Summary: Jesus is the Door to salvation but He is also the door that is always open for us to enter into the Holy of Holies.
September 21, 2003
Text: John 10:1-10
Series: The Seven “I Am” Statements of Jesus
Part 1: I Am the Door
Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say I Am?” Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. “But who do you say that I AM?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. Verse 14, And the word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” The awesome power contained in the simple words “I Am” tells us everything we need to know about God. When Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” God responded by telling him, don’t worry about who you are. Just remember I Am. This name declares all His attributes. I Am comes from the Hebrew verb “to be” so it implies the absolute existence of God. Jesus demonstrated the power in the name of God when he was approached by the angry mob at His arrest and said, “I am He…” and the crowd fell backwards. In John’s gospel, Jesus specifically uses seven analogies to connect His divinity to His purpose. If we look at all of them together, using a little creativity we can see that there is a logical order that can be construed in the statements.
1. I Am the Door (10:9) – To enter by
2. I Am the Way (14:6) – To walk in
3. I Am the Bread (6:47) – To feed upon
4. I Am the Shepherd (10:11) – To guide
5. I Am the Light (8:12) – To follow
6. I Am the True Vine (15:1) – To abide in
7. I Am the Resurrection (11:25) – To wait for
Tonight we begin a series on the I am statements of Jesus Not only to see who He says “I AM” but to see what He is willing to be for you.
I. Jesus is the Shepherd.
A. (Verse 1) 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.
The Prophets told of those false shepherds who would come to destroy. Jeremiah 23:1-3, “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! Says the Lord. Therefore, thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold I will attend to you for your evil doings, Says the Lord.” Now look at what the Lord says next. “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking, says the Lord. Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise to David a Branch of Righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” I AM WHO I AM!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD! Jesus taught the crowd in His Sermon on the Mount, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” He is a thief and a robber. Let me describe the sheep pen to you. Probably a rough stone or mud – brick structure with no roof or if covered at all just partially. Often it would be a cave somewhere in the hills. There was only one opening through which the sheep would pass when they came in for the night. It was for their protection against thieves and wild animals that they entered into the sheepfold. The thief had no way to access them unless he came by some illegal method (climbing over the fence). Thief and robber have different meanings. A thief implies trickery. A robber uses violent methods to obtain what he wants.
B. Verse 2, “He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.” The shepherd enters in according to the law. What a contrast here between Jesus and the false shepherds or prophets. Jesus did not use trickery or force to enter in. He came according to the Law. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Jesus came as the righteous seed from the line of David. He was the fulfillment of the OT promises. Verse 3, “To Him the doorkeeper opens …” God opens the door to the right person at the right time. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies. “and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” In the Middle East, shepherds name each sheep and when it is time for them to go out or come in, he calls them by name and each goes when they are called. The sheep pen is the church. How can we, the church hear His voice and be sure it is His voice? We are physical/spiritual beings. We hear with our physical ears and with spiritual ears as well. What we hear in the physical is plain to understand. It is what we hear or sense in the spirit that confuses many. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth… He will glorify Me for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you. Verse 4 “And when He brings out His own sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.” Verse 5 “Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of a stranger.” I found this passage interesting. If the church won’t follow a stranger because they don’t know his voice, why is it that Paul says that in the last days people will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons? Jesus said in Mark 13:22, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” I believe that it will be possible because so many of the “elect” (saved) these days think that salvation is the end of everything they need. They do not strive to become spiritually mature so that they can heed the spiritual warnings that would tell them that the voice they hear is not their shepherd. Salvation isn’t the end but only the beginning.