“I am the gate or door!”
“I Am” - series - pt 4
Thesis: Jesus is the door or the gate to heaven. It is only through Him that we are able to find eternal life and a relationship with Abba Father. There is no other gateway into eternity than this doorway.
The visual -- A door on the stage to make the point!
As most of you know I was a carpenter before I was a Pastor so I have hung and installed a lot of doors in houses, in offices, and many other places.
Doors are a good thing to have on your building.
Many of us also have gates on our back yard fences as well. A lot of buildings place gates around its boundaries for specific reasons.
These doors and gates have two primary purposes:
1. To let people in or out.
2. To keep people and unwanted things out.
Illustration: TV Show “Let’s Make a Deal.” With Monty Hall - You get to choose from 3 doors:
Door #1 – Religion “You do it!”
Door #2 – Idol worship – like Materialism “You deserve it and it will make you happy”
Door #3 – Jesus “He does it.”
Opening video Illustration transition from worship: Wingclips.com Narnia movie clip “The Wardrobe.”
The following from Wingclips.com:
Some journeys take us far from home. Some adventures lead us to our destiny.
Based on the beloved classic novel by ‘CS Lewis’, Four London children are sent to a professor’s country home in order for protection during World War II. There they find a magic wardrobe that leads to a mystical land called Narnia, which is being ruled by an evil witch. To defeat the witch, they must join forces with Aslan, the lion God of Narnia. He is a type of Christ and to get from this world to the next they must enter the door of the wardrobe. This is the only gateway to the other world. No other path leads to Narnia only this door.
Scene Setup: The Germans have begun their blitzkrieg of London. In order to keep
them safe, parents all over the city are sending their children to stay with friends and
relatives in rural areas of the country. Four siblings are sent to a great old mansion
where only an aged professor and his uptight housekeeper live peacefully tucked
away. The children, growing bored of sitting quietly, decide to play a game of hide
and seek. Lucy, the youngest, opens a door that hasn't been opened in a long time.
Application: As the story unfolds we learn about a prophecy...that once Aslan is on
the move again, four human children will come to Narnia and help set the nation free
from evil. Yet, at the beginning of the story, it's hard to see God at work…. It seems
that a little child has simply found a good hiding place. Nevertheless, in hindsight, we
can see God directing the children to choose a game where she would be forced to go
into strange places; then, gently prompt her to open the door; then, help her risk
taking off the wardrobe cover; and finally, give her the courage to step into a place
that she would never have discovered otherwise…. So subtle, yet certainly something a great God could arrange.
John 10: 1-10 (NIV)
The Shepherd and His Flock
1“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.
3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a strangers voice.”
6Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.
8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:1-10 (NASB)
Parable of the Good Shepherd
1“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
2“But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.
3“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
6This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
7So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
9“I am the door; if anyone enters through 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.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
T.S. – Let’s look at what some other scripture references say about the symbolism of the door or the gate metaphor.
I. Doors and gate metaphors are significant in Scripture and carry spiritual applications:
a. Scripture references:
i. Exodus 12 – God told the Israelites to put the blood of the Passover sacrifice over their doorposts so that when the death angel passed by it would by-pass that home. They would be delivered.
ii. Exodus 29:32 – Tells us about the door or gate of the tent of meetings (see picture).
1. From http://www.the-tabernacle-place.com/tabernacle_articles/print/gate.aspxThe Gate of the Tabernacle: There was only one gate by which people could enter into the tabernacle courtyard. The gate was 30 feet wide. It was located directly in the center of the outer court on the east end. The gate was covered by a curtain or screen made of finely twisted linen in blue, purple and scarlet. The one and only gate is a representation of Christ as the only way through which one could fellowship with God and worship Him. To do this, one must enter in through the gate to the place where God dwelled. The act of entering the gate to the tabernacle was significant to the Israelites. By entering, one could find forgiveness of sin and fellowship with God. The first thing that one saw upon coming through the gate was the brazen altar, which served as a reminder of man’s sinfulness and his need for a blood sacrifice in order to be in fellowship with God. One needed to repent and offer sacrifices for their sin. Those who did not repent were not entering this “narrow way.”
iii. Psalm 141:3 - Keep watch over the door of my lips.
iv. Hosea 2:15 – This passage speaks of a door of hope.
v. Matthew 6:6 – Close the door and pray to your Father. He will reward what you do in secret.
vi. Matthew 7:7 – Seek and you will find. Ask and the door will be opened to you.
vii. Matthew 27:57-28:5 – Speaks of the door or gate to Jesus tomb which had a rock over it but was removed for all to see that He was no longer in the grave.
viii. Revelation 3:8 – Jesus tells the church that He has placed an open door that no man can shut.
ix. Revelation 4:1 - 1After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”
x. Revelation 3:20 - 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
T.S. - So when Jesus states, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” (John 10:9). We get a little better understanding of what He is saying to the people of the day and to us today as the church.
