“I AM…” – How Jesus Meets Our Deepest Needs
3. The Door
John 10: 1 - 10
Doors are some of the most common things in the world, present in some form in all societies and cultures. Don’t you love how Jesus takes what is common in order teach us profound truth about His worth and His work? We’ve already seen that He takes ordinary bread and declares Himself to be the extraordinary Bread of Life. We learned that the qualities of light reflect the kind of Saviour He is when He said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Now He says –“I am the door.” Let’s make a few observations.
1. This phrase is both personal and powerful.
Like He does with the other Messiah Metaphors, Jesus states strongly: “I, even I, and only I, am the door.” His listeners would have immediately thought of Exodus 3: 14: “I AM WHO I AM.” This is a staggering statement of His sovereign supremacy.
2. Jesus is contrasting himself with the phony Pharisees.
In particular, He is referring to the events of chapter 9 in which He gave sight to a man who was born blind. Because of a chapter break, it’s easy to think that chapter 10 is a different conversation. The Pharisees ostracized this new believer - “they cast him out.” Because of this, Jesus accuses them of being thieves and robbers.
3. The setting is a normal day for sheep and a shepherd.
v. 1 – 5 - it’s morning and the shepherd is gathering his flock.
v. 7 – 10 - the time moves to midday and the shepherd is feeding his flock. Shepherding was not only an important job in that society; the metaphor itself was employed time and again in the Scriptures to show God’s loving heart toward His lambs.
Psalm 100: 3 “Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
Let’s think for a moment about what a door does. Go ahead and shout out what a door is designed to do. To provide an entrance. To provide an exit To provide a noise and weather barrier To provide safety and security.
With all that as background, let’s unpack v. 9, 10.
Jesus the Door meets 3 of our most important needs:
Salvation Safety Satisfaction
1. The Door of Salvation
“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…” The first thing we discover is that the door is a person (“I am”) and the way in is personal (“if anyone”). Jesus declares that He is the door and that the only entrance is “by me.”
An Arab shepherd showed off his sheep enclosure to a tourist and said confidently, “When the sheep go in there they are perfectly safe.” To which the tourist asked, “Why doesn’t your pen have a door on it?” The shepherd responded, “I am the door. After my sheep are in the pen, I lie across the opening. No sheep will step over me and no wolf can get in without getting past me first.”
That’s why Jesus can mix metaphors so easily. He’s the shepherd who goes through the door and He’s the door Himself. The shepherd lays down His life for the sheep because His body is the very door that provides the entrance for salvation.
A. A single entrance.
A sheepfold only had one entry point. Just as Noah was instructed to make only one door into the ark, so too, there is just one way to be saved from certain destruction. While this is not very popular in our politically correct culture, all roads do not lead to heaven. We don’t all worship the same God. Sincerity doesn’t get you there. Good works aren’t good enough. Jesus is the only way.
Acts 4: 12: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
B. Anyone can enter.
Salvation is available for all: “if anyone enters by me.” It’s not limited to one group of people but is intended for the whole world. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how you’ve been living. Jesus is the door of deliverance and yet people continue to look for other ways. The only way in is by relationship, not ritual or religious activity because Christianity is Christ Himself.
Romans 10: 13: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
C. Discipleship is demanding.
While the way is open, it’s certainly not easy to follow Jesus. Mark 8: 34: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
D. A response is necessary.
While the door is open 24/7, an individual must “enter” in order to be saved. One must believe and receive. 2 Corinthians 6: 2: “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.” Before leaving this point, notice that Jesus doesn’t say you might be saved or mabye you’ll get in, but rather: “If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…”
Q: Have you entered the door of salvation?
2. The Door of Safety
The first thing we’re given is salvation. Secondly, the sheep know they are safe because the shepherd is protecting them. The sheep “will go in and out…” The sheep were safe inside the fold and they were secure out in the pasture because the shepherd was with them. This was a Hebrew phrase for going about one’s business. It’s the idea of everyday living. Deuteronomy 28: 6: “You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.”
Psalm 121: 8: “The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
I like that we get to “go in and out.” We come in to gather, grow and give in order to go out! We can come in and go out with freedom because Jesus doesn’t want us to live life shackled down with rules and regulations. Whether we’re in the pen or out in the pastures, we pass through Jesus and receive His grace.
