I AM the Door of the sheep

“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” John 10:7

This is the 3rd I AM statement of Jesus found in the gospel of John. In previous I AM articles from FT, we are seeing Jesus’s use of the ‘I AM’ as His claim to be God. Jesus again in this verse above affirms Himself as the I AM from Exodus 3:14, God in the flesh and He adds to this claim a metaphor of Himself as ‘The Door of the sheep’. In this article we want to further breakdown this I AM statement along with these verses in its context. We want to find out what Jesus is meaning when He refers to Himself as the door for the sheep.

We want to make note that chapter 10 is a continuation from the story of Jesus healing a man born blind in chapter 9. Interestingly it was taught by the pharisees that someone who heals a person with a defect from birth, like someone born blind is a miracle only the Messiah can perform. However, the pharisees do x2 things here,

1. They reject this messianic miracle by Jesus, and

2. They reject the man healed by Jesus and kick him out of the synagogue.

The fact that these spiritual leaders of Israel kicked out this man from the synagogue sets up Jesus statements and hard rebuke that follow in John 10.

Jesus begins this statement with the words ‘Truly, Truly.’ In the Greek it is translated ‘Amen, Amen’. When the word Amen is used like after prayer for example, it is saying that we agree to what has been said and we affirm it as true. When the ‘Amen’ is used before a statement is made, it means that what is going to be said is true. The fact that Jesus uses the Amen twice at the start of this statement, puts emphasis that the audience (in this case the pharisees) need to pay attention to what He is going to say, because what follows is true and of utmost importance.

I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. The next part we want to deal with is this metaphor Jesus gives us of Himself as the door for the sheep. To have a better understanding we must first look at sheep farming in His time. Sheepfolds were made with high walls and only one entrance. The door for these sheepfolds would be the Shepherd Himself. It would be the shepherd who would lay down at night by the entrance. He would keep the sheep safe in the sheep fold, and his job was to keep out any predators like wolves. A good shepherd would lay down his life to protect his sheep from danger. When Jesus says, ‘I AM the door’. He is saying that if you enter His sheepfold, He will lay down His life for you and keep you as His own. His sheepfold will be your safe haven, protecting you from the predators of the night that look to steal, kill and destroy. He is also making the claim that thru this door is where salvation is found and this is the entrance into the Kingdom of God.

True shepherds can only enter by the door or narrow way into the sheepfold. Those who do not come thru the door but find another way like climbing over the wall, will be entering illegally and therefore are thieves and robbers. When Jesus says ‘all who came before me are thieves and robbers,’ He is referring to the pharisees who kicked the man healed of His blindness from birth out of the synagogue. These spiritual leaders of Israel had entered into position of power by some other means (whether it be political, or by some other connections) their intentions weren’t to take care of the needs of the people, but they were in position of power for their own self gain. In today’s context of the church, anyone who enters into the pastoral office and offers salvation other than through Jesus alone is a thief and robber like the pharisees of Jesus day.

 ‘I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.’

‘I AM the Door’ – Jesus repeats this I AM statement again just in case the audience didn’t hear him the first time. ‘If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…’ – This is an open invitation to anyone to enter into His sheepfold and receive His salvation and protection. Whether you are a free man or a slave, rich or poor, man or woman, jew or gentile, etc. The offer is there for all to enter His salvation should they choose to enter through His door. ‘…and will go in and out and find pasture.’ Just like the sheep who enter the sheepfold to be protected from the predators at night, so we who enter through Jesus will be protected from the enemy the devil, who prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). And just like the sheep who willingly follow their shepherd to green pastures so we who have Jesus as our shepherd follow Jesus and trust Him for our eternal salvation. We follow Jesus and trust Him ‘to have life abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) The word abundantly here means to be satisfied and content. The life Jesus offers is a life that is satisfied and content in Him because we rest on His work that He has done. 

 The Bible is clear that we must put our faith and hope in Jesus alone as the only door that enters into the Kingdom of Heaven. By entering thru this door (Jesus) we can be reconciled and enter into a right relationship with God. We must believe in Jesus as both God and know there is no other way to be saved apart from believing in Jesus as Lord and saviour. ‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go by it. But small is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it.’

(Mat 7:13-14). If you haven’t made the decision to follow Jesus, we encourage you that by believing in His death, burial and resurrection we have an opportunity to be in right relationship with God. Turn to Jesus, repent of your sins, and trust in Him for your eternal salvation while you still have time.


 Freshtruth Ministries

The Holy Bible

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