“I am the Door”. What Did Jesus MEAN by That?

The third I AM statement we’ll consider is, “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? Could he be 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?

The Answer Is D, All of the Above

The Old Testament often refers to men going “in and out”, inferring that their public lives were visible depending on which doors they went through and what they did. Perhaps Jesus was calling attention to his values and way of life… Or, could he be referring to the Passover in Egypt, 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.

The  Hebrew way of thinking would embrace all possible applications of what the door represented; 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.

A Deeper Dive Into Doors

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) Paul was “doing life” with them, and they watched him carefully.

Many Doors, One Choice

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. He provided us an alternative to all of the doors in the world.

I think it’s instructive that Jesus said, “I am THE door.” He did not say he was “A” door, a portal from among many that we could choose. He was very specific. Jesus offered no alternative doors, no other options. He boldly claimed to be the one logical point of access to God. If that claim is true, it makes all of the other things about his metaphor true as well.

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.

Which Door Do You Choose?

"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 that 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 impart 
Eternal life--that's just the start-- 
And a chance to have a brand-new heart.
Life is real: You're not playing a part! 
So, Knock, and enter, if you're smart!

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