saying in these verses.  The first thing is;

 

  1.  Jesus is the Door of Salvation

 

As the door, Jesus grants salvation.  He says verse 9;

 

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…”  John 10:9a

 

Think of a sheep running, running, running toward the sheep pen, a ravenous wolf in hot pursuit.  The sheep gets to the sheep pen just in time and runs through the opening where the shepherd stands, staff in hand, ready to ward off that wolf.  The shepherd saves the sheep as he is the door to the sheep pen.  Again, Jesus mixes the metaphor. 

 

  1. He is the door of the sheep pen but He is also the shepherd 

 

He is the Good Shepherd.  That Good Shepherd issues this promise to all of His sheep; “Anyone who enters by me will be saved.”  And, so we hear of the Good Shepherd leaving the 99 and running after the 1 who got lost.  We hear of the loving Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, running out after his son, welcoming him home.  We hear our God come running after us as we go astray, as we sin.  We find this Good Shepherd giving up His life as a ransom for many.  We find Him dying on the cross to save His sheep.  We see Jesus as the shepherd and as the door to the Kingdom as people come to Him for salvation.  Notice  

 

  1.  There is but a single entrance to the sheep pen

 

As you saw on the video, there is only one way into the sheep pen.  Just as there was only one entrance that Noah built into the ark and only one entrance into the Most Holy Place in the temple.  So, there is only one entrance into the sheep pen, only one entrance into the Kingdom of God.  There is only one entrance into eternal life.  There is only one Good Shepherd, only one door.

 

The Scripture doesn’t say that Jesus is A door.  He is THE door.  He is the only door to the Kingdom.  But, if you say that Jesus is the only door, that He is the only way to heaven—not through Mohammed or Buddha or Krishna—if you say that only Jesus is the door to eternal life, you will be called intolerant and bigoted.  Some people will say that we all worship the same God, that it doesn’t matter what your concept of God is as long as you are sincere.  A lot of people think that being sincere is all that is needed.  Yet, the people who bought tickets on the Titanic sincerely believed that that ship would not sink.  The people who fought for Hitler were sincere.  Sincerity alone will get you nowhere because you can be sincere about something that is completely wrong.  I think Pastor Stephen Sheane was right on target when he said, “Tolerance can only be the supreme virtue in a society which has lost the will and the means to distinguish right from wrong, truth from error.  If tolerance is our chief value, then sincerity comes to be our chief requisite.” [1] The way to heaven is not through sincerity.

 

The way to heaven is not through good works, either.  Human achievement will not get you one step closer to heaven.  You can’t storm heaven’s gates by holding up to God all the good things you have ever done.  You can’t buy your way into heaven that way.  That is saying that what Jesus did on the cross either didn’t mean anything or that it was not enough to pay for the sins of the world.  “Imagine going to the parent of a family whose son or daughter just died in combat and say that is not enough. Why could you not have other children who could have died for freedom. I desire to have another option of another son to look up to.  Consider this from God's perspective: He had one Son. He sent His only Son to die to pay the penalty of sin. He had no more to give and He gave all that He had. It fully accomplished the redemption for a people who do not deserve it.” [2]  No, the way to heaven is not through good works.

 

Jesus even went so far as to say that anyone who claims to be the door other than Himself is a thief and a robber.  And so the Sadducees of Jesus’ day were so concerned that Jesus overturned the money changers in the temple because they were the moneychangers.  They were the thieves and the robbers Jesus was referring to.  These were the Pharisees who were denounced any number of times for covetousness.  These today might be the various religions of the world proclaiming they are the door.  These today are cult leaders, self-proclaimed messiahs, leading people astray, away from the one and only door.  These today are those who say that there are many ways to God, the tolerance crowd as I mentioned above.  Not all roads lead to heaven.  These today are the political leaders who think they have the answer to bring about utopia, usually at a much higher tax rate.  These are the philosophers in their humanistic beliefs who bend over backwards to remove Christianity from government, education, and the public square.  These are the Hollywood types, the mass media, the television shows that you watch proclaiming values so different from what you grew up with, so different than what you find in the Bible.  These might be governors and legislatures and presidential candidates who knowingly and willingly espouse killing babies inside the womb and even outside of the womb.  These might be the college professors, even high school teachers, who are teaching your children morals and ethics and values that are different than, even opposed to, Christianity.  These are anyone who declares that they are the door to utopia, the door to eternal life.        

 

The Scripture says that Jesus is THE door.  The thrust is this, “I am the door, the only door.” 

