I love the metaphors of the scriptures. They give one a distinct understanding of what is being said and provide a depth that unlocks spiritual truth. Jesus often spoke in such language. His desire was to give us an understanding of the reality of His Lordship and kingdom.
We find a metaphor snuggled into John, chapter 10, where Jesus is addressing the false religious leaders of the day. The context of this interaction starts in chapter nine, where Jesus displays His deity by healing a blind man. Of course, chaos erupts because the Pharisees are enraged that this healing happens on their holy day, the Sabbath. Their blindness concerning the deity of Jesus causes them to miss the miraculous event that is put on display for the whole world to see. It just doesn’t fit their theological system. So Jesus begins chapter 10 with a metaphor of a shepherd and his sheep. He wants the people to see that He is God, the Messiah, the anticipated redeemer of their lives. In the middle of this account the metaphor changes to a door. This is what He says in John 10:7–10, “. . . Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus says that not only is He the Shepherd to his Sheep, but He is the door of the sheepfold. Not only is He the one and only true Shepherd, which, as we know, means that He is the Messiah, the Chosen One, but He is the only One through whom men can be saved.
He is connecting this to the way a shepherd would gather His sheep for the day and care for them. There were times they would not be able to make it back to the village’s sheepfold by night. So the shepherd would have to lead his sheep to some sort of shelter where they would be closed in by all sides with only one entrance. The only way in and out of this makeshift sheepfold was through that one doorway. To protect the sheep, the shepherd would lie down in the opening.
Do you see what He is saying here? He is communicating that, spiritually speaking, there is only one way to get to heaven, only one way to eternal life, AND IT IS THROUGH HIM. He says that He is the “door.” He is the way. There is no back door to heaven. There is no other way in. It is through Jesus and Jesus alone, period. You can’t get there any other way but through Him, which means you must believe Him through faith and turn from your sins (repent) and receive His grace and forgiveness. Beloved, the question I leave with you today is, do you know Jesus the Good Shepherd? Have you come through the “door” that leads to salvation? I rejoice in those of you who have; and may those who haven’t come and find the One who will meet your greatest need today; come through the Door, and He will set you free.