II. The spiritual meaning of ’The gate" or “The door”.
a. The Greek Exegesis of the Greek term "I am the gate".
i. Gate or Door - Thura Thoo-rah! The opening or the closure.
1. Old Testament models for the shepherd image, for going in and out, and for door prediction (especially in the messianic context of Ps. 118:19-21: "Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. 21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation."
2. The basic lesson here is that Christ alone mediates membership in the messianic community and reception of its blessing of salvation and eternal life.
3. The idea of door/gate eschatology denotes the granting of salvation for the symbol of the open door whereas the symbol of the closed door is defined as the refusal of salvation.
b. Jesus is the real messiah – the door to Heaven – the door or gate to the Holy of Holies with God. He is the true Messiah – He is the only way to the Father! He is the Door – the entrance to eternal life.
i. IVP Bible Background Commentary states this about our passage:
1. The original text of the Bible had no chapter breaks; this passage continues Jesus’ words to the *Pharisees in 9:41. It is based on *Old Testament images of God as the shepherd of Israel (Gen 48:15; 49:24; Ps 23:1; 28:9; 77:20; 78:71; Isaiah 40:11; Ezek 34:11-31), of Israel as his flock (Ps 74:1; 78:52; 79:13; 100:3) and of abusive or unfaithful religious leaders as destroyers of his flock (Jer 23:1-2; Ezek 34). Faithful human shepherds (Jer 3:15) included Moses, David (2 Sam 5:2; Ps 78:71-72) and the Davidic *Messiah (Mic 5:4).
ii. A quote from John’s Wonderful Gospel: Two important details must be kept in mind. (1) The shepherd was NOT the door, and (2) this parable was spoken to religious leaders who claimed to be shepherds of God’s flock. These men had demonstrated they were not true shepherds, for they sought to destroy Christ and had excommunicated one of God’s true children. They were the thieves and the robbers who had not entered by God’s appointed way into God’s appointed work. In contrast to their questionable entry, every detail of the Lord’s coming had been accurately foretold; nothing had been left to chance. The prophets revealed the manner and place of His birth, and their predictions had been fulfilled. He was indeed the true Shepherd; He had nothing to hide.
1. Video Illustration of Lee Strobel Case for Christ sharing the fulfillment of Jesus and prophecy.
iii. When Jesus spoke he would use everyday life to make spiritual applications. This scenario is no different. One of the most familiar sights in Eastern countries is to see the shepherd leading his flock either to pasture or to the fold – the coral.
1. In Middle East culture shepherding was a way of life for many. The two "I Am" statements in this chapter are both associated with the common practice of shepherding. When Jesus united the door and good shepherd "I Am" statements the Jews would have understood His terminology. They would known that the true shepherd was the door and the door was controlled by the Good Shepherd.
2. If you have studied Christ’s sayings you would observe that He taught His followers by using actual experiences that they could relate to. You could say Jesus was culturally sensitive to where his followers mind sets were.
a. Chilton notes, "The sheepfold Jesus was thinking about was an open space surrounded by a wall, with but one opening and here the shepherd took up His position as the door. It was this that the sheep literally and actually came in and out through Him. Thus they were watched over, cared for, counted and examined to see if any were hurt. If they were hurt, the Good Shepherd would anoint with a healing oil to help facilitate healing in the sheep. He would know His sheep so well they would be named and the sheep would also know their shepherd’s voice. (pg. 49.)
3. The sheep never made a mistake when they heard their shepherd’s call, they knew their Shepherd’s voice.
T.S. – The gate or the door to eternal life is controlled by the Good Shepherd and it’s the gateway to eternal life and only Jesus opens or closes it.
III. THE RESPONSE OF THE JEWS TO JESUS’ "I AM’ STATEMENTS (John 9, 10:22-42)
a. Historical setting of this section starts in chapter 9.
i. The incident that set up Jesus’ “I am” statement.
1. See John 9:1-41 – He healed a blind man on the Sabbath.
a. This angered the religious leaders.
i. They questioned the man healed.
b. They said Jesus could not be from God because he healed on the Sabbath!
i. The Jews did not believe in the miracle the man was faking to make Jesus look good.
