“I am the Door.” What Do You Suppose Jesus Meant By That?

“I am the door.” (John 10:9, NKJV) This somewhat curious claim by Jesus is interesting. Is it an analogy? A metaphor? A literal statement? What does Jesus mean? Is he saying he is made of wood? Is he talking about the door to a sheep pen where the shepherd counts and secures his sheep, locking them away from the predators who would devour them? Is he referring to Proverbs’ claim that wisdom sits at the door?

door

Could he be referring to the Passover, where blood was smeared on the door posts to offer protection from death? Could he have meant the gates through which the king of glory would come in? Did he mean that He was the true doorway to God? Yes, yes, and yes. And in that culture and that time, the Jewish mind would also have seen the door as a portal which was actually representative of a man’s life. They observed where a man went and what he did as the indicators of his character and substance. In Deuteronomy 31:2, Moses said, “I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in.” David prayed in Psalm 139:3, “You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” Achish complimented David in 1 Samuel 29:6 by saying, “Surely, as the Lord lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army is good in my sight” The OT often spoke of a man’s “going out and coming in”, meaning that a man’s private righteousness should be consistent with the face he wore in public. Apparently that description was still common in Jesus’ day, since Luke described how the disciples began to trust Paul after his conversion in this way: “So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.” (Acts 9:28) It was only by observing and comparing a man’s private life and his public one that you could truly know who he was. What doors does he open? Where does he go when he goes out? What do you observe at the portal of a man’s heart? I think Jesus was tapping into that whole line of thinking, and providing us an alternative to all of the doors in the world. When he said “I am the door”, he was offering security and protection; He was opening the storehouse of wisdom; He was shielding us from the Angel of Death; and most of all, He was standing upon his integrity and inviting you to partner with him in all of your “going out and coming in”. You can walk through a lot of doors, and stay relatively unaffected. But I warn you: if you walk through THAT door, your life will never be the same.

"Let's Make a Deal!" Was the name of the show,
And the game show host was Monte Hall;
The people guessed prices and hoped to go
To the Final Round and win it all!

And Monte's amazing salesman's voice
Would offer the possibility
Of fabulous prizes! Make your choice:
Is it door number one, or door number three?

Well, all of us here are playing this game,
And each of us has a chance to choose;
The world offers doors of wealth or fame,
So tempting: what have you got to lose?
But I'd say this: if you want something more,
Reject the way the world keeps score,
And listen to the man who IS the door.
His fabulous parting gifts will soar 
Much higher than the world's, for sure...

 

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