With all that is happening in our world right now, isn’t it good to know that our faith gives us freedom to trust that the Redeemer is our refuge? We can go about our daily routines and be confident about our salvation and about our ultimate safety, even if the Lord were to call us home sooner than we expect.
3. The Door of Satisfaction
There’s one more guarantee - the promise that we will experience satisfaction: “…and find pasture…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
A. Jesus meets the needs of those in his flock.
Notice that the sheep go in and go out and “find pasture.” As we learned, the hunger of the human soul can only be satisfied by the Bread of Life. Are you feeding upon Him daily? Did you know that sheep won’t settle down until their needs are met?
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” Since the Lord is my shepherd I will not lack anything that is really necessary and good for me. Friend, if Jesus is your shepherd, everything else is secondary. One of the best definitions of contentment I’ve ever heard is this: Contentment is not having everything you want. Contentment is wanting everything you have. If the Lord is your shepherd, you have everything you need.
B. Satan uses sinister ways to wipe people out.
We see this in the first part of v.10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” The devil’s design is to steal, to kill and to destroy and he never gives up. Notice the progression. First he steals and then he slaughters and finally he annihilates. If you don’t know Christ today, you need to know that Satan is coming after you. He wants to keep you from the entrance to salvation. If you’re a believer, his desire is to prevent you from living life to its fullest. He wants to keep you from being saved, to make you feel insecure and to steal your satisfaction.
1 Peter 5: 8, 9 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” James 4: 7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Satan is behind the taking of all life because he is a thief who steals, kills and destroys. The adversary celebrates suicides, applauds abortions and moves humans to murder each other. There are at least 3 things the thief does in our lives today.
He steals our first love. We used to be on fire for God. Our appetite for His Word was voracious, our witness was strong, and our prayers were intense but now we’re just going through the motions.
He kills our joy. He loves to get us to blame God and others for the bad things that have happened to us. The devil wants us to see live as drudgery.
He destroys our purpose. Some of you have been knocked off track and you’ve stopped serving the Saviour.
C. Jesus longs for us to live an abundant life.
Jesus came to give us more than just freedom and even more than just food. He wants us to experience fullness. Unfortunately, many of us are just limping through life as we stumble along in survival mode. Jesus not only came to save, and to give you safety, He also came to satisfy: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Means -“beyond what is necessary,” “exceeding,” “superabundant.” Believer, are you living that kind of life right now? Psalm 23: 5: “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” This principle of abundance is clearly outlined throughout Scripture:
Psalm 36: 8: “They feast on the abundance of your house and you give them drink from the river of your delights.”
Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think…”
Romans 5:20: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
Eternal life is forever but it doesn’t start once you die. It begins as soon as you are saved! He has chosen you and He has a mission for your life. Are you tuned in to Him or have you allowed Satan to steal some things from you? Genesis 14:16 tells us that Abraham “recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions…” It’s time to recover your stolen property and get your love, joy and purpose back!
Jesus wants us SAVED, SAFE and SATISFIED. Are you?
There are only two groups of people here today. Those who are saved and those who are not…yet. You’ve either entered the door of salvation or you’re still standing outside that door. Because of that, I want to gear the application of this message to both groups. I looked up a bunch of passages that have the word “door” in them and narrowed it down to 6 – 3 geared to those who are not yet saved and 3 for those who by God’s grace have been saved but don’t feel safe or satisfied.
Action Steps for the Unsaved
1. Admit that sin is crouching at your door.
Genesis 4: 7: “And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
2. Enter the narrow door of salvation right now.
Matthew 7: 13, 14: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
3. Be saved before the door shuts.
Matthew 25: 10 - 13: “And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Action Steps for the Saved
1. Open the door to Christ and restore your relationship with Him. We often quote Revelation 3:20 in our evangelism efforts but it’s actually directed to Christians and to churches who’ve shut the Savior out: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
2. Stop grumbling because the Judge is at the door.
James 5: 9: “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”
3. Live on mission and go through open doors. God will open doors and we must go through them, knowing it will be difficult, but ultimately satisfying. 1 Corinthians 16: 9: “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
I want to challenge you to do something right now that could set your life in a whole new direction.