Summary: Jesus as not only the Door to Salvation by the Way of living.
“Jesus – The Door and Way to Blessing”
January 15, 2007
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The doorkeeper opens the door for him and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he leads forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger, but will flee from him: for they don’t know the voice of strangers."
Jesus told them this parable, but they didn’t understand the things he spoke to them. Jesus spoke to them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers. The sheep did not hear them. I am the door. By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:1-9
When you think of Jesus – what do you think of? Jesus described himself in many different ways. He is the light of the world. He is the Good Shepherd. He’s the Rock of Ages. He is Almighty God. He’s the Creator. We can learn a lot about Jesus by studying the names He called Himself and the names the Bible calls Him. This morning I want to focus on Jesus as the Door – or the Gate. This was a very relevant illustration to the People of Jesus’ day. They were all familiar with sheep and goats and farm stuff. Most people today are pretty ignorant of the things they just took for granted. Many of them tended sheep every day. Most others saw the process at the very least. So this spiritual truth Jesus was explaining was made more real; it was easier to understand when Jesus put it in terms they knew and understood.
In the religious community, people were familiar with the gate as being the only way to come to God. In Moses’ day, the tent of meeting, which housed the holy place and the holy of holies in which God dwelt, was only entered into by one single gate. In Solomon’s day to Jesus’ day, the temple could only be entered into by one gate or one door. There was no other way to get to God. So the primary meaning of Jesus being the door or the gate was very obvious to the people of His day. He was saying that He was the only way to heaven. He was the only way to God. He was so bold as to say,
“…no one comes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6
A lot of people don’t want to hear that today. That’s sounds too exclusive. They want to believe there are many ways to God – Jesus being just one of many. But that isn’t what Jesus taught. It wasn’t very popular in His day either. But it’s truth. Jesus is the doorway to heaven. There is no other way to get there except through Him.
In our minds eye, we picture Jesus as the door, belonging at the beginning of our spiritual journey. And that is primarily true. Of course when the believer has certain needs because he is cold and defeated as we so often are, because of our fallen nature and temptations from the enemy of our souls, the entrance into further blessing is “through Jesus – the Door”. And it must also be entered into by repentance and faith. But it is helpful for us to think of the Door as applying to the beginning of our spiritual journey.
So now what is on the other side of the door? We have entered into God’s Kingdom. We have walked through the door of life. What is there now? The Bible could have pictured the Door leading us into a house or a garden. If it had done that we would have gotten the idea that the Lord, through salvation, brings us into present peace and holiness, without any cooperation on our part.
But that’s not the picture the bible gives us. Scripture gives us the picture of the Door leading us onto a path. Jesus said,
"Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it. Matt 7:13-14 (Living)
So Jesus, who said He was the Gate, now describes Himself as the Way. Now, a way or a path gives the idea of not a final, settled blessing – but rather of a walk. A path is an experience which is continuous. It is a step done repeatedly. In other words, it is something happening each moment in the present. After one step – there is another step. After one ‘now’ there is another ‘now. And what the Word is communicating to us is that our experience of Christ is to be a continuous “present tense”. THIS moment we are to be at peace with God and after this moment, the next moment, and then the next so we are in living fellowship with Him. The past crises experiences do not help us here. The door experience to salvation or to sanctification was essential – but now it is past. We may be able to testify that we were saved or sanctified on such and such a date – but God does not want us always going back there in our minds – but to be living with Him each moment in the present – where He will be with us in all the ways we need Him to be with us.