 

For through him (Jesus) we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”  Ephesians 2:18

 

Jesus said…, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

 

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

 

These verses are pretty specific.  You can’t get much clearer than this.  Jesus is THE door.  He is not A door.  He is THE door, and

 

  1.  Anyone can enter that door

 

Jesus said;

 

“If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…”  John 10:9b

 

This is not limited to the people of Israel.  This is not a nationalistic faith.  This is for all nations on earth.  Jesus did say, “Go and make disciples of, (where?) “all nations” (Matthew 28:19)  Jesus said we are to be His witnesses in, “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)  This is not limited to one race or one ethnic group.  This is not limited to rich people or poor people.  It is not limited to men or to women.  Jesus said that “anyone” who enters by Him will be saved.  That is a wonderful statement that includes anyone.  It is also a wonderful promise.  You trust in the door, you trust in Jesus, and you WILL be saved.  So, the first aspect of Jesus being the door is that He is the door of Salvation.  Second 

 

  1.  Jesus is the Door of Security

 

“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.John 10:9

 

The sheep are safe inside the sheep pen.  The sheep are also safe outside of the sheep pen.  The reason in both of those cases is the shepherd.  When the sheep are in the pen, the shepherd stands guard and wards off predators and thieves and robbers.  When the sheep go out to find pasture, the shepherd goes before them, watching over them, keeping them safe, and leading them to find food and water. 

 

  1.  The Good Shepherd who is also the door, is with us, His sheep.

 

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you.”  Deuteronomy 28:6

 

“…the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  Psalm 121:8

 

Jesus, the door of security, promises security.  At first glance, we might conclude that Jesus is promising physical safety.  You go on an airplane, say a Boeing Max 737, and you pray for safety.  With all that has gone on with the Boeing Max 737, you’d better pray for safety.  And, those prayers are good.  Whenever Nancy and I go on a trip, we pause and ask God for travel mercies.  But, that is not what Jesus is promising as He is the door of security.  If He was, then no Christians would ever die on a trip or otherwise.  No, Jesus is not promising physical security.  He is promising spiritual security. 

 

Look, people today are afraid.  They are afraid of North Korea getting nuclear weapons.  They are afraid of Islamic terrorists bombing a mall.  They are afraid of the thinning ozone.  They are afraid of climate change.  They are so afraid of that some seek to outlaw cow flatulence.  Tell the cows that.  People today are afraid of getting the flu or measles.  They are afraid of disease or cancer.  Let’s face it, they are afraid of death.  Jesus as the door of security doesn’t promise that any of these fears won’t be realized.  He doesn’t promise that.  What He does promise, what He promises to all who walk through THAT door, is that He will be with them every step of the way.             

 

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:4-5 

 

In his book, “I Shall Not Want,” Robert Ketchum tells about a Sunday school teacher who asked her group of children if any of them could quote the entire twenty-third psalm. A little four year old girl was among those who raised their hands. A bit skeptical, the teacher asked if she could really quote the entire psalm. The little girl came to the podium, faced the class, made a little bow, and said: "The Lord is my shepherd, that’s all I want." She then bowed again and sat down.  She got it right, didn’t she.  The Lord Jesus is our shepherd.  He is our door of security.  That’s all we want.  [3] 

 

So, no matter what comes at you in this life, you have Jesus beside you.  No matter what bad things happen to you, Jesus assures you that you will not go through it alone.  No matter what physical threats you might endure, threats even to your very life, Jesus, the door of security, tells you again and again that you have heaven waiting for you.  Paul said it this way;

 

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-40

 

So, Jesus is the door of salvation, and He is the door of security.  Lastly,

 

  1.  Jesus is the Door of Satisfaction

 

He is the door of abundance.

 

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10

 

The word means to exceed.  It means excessively superior.  The Latin words for this means to rise like waves or to overflow.  So, God’s abundance rises like waves again and again.  One wave surges forward and breaks onto the beach but it is followed by another and another.  That is God’s abundance.  As we have been seeing in the Midwest, the rivers rise and flood their banks.  So, God’s abundance overflows anything we could imagine.  Keep in mind that

 

  1.  Jesus does not promise physical abundance

 

The prosperity gospel people might point to physical stuff, that God intends for Christians to be rich in physical blessings, that God intends for Christians to have nice cars in the driveway and a nice house and a boatload of money in their pockets.  If that was the case, then why aren’t all Christians rich in material things?  Why are there poor Christians out there?  The prosperity people might explain that that you don’t have a bunch of stuff because you don’t have enough faith.  So, get more faith—and send in your contribution to Joel Osteen--and God  will give you more stuff.  This is not what Jesus is saying.  Jesus’ promise of abundant life has nothing to do with collecting more stuff.  As a matter of fact, the Scriptures clearly say that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  Paul wasn’t rich and he had incredible faith.  He told Timothy to be content with food and clothing, but to be rich toward God.  You see,  

 

  1. Jesus is referring to spiritual abundance

 

Listen to these verses from the viewpoint of referring to spiritual abundance;

 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”  Psalm 23:5

 

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20

 

Last weekend at our Marriage retreat, the presenter. Emerson Eggerichs talked about what it is like to experience something you weren’t expecting.  Like, you get a birthday gift that is way beyond anything you ever imagined and when you open the gift, it takes your breath away.  It might have you go, “Woah!”  Or, a woman gets an engagement ring that has a diamond far bigger than she ever imagined.  It was too big for her.  It would take her breath away.  It might have her go, “Woah!”  On second thought, I’m not sure I ever knew a woman who got an engagement ring that was too big for her.  Or—think about it this way—what will it be like to step into heaven for the first time?  God is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” and you walk into heaven for the first time and you go, “Woah!”  You are blown away by God’s goodness.  You are just blown away.  Now, when Jesus is the door of satisfaction, the door of spiritual abundance, He promises abundance not just in heaven, but here on earth.  You have this now!  Right now, Jesus, as the door of satisfaction, will give you spiritually, “immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine.” 