1. So they sent for his parents to confirm the miracle.
a. They did!
b. They asked well how can he see now?
i. The parents say ask him- he is of age!
ii. Notice the fear of the religious leaders by the parents.
c. They summon the man healed to them again.
i. They call Jesus a sinner!
1. The healed man says “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
ii. They question him more and he then asks a question that drives them into a rage.
1. “Do you want to become his disciple, too?”
a. You have to laugh!
2. They then hurled insults at him!
a. They were mad that he was healed – bottom line!
3. They rebuke him and cast him out of the synagogue.
d. Jesus finds him afterwards and leads him to the truth.
i. He believes and worships the Lord.
ii. Jesus then enters into the teaching about, “Spiritual blindness and who is the door – the real door to salvation.”
1. It’s not them – it’s Him.
ii. The after part of the story focuses on the Feast of Dedication – Hanukkah – John 10:22-42
1. Historically a minor Jewish festival. Note there is no Old Testament reference to this feast.
a. It has evolved into one of the most festive since Christ’s death because it falls so close to Christmas.
b. Hanukkah is observed for 8 days.
2. This feast commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over King Antiochus Epiphanes and his Syrian-Greek forces in 165 B.C.
a. The primary sources for knowledge of the events of Hanukkah are the 1st and 2nd books of Maccabees, which although not canonized as part of the Jewish Bible itself, do constitute part of Jewish apocryphal literature.
b. Note Eckstein. "Like the book of Maccabees, both Maimonides and the special liturgical prayer recited on this holiday suggest that the principle miracle celebrated on Hanukkah is that of the military victory that enabled the Jews to rededicate the temple and to worship God freely. Hanukkah marks the victory of the few over the many, of the weak over the mighty, and of those with faith in God and commitment to religious freedom over the pagan tyrants of the world. The Talmud and later tradition maintain that in addition to the miracle of the military victory, another miracle took place. They suggest that as the Jews purified the temple, they were able to find only one remaining flask of pure olive oil, capable of keeping the eternal light burning for only one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days and eight nights, after which time they were able to find new oil." (Pg. 138)
ii. The challenge and their unbelief.
1. Verse 24 could be a reference to a challenge to Christ. They are saying if you are Christ the Messiah then lets military overthrow - the Romans.
a. This ties into the celebration they are participating in currently.
b. Hanukkah celebrates a military victory and the Jews want another one right now.
2. Jesus affirms once again He and the Father are ONE in the same. He is the "I Am" of the Old Testament.
a. Jesus knows his mission and plan and no religious leader is going to change that mission.
b. No demand of the crowd is going to side track the plan of God to deliver this people and others from sin.
3. Note -- it’s important to remember that miracles always point to Jesus’ divinity and Messiah-ship.
a. Jesus reminds the Jews of this.
b. Jesus did the miracles around His “I Am” statements to verify that He is the Promised Messiah.
c. The Jewish leadership just refused to accept these miracles as from God and as confirmation of Jesus deity.
i. They were blinded by pride and deceived by the enemy and in turn they missed their own Messiah.
ii. Instead of rallying behind their Messiah they caused division and dissension in the nation against Him.
iii. It would cost them dearly in the end!
1. Because the door to eternal life would be locked and shut for them. They would never enter into Heaven!
APPLICATION OF CHAPTER 10 AND THE "I AM’ STATEMENTS.
• Christ is the door.
o Augustine’s View: Augustine connects this passage with Ch. 9 by emphasizing that there is one right way of entering, and the Pharisees did not use it. He also says, "there are many who, according to a custom of this life, are called good people, -- good men, good women, innocent, and observers as it were of what is commanded in law; paying respect to their parents, abstaining from adultery, doing no murder, committing no theft, giving no false witness against any one, and observing all else that the law requires -- yet are not Christians -- Pagans may say, then, We live well. If they enter not by the door, what good will that do them, whereof they boast?" (XLV. 2; P. 250)
• Christ is the only gate or door into heaven.
o Religion will not get you into heaven and works will not. Only Jesus can!
o He has opened the door it is our choice whether we walk through that door or not!
Jesus is the door to everything in life, he is the door to peace, to righteousness, to salvation, to heaven, to a relationship with the Father, there are not two or even 40 doors to choose from there is only one door which offers all these blessings and eternal life.
A lot of people want to add Jesus to their life but still walk and choose others doors to go through and they even expect that Jesus is going to tag along with them.
Problem is our independent spirit tells us that we can do all things ourselves. If you put God first then the other things come but you have to come in through the door of Jesus any other way is wrong. Thieves and robbers try using other gateways to get to eternal life in Heaven.
End with: Al Denson – the song the door! This song is sung by Steph.