This morning’s sermon on John 10:7-10 is now on the web. You can listen to it here.
Here is the story from the Bible scholar Sir George Adam Smith that so well illustrates what Jesus meant by His astonishing statement, I am the door of the sheep (v. 7 & 9).
He was one day traveling in Palestine with a guide, and came across a shepherd and his sheep. He fell into conversation with him. The man showed him the fold into which the sheep were led at night. It consisted of four walls, with a way in. Sir George said to him, “That is where they go at night?” “Yes,” said the shepherd, “and when they are in there they are perfectly safe.” “But there is no door,” said Sir George. “I am the door,” said the shepherd. He was not a Christian so he was not speaking the language of the New Testament. Rather, he was speaking from a Mid-Eastern shepherd’s point-of-view. Sir George looked at him and said, “What do you mean you are the door?” Said the shepherd, “When the light has gone, and all the sheep are inside, I lie in that open place, and no sheep ever goes out but across my body, and no wolf comes in unless he crosses my body; I am the door.”
Because Jesus is the door of the sheep, we should believe in Him as the Messiah and follow Him as opposed to false and harmful impostors. There are two implications that result. As the door Jesus alone dictates legitimate access to the sheep (7-8) and Jesus alone enables maximum benefit for the sheep (9-10) – salvation, security, sustenance, and satisfaction. This is the abundant life Jesus came to give!
This was a very enlightening sermon which has come to mind several times this week. I had never heard of the shepherd being the actual door in this way. I thought he was more of the one who opened and closed the door. Is this the same picture as in John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends? Are we the door for others as well (such as steering them away from sin, etc.)?
Thanks for the words of encouragement, Tonya, and your thoughtful reflections. Glad God has used the message in your life. I think there is a close connection to 15:13 which I will bring out in the later parts of this series. If we were to work the imagery farther in terms of how we relate to Jesus as the door I might suggest we act more like ushers or bellhops who help direct others to the doorway of salvation that is Jesus.