 

Have you ever been blown away by God’s goodness?  Let me give you a few examples from my life.  See if you can relate.  God gave me this wonder of wonders called my wife.  God gave me Nancy who is absolutely the best wife for Arnold Deknatel in the entire world.  I didn’t expect that.  I didn’t grow up with a good model of what a good wife should be.  But when I think about what God gave me in Nancy, I go, “Woah!”  It is a spiritual thing.  God gave her to me.  In Nancy, He gave me “immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine.”  All glory to you, God.  All glory to you!  Then, there is my son and daughter-in-law and, did you know that I have two wonderful grandchildren.  I bet you didn’t know that.  Nancy and I never imagined that Matthew would be living even within 200 miles of us much less in the very town we lived in.  We never imagined we would have such a fantastic son and daughter-in-law and those two grandkids just melt our hearts.  I just stand back and go, “Woah!”  All glory to you, God.  All glory to you!  Then, this church.  We started here with about 25 people in just the fellowship hall.  That was the entire church.  But, look what God has done.  Look at this amazing congregation.  I just stand back and go, “Woah!”  He did here “immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine.”  All glory to you, God.  All glory to you!  One more from me.  I grew up not at all understanding grace.  My entire life was centered on doing stuff to get God to love me.  Even becoming a pastor was my attempt to buy His love, to buy my salvation.  But then, God showed me grace.  He showed me that I could do nothing to gain my salvation, that Jesus did it all.  I mean, “Woah!”  Completely changed my life.  He did in me “immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine.”  I could go on.  Jesus, the door of satisfaction, has given me so much.  I just stand back and go, “Woah!”  All glory to you, God.  All glory to you!                       

 

What about you?  Can you identify those times when you have experienced God doing spiritually “immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine?”  Maybe you have been blown away by the spouse God gave you.  Maybe it is your kids.  Maybe you have so much more stuff than you ever imagined you would.  It’s Lent, let me suggest one more to you.  What about your forgiveness?  You commit that sin AGAIN and you stand before a holy God.  When I was taking clarinet lessons, my teacher, whose name was Jaap van Opstal (how’s that for a name?  Almost as bad as an Arnold Deknatel) my music teacher, upon hearing me play the wrong note repeatedly, my music teacher would say, “Anybody can make a mistake.  Some people make the same mistake twice.  But,”  he would say, “it takes a real fool to make the same mistake three times.”  He was reminding me that I was a fool.  I don’t know about you, when it comes to my sins, I don’t make the same mistake just twice or even 3 times.  I make the same mistake, I commit the same sin again and again and again.  I might commit that same sin, make that same mistake a hundred times.  Now, if you did that at work, your boss would fire you.  If you did that in a marriage, your spouse might divorce you.  If you did that to your momma, even her patience would be stretched to the max.  Yo momma might wish she wasn’t yo momma no longer.  You commit that same sin AGAIN, maybe for the 100th time, and you are so sorry and you are so ashamed and you are so repentant.  You are like the Prodigal Son who came to realize how sinful he really was and on bended knee and downcast eyes, returned to the Father begging to be allowed back into the household, not as a son but as a slave.  But, instead of guilt and instead of punishment and instead of being ostracized, instead of being cast out of God’s Kingdom, God loves, God forgives, God gives you grace.  The Father accepted His Son back, lost but found, dead but alive, and forever, forever his son.  God forgives you and accepts you and gives you grace all because of Jesus, all because of Jesus, the door of satisfaction, taking on your sin, your guilt, your punishment, and doing in you spiritually “immeasurably more than all you could ask or imagine.”  Here it is again, take this in and own it for your life;

 

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”-- the things God has prepared for those who love him—”  1 Corinthians 2:9

 

Jesus is the door of the sheep pen.  He is the door, the only door, to the Kingdom of God.  Jesus is the door of salvation.  He is the door of security.  And, He is the door of satisfaction.  Jesus, our Savior, our Lord, the great I Am, is the One who is the door of the sheep pen for you!  All we can say is, “Woah!”

 

In Jesus’ name.

Amen.        

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

[1] From the sermon, “I Am the Gate” found at SermonCentral.com.

[2] From the sermon, “I Am the Door” by Matthew Kratz, found at SermonCentral.com.

 

[3] Op cit. Sheane.