“A JOURNEY THROUGH THE GOSPEL OF JOHN” ST. JOHN 10:1-10
The Only Door – Christ I am told that the ancient sheepfold of that day still exists in many towns. In ancient Palestine, the sheepfold was a big enclosure in which shepherds would lead their sheep to find lodging for the night. The sheepfold had a large wall which kept robbers or any wild animal […]
The Only Door – Christ
I am told that the ancient sheepfold of that day still exists in many towns. In ancient Palestine, the sheepfold was a big enclosure in which shepherds would lead their sheep to find lodging for the night. The sheepfold had a large wall which kept robbers or any wild animal from harming the sheep. The shepherd would leave the sheep in the care of the porter, whose responsibility was to guard the big enclosure and protect the sheep. As the morning arises, the various shepherds would arrive at the sheepfold and call their sheep by name. Of course, the porter would identify the shepherd, who would call his sheep from among the many sheep. With this marvelous imagery in mind, Jesus Christ makes an emphatic and tremendous claim that He came in by the door – that is, He came and presented Himself legally to Israel. He came in fulfillment of all the predicted prophecy regarding His Messiah-ship in the Old Testament.
It is commonly agreed upon by many commentators that the sheepfold represents Israel. Therefore, in verses 1 and 2, Christ is saying that He came legally to the nation of Israel. Thus, His coming came in the precise and exact moment, for Galatians 4:4-5 says – “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” The “door” referred to in verses 1 and 2 was the only means of access into the sheepfold. In verse 3, the porter is the doorkeeper – the one who guarded the sheepfold. As the porter opens the door, the Shepherd calls His sheep, for the sheep will only respond to the voice of its Shepherd (v. 3). Do you really understand this imagery? Sheep will only respond to its Shepherd; not only that, but verse 4 brings out that sheep will follow their Shepherd.
The Shepherd would guide the sheep and they will follow! The Shepherd does not follow the sheep, but the sheep follows the Shepherd. Another genuine mark of a sheep is that they will not follow a stranger; they will only respond to the voice of the Shepherd, not strangers (v. 5). Whose voice are you following today? Genuine sheep will only respond to the authoritative voice of God. Where can we hear His voice – from His mighty word! As children of God, we cannot respond to the voice of false teachers because the Lord has given us the capacity to discern truth from error; moreover, we can detect falsehood because we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the “unction” (I John 2:20). In short, the Holy Spirit gives us the spirit of discernment to detect truth from error. It is awfully apparent from verse 6 that all who are not genuine sheep are not able to grasp the truth, even when it is presented clearly.
In verse 7, Jesus Christ makes another “I am” statement (see St. John 6:35, 8:12). Christ identifies Himself as the “door” – the only means of access to eternal life. It is awfully clear from verse 8 that the word “all” must not be understood in an absolute sense, but in a restricted way. In speaking of Shepherds, all of the Shepherds that appeared before Christ were not thieves and robbers. It is clear that certain men like Moses and David and others would not be included in the word “all”. It must be understood that in this verse that the Lord was speaking about false shepherds, such as the Scribes and Pharisees. In verse 9, Christ repeats the “I am the door” statement as found in verse 7.
Yes, the “Door” is God’s only provided means of entrance into the family of God. There was only one door into the Ark that provided a safe and secure shelter for Noah’s family from the flood. Likewise, there was only one door into the Tabernacle which led to the presence of Jehovah. There is only one door to the presence of the Father, for Acts 4:12 says: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” In verse 10, if any man wants to receive the abundant life that Christ only offers, he or she must accept Christ by faith – “the Door.” May God bless!