Jesus said, “I am the door; if anyone enters through me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. John 10: 9,10 John is contrasting Jesus to the religious leaders of the day who were more interested in feeding off the flock than feeding the flock. To Jesus, these religious hypocrites are thieves, murderers and plunderers. They try to make the people earn their way into the fold and anyone who can’t pay the toll are allowed to become prey for the enemy. But Jesus is the true way to salvation. Anyone who trusts in Him shall be saved and find rest. Do you remember the 23rd Psalm where the Shepherd leads the flock to green pastures and gives them rest? Anyone who follows Jesus is promised to find nourishment and safety in the arms of Christ. Not only are we to have life, but Jesus tells us it is to be abundant.
Provisions and proximity to the Shepherd, not necessarily the enclosure, provide the safety and security of the flock. When Christians depend upon walls to protect themselves from danger, they often inadvertently cut themselves off from society as a whole. The result is, the church becomes little more than a prison keeping the faithful locked up inside while everyone else is locked out. This might sound harsh, but it’s not meant to be. Most people who don’t enter through the Door have been turned off or discouraged in their lives, not by God, but by the attitudes and insensitivity of Christians. It is sad to say, but often we have more in common with the religious leaders who persecuted Jesus than we do with Jesus Himself. Whenever we put up barriers and walls we are saying the Inn is full, no vacancies.
How different from Jesus view that says, “I am the Door.” Salvation is open to anyone who enters. There are no walls of separation in God’s world. We are all welcome and wanted. The promise couldn’t be clearer, “if anyone enters through me, he shall be saved.” Redemption is the free gift of God for all who would enter in, but we must enter through the door. “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.” John 10:1 You can’t work your way into the Kingdom of God and you can’t sneak in by trying to scale the wall and drop in unseen amongst the true flock. Jesus knows His own. I often wonder why so many people are so determined to spend their lives trying to prove to God they are good enough for salvation when God offers it freely. Why don’t we just trust Him? He says, I am your Redeemer, the door is open, the party is inside, come in and rejoice with my friends. All it takes from us is the trust to cross the threshold. What I love about this door is that it has no bouncer, just a doorkeeper to open it wide for whoever would enter in.
Next post we will take a closer look at the doorkeeper, the Good Shepherd.