April 01, 2013
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
“I am the door; by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved and shall go in and out …”
The imagery is simple in the sense that it is easily understood: a door provided egress and ingress. To the audience who heard Him, the imagery would be even more graphic. To them, the door of the sheep meant the means by which the sheep entered and exited the fold. By His self-reference to being the door, they would have understood that He was taking full responsibility for the welfare of the flock. He, bodily, would lie across the opening into the fold and serve as a human door. None could enter except through Him; none could exit apart from going ‘through’ Him.
As the Door, He was guaranteeing the salvation of all who entered through Him. Our responsibility is to trust ourselves to this Shepherd. His responsibility is to give salvation, to impart life, to all who enter. “By Me if any man enter, he shall be saved.”(10:9) Nothing could be clearer than the fact that He is assuring the entrants of eternal life.
But as the Door, He has also become responsible for our preservation. Liberty to go in and out is ours. We need fear no foe; we do not cringe before any power. Like Paul in Romans 8, we survey the entire spectrum of potential opponents and recognize that our Shepherd is greater than all. Nothing can separate us from Him.
As the Door of the sheep, He is responsible for our satisfaction as well. We can go in and out with freedom, and we can find pasture. His promise is that we will find pasture; that we will know a life that is more abundant (v 10) than we could ever have known without Him.
His sacrifice will be more graphically and clearly referred to under the imagery of the Shepherd, yet it is not totally absent from the metaphor of the door. As the Door, He exposes Himself to all that would threaten the sheep. He became the target of all the thieves and robbers. All they would seek to inflict upon the sheep, they did to Him. They came to steal, kill, and destroy (v 10). Unable to get their hands on the sheep, they sought to do it all to the Door of the sheep: to strip Him of honor and glory, to take His life, and to destroy Him and His Name from the earth. They all rose up against the Door of the sheep and He willingly endured all they could possibly do in order to protect us.
1. One of John’s themes throughout his Gospel is the contrast between Adam and Christ. Contrast Christ as the door as suggested above with how Adam responded to the inquiries of God in Genesis 3.
2. Compare and contrast the door of John 10 with that of Genesis 6:16; 7:16.