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In his fallenness, man has lost his access to the presence and fellowship of his good and caring Creator. This has led to a great chasm of sin, guilt, and shame which has indeed separated him from his only God. The Bible teaches man is not only separated from his Creator, but also has gone astray from Him. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – everyone - to his own way,” says the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 53:6, ESV). This is utter hopelessness for the sons of Adam. The sheep that have gone astray require a good shepherd who will bring them to the sheepfold. There is hope that the loss of access and fellowship with his good Creator can be found. This is hope that does not disappoint.
However, the bridge to this separation and lost access cannot be found in science or society. Neither in education nor the elites of the age. Man’s wisdom, wealth, and power suffer grave poverty before this great separation. All his good works, wealth, and wisdom are not sufficient to bridge the gap and bring him to His God.
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, ESV) We find the exact imprint of this truth in John 10:9 in our Lord’s exclusive and bold claim of Himself being the door, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (ESV). The words that proceed from the mouth of our Saviour are life and hope.
In this article, we will see in three parts what Jesus meant when He claimed that He is the ‘Door.’
Jesus - The Door To Salvation
“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved,..” says our Lord. It would not be wrong, after considering this verse, to say that Christianity is exclusive in its claim, but also inclusive in its call. Let me make my point.
In the previous section of John 10, when Jesus spoke of the door, he meant that anyone can enter into the service and care of His sheepfold. But in this verse, the understanding of the door has shifted to the way of salvation which is offered to anyone who will put their faith in Christ alone. We find a similar claim of Jesus in John 3:16. There is no other door to salvation, except Christ alone. Not through our good works, religiosity, sincerity, charity, obedience. Nor can salvation come from any government, society, tribe, or ethnicity. We have heard the famous saying, “All roads lead to Rome.” Not all religions lead to the one true living God. Not all doors lead to life. It is only through Christ alone that leads man into a relationship with God and eternal life. We as Christians must guard this claim of absolute truth amidst its rising denial both in society and in many churches. Christianity will cease to be authentic, if we fail to guard the exclusivity of Christ.
But, consider our Lord’s inclusive call: anyone says our Lord. Though the way of salvation is limited to Christ alone, it is for anyone who will enter through faith in Him alone. Concerning our salvation, there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, asserts the Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:28. The door of salvation is wide open to anyone who will come through faith in the finished work of Christ. There is no discrimination of gender, caste, or tribe in this call offered by Christ for salvation. It is open to all men who will believe. Salvation is for anyone who will come to Christ. The fountain of living water is open to those who are thirsty and will come to drink it.
Jesus -The Door To Security
“…will go in and out..” This phrase and the next carries the idea of the sheep under the protection and guidance of a good shepherd. We saw this in the preceding verses of the same chapter (vs. 3-5). Under the guidance of this good shepherd, the sheep are safe from the attacks of animals and from the danger of wandering away. Their going in and out from the sheepfold is under the protective guidance of the shepherd. The sheep do not have to worry about leading them astray. They know their shepherd’s voice and trust him. Moreover, their shepherd knows them well. In John 10:3, Jesus says, “…he calls his own sheep by name.”
Dear Christian, we have the privilege of enjoying security under the guidance and protection of Christ our good shepherd. Although the rage and attacks of Satan towards us are continuous and great, Christ’s protection is greater still. Peter pictured the tempter as a raging lion, but take heart, we have the Lion of Judah protecting us. Whatever the condition or phase of life we may be in, may our hearts find confidence in the truth that we are under the guidance and protection of our Good Shepherd. Christ is holding us fast as he sits enthroned at the right hand of His Father. He is continually interceding for us (Rom. 8:34). So, let us trust Him.
Jesus – The Door To Satisfaction
“…and find pasture.” The shepherd not only protects and guides his sheep, but he also feeds his sheep. Not only do the sheep not have to worry about being secured from the attacks of various animals, but also from worrying about the satisfaction of their bellies. The sheep find pasture because their shepherd has found it for them in the first place. He makes them lie down in good and green pastures. They enjoy the privilege of satisfying their hunger by feeding themselves upon the pasture their shepherd has found for them.
This is true for anyone who has and will put their faith in Christ alone for salvation. By the virtue of what Christ has accomplished on our behalf on the cross. Because of His atoning, substitutionary sacrifice and triumphant resurrection, He is our Good Shepherd who satisfies His people. We find our satisfaction in Him alone. Not in power nor might, neither in money nor possession, but in what He has for us. He satisfies us by His immeasurable grace and goodness bestowed daily upon us. He satisfies our every spiritual hunger. For the believer, Christ is satisfying in all ways. He satisfies us with eternal life, His word, promises, and hope.
Dear Christian, are you satisfied with having Christ as yours? Can you and I, with David, say, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want?”(Ps 23:1) I confess (and I am not proud about this) that there are times when I crave satisfaction in the things of the world. For example, in my family, friends, good achievements, and ministry. If you are someone like me, we both would admit that such cravings have never satisfied our desires. The reason for such inadequacy is simple – only Christ can truly and fully satisfy us. By the power of the Spirit, Christ alone is all satisfying. Daily, our fleshly desires are being buffeted and brought under submission to this truth.
Jesus is the Door of which no one can enter, except by faith. Through this door, man experiences the forgiveness of sins, security, and satisfaction. If the Jewish family that put the blood of a lamb on its door frame in the first Passover was spared from the death of their firstborn, how much more are we as believers spared from death through the true Lamb of God, Jesus? (see Ex. 12:7-13). The first Passover was but a shadow of the latter. Through the first, one was delivered from physical death (which is temporal), but through the latter one is delivered from eternal spiritual death. If you are a non-Christian reading this, I pray that you would not harden your heart to the call Christ is offering to you. Would you put your faith and trust in Christ who is the only door to salvation, today? It will be very expensive for you in eternity if you will deny Christ’s soft and tender call to salvation. Let nothing hold you back from entering this door to secure and satisfying eternal life.