The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them
to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
January 19, 2014
1) I Am the Door (Bobby Witherington)
2) News & Notes
I Am the Door
by Bobby Witherington
"Then Jesus said to them again, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, I am
the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves
and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the
door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved; and will go in
and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to
steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they may
have life, and that they may have it more abundantly'" (John
In these verses we are introduced to another of the "I Am"
statements of Jesus. By the expression, "I Am," we call to
mind the discussion Jesus had with the Christ-rejecting Pharisees as
is recorded in John 8:13-59. These leaders among the Jews
claimed to be "Abraham's descendants," having never been "in bondage
to anyone" (v. 33). However, Jesus informed them that if they
really were Abraham's children they "would do the works of Abraham"
(v. 39). In reality, while they boasted of being "Abraham's
descendants," their spiritual "father" was "the devil" (John
8:44)! Tragically, theirs was a case of mistaken spiritual
identity! However, they continued to interrogate Jesus whom
they accused of having "a demon" (John 8:48). But Jesus
proceeded to assert his own authority and even promised, saying, "If
anyone keeps my word he shall never see death" (John 8:51). At
this point the Jewish leaders asked Jesus, "Are you greater than our
father Abraham, who is dead?" (John 8:53). Jesus, of course,
knew that he was the particular "seed" of Abraham Whom God had in
mind when the promise was made (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:16; Matt.1:1), and
he was aware of Abraham's faith in God's promise. Hence, he
said to the Pharisees, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day,
and he saw it and was glad" (v. 56).
By this point in their discussion, the Jewish leaders were really
perplexed; therefore they said to Jesus, "You are not yet fifty
years old, and have You seen Abraham" (v. 57)? To their
amazement, Jesus replied, saying, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58)!
This "I AM" statement of Jesus reminds us of Exodus the third
chapter. According to the contents thereof, God had instructed
Moses to deliver the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, so Moses
inquired as to what answer he would give when the Israelites would
ask him concerning the "name" of the one who sent him. And God
replied, saying, "you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has
sent me to you" (Exod. 3:14). In this statement the eternality
of God is necessarily inferred. God has never been, and will never
be, a "has been" God; yea, he is "from everlasting to everlasting"
(Ps. 90:2)! And in his discussion with the Pharisees in John,
chapter 8, Jesus used the same expression to refer to himself!
In essence, he affirmed his own deity and divinity. Of course,
if Jesus were simply a mere man, an "ordinary guy," as some have
mistakenly affirmed, such a statement would have been blasphemous in
nature. Hence, the Jews, who so regarded him, "took up stones
to throw at Him" (John 8:59).
However, concerning himself, Jesus said more than just "I AM."
To the contrary, he affixed the "I AM" statement with other
affirmations which would have been ludicrous for anyone other than a
divine being to make. Accordingly, he said, "I am the bread of
life" (John 6:35, 48); "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12;
9:5); "I am the door of the sheep" (John 10:7); "I am the door"
(John 10:9); "I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11, 14); "I am the
resurrection and the life" (John 11:25); "I am the way, the truth,
and the life" (John 14:6), and "I am the true vine" (John 15:1,
5). Properly understood, each of these "I AM" statements
constitutes a "sermon within itself." In this article, we
shall henceforth focus our attention upon one of these statements;
namely, "I am the Door" (John 10:9).
To be better able to appreciate this "I Am" saying, it is
appropriate to consider some background material. In John 9 we
read of Jesus, on the Sabbath, healing a man of blindness; yea, a
man who had been "blind from birth." The Pharisees inquired as
to what had happened, and the man whom Jesus had healed, replied,
saying, "A man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said
to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.' So I went and
washed, and I received sight" (9:11). Gradually, as the
chapter unfolds, the formerly blind man went from calling Jesus "a
man," to calling him "a prophet," to the point of confessing his
faith that Jesus is "the Son of God!" Of course, the Pharisees
had already decreed that anyone who confessed that Jesus "was
Christ" would "be put out of the synagogue" (John 9:22). As
the chapter concluded, Jesus, in essence, accused them of being
"blind" (vv. 40, 41); yea, they were "blind leaders of the blind!"
(cf. Matt. 15:14). Contextually, these were the people to whom
Jesus spoke at the conclusion of chapter 9 and the beginning of
Hence, contextually speaking, in John 10 wherein Jesus spoke of "the
sheepfold" (v. 1), "the shepherd of the sheep" (v. 2), called
himself "the door of the sheep" (v. 7), and referred to himself as
"the good shepherd" (v. 11), he was speaking to some self-righteous,
self-centered, "blind" religious leaders who regarded themselves as
the means of entrance into God's blessings, and as being shepherds
of God's people! This illustrates the fact that the most
deceived of all people are some who purport to be religious
leaders! We now (finally!) return to our topic, it being:
"I Am The Door"
Please note that Jesus said, "I am the door of the sheep" (v. 7),
and "I am the door" (v. 9). If Jesus is "the door," then no
one else qualifies for that role -- not Mohammed, or the Pope, or
Ellen G. White, or Mary Baker Eddy, or Joseph Smith, or any other
religious leader, regardless of how "great" he (or she!) might claim
In John 10:1-6 Jesus used the illustration of the shepherd and the
sheep, a most common scene among people of that culture. Yet
"they did not understand the things which He spoke to them" (v.
6). Indeed, they fit the description of John 9:39, which
speaks of people who claimed to be able to "see," but who, because
of their prejudice, were "made blind"! Sadly, they have many,
many counterparts today!
In our opening text, John 10:7-10, Jesus spoke to these people
"again," and gave an allegorical reply to the conduct of the "blind"
Pharisees who had rejected him. Herein he emphasized the
relationship between the door and the sheepfold, referring to
himself as "the door."
With great boldness, Jesus said, "All who ever came before Me are
thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them" (John
10:8). By this statement, Jesus did not refer to the inspired
prophets of the Old Testament. To the contrary, he often
quoted from them, thereby inferring his belief in their
inspiration. Rather he referred to the many pretenders who
claimed to be shepherds, but who for their own benefit led the
people astray. We read of such despicable characters in such
passages as Jeremiah 23:1-4; Ezekiel 34:1-10, and Zechariah
11:4-17. Such "shepherds" as herein described fed and clothed
themselves, but not the flock; neither did they strengthen the weak,
heal the sick, bind up the broken, or bring back what had wandered
away (Ezek. 34:3,4).
However, in delightful contrast, Jesus identified himself as being
"the door"; yea, "the door of the sheep" (John 10:7, 9).
Hence, through Christ, "the door," one can enter into "the
sheepfold" (v. 1), which is "the flock" of God, or "the church of
God which he purchased with his Own blood" (Acts 20:28).
A "door" is a very simple metaphor. It