Summary: Week 4 of our discovering Jesus series: I am the door of the sheep
Welcome back to Week 4 of our discovering Jesus series. Jesus is the greatest name in all of history—even those that try to deny his divinity recognize that this man named Jesus existed—there is no denying this—there is just too much physical evidence related to Jesus, but many still deny the entirety of who Jesus is. We know from scripture that there will be a day when no one will be able to deny the truth of Jesus-- 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11) But for many when that day comes it will be too late to recognize who Jesus really is.
In this series we are learning who Jesus said he is through the ??? ??µ? I, I am…I am he…This emphatic phrase is used 7 times to explain more of the character of Jesus in his own words with different imagery. So far we looked at Jesus, as the timeless Great I am…using the same wording that is used in the Old testament. Then we looked at Jesus as the Bread of life. This phrasing to each his flesh is better understood by us today in reference to communion, but to the original audience it was shocking and cause many to turn away. Then last week we talked about Jesus as the Light of the World. A call for us to follow him as he heals our spiritual blindness and brings us into his glorious kingdom. This week we are looking at another I am Statement. Turn with me to John 10.
As you turn, let me remind you of the background of this passage. We are picking up right where we let off last week. Jesus is talking with the pharisees after he healed the man who was born blind. In John 9:38, the blind man believes in Jesus as the Son of God and his spiritual eyes are open, but the pharisees remain spiritually blind and their sin remains…
Read John 10:1-10
This passage starts with two pastoral images of Christ. The first one we are looking at is Jesus saying “I am the door”. In verse 9, but there is so much more for us to understand about our relationship to Jesus as the Shepherd and the door. When Jesus brings us to the Father, he calls himself the door, when he cares for us, he calls himself the shepherd. Jesus is both the pathway to the father and the good shepherd. Next week we will focus on Jesus as the good shepherd, but this week we will look the significance of Jesus as the door to the sheep.
The imagery of the door is significant when we look at the fact that there is a thief…an enemy. Jesus as the door of the sheep signifies
1. In Jesus there is safety
At night in the middle east, the sheep would enter into the fold at night. This was to keep the sheep safe from robbers, wolves and other dangers. It is also to keep the sheep from wondering off. There was a door that kept them safe and a doorkeeper that would only open the door to the shepherd. No matter where the shepherd and the sheep were there was always a fold set up at night for the sheep either a permanent one on the shepherd’s own land or a temporary one where the sheep would remain safe. Jesus as the door projects us from attacks of robbers and keeps us safe.
Flip over to Psalm 91, 1-2, 9-11
When the sheep enter the fold, they are safe from all attack. Jesus is our refuge and fortress. A fortress is a place that cannot be penetrated it is a stronghold where we are safe. Psalm 46:1-2a “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear.” When we trust in Jesus, he becomes our safe haven that keeps us sheltered and secure, but he is not talking about physical safety, after all nearly all of his original disciples were brutally martyred, so if he is not talking about physical saftey to what is he talking to? Jesus keeps our minds and spirit safe from those that would want to steal kill and destroy. Because…
2. There is a thief that wishes to destroy us!
Thieves and Robbers do not care for the sheep, they only want to exploit the sheep while the Shepherd truly cares for them. Thieves, who would have no right of access by the gate, used other means to gain entrance. The shepherd entered by the gate, the lawful method of entry. Jesus was contrasting himself with the false messiahs and teachers who by pretense or violence were attempting to gain control of the people. He came as the legitimate heir and claimed to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament revelation. False Messiahs and teachers use deceitful methods to pull followers of Jesus—The Sheep away from the shepherd. They come in many shapes and size, some today say that there are many methods and ways to heaven, but Jesus here is the only way, he is the door, the way we enter into the Kingdom of God.