The third ‘I AM’ statement of Jesus differs from the first two. Statements 1 and 2, bread and light, are essential to life and in many ways it is easy to understand what Jesus is meaning when he compares himself to them. Jesus as the door takes a little bit more to fully grasp.
As we saw in previous weeks, context is vital to understanding these ‘I AM’ statements. David explained that the audience in this chapter are the Pharisees. This conversation has continued from chapter 9, where Jesus had healed a man born blind. When the Pharisees found out this miracle had happened on the Sabbath, they condemned Jesus and after questioning the man they rejected him too. They were assuming the role of the gatekeepers, deciding who got in and who was out! It is in this context that Jesus declares: “I am the door of the sheep”. It is through Jesus that the sheep gain access to the sheepfold. There is no other way, no other criterion for entry, only one door, that is Jesus.
In verses 9 and 10 Jesus explains what the door leads to: salvation, care and abundant life.
It is through Jesus and only Jesus that we are saved from the consequences of our sin. Jesus is the door to our salvation and the invitation is to all to enter through it and be saved. There is no other way, no alternative door, Jesus is THE door.
For the Pharisees this would have been hard to hear. They had written Jesus off and now he was saying he was the only door to salvation. It can be an offensive message for the 21st century world too. Making a claim of being the only way to be saved, in a world where we are encouraged to tolerate and accept others’ ideas and beliefs, is perceived as bigoted or arrogant. But this is what Jesus said.
The door also leads to provision and care. David directed our thoughts to Psalm 23:
This is not a promise of an easy life but one of comfort amid turmoil.
The door also leads to abundant life:
Jesus is the door to life in all its fullness. This abundant life is for here and now and for all eternity. As David explained, this is the life we were created for.
What started as an ‘I AM’ statement that maybe felt harder to understand, is one that is so full of promise and joy. Jesus is the door!
- Have you entered through this wonderful door? Have you believed in Jesus as the door to salvation, care and abundant life?
- Take some time to think through all you have in Christ in terms of salvation, care and abundant life. Thank him today for being the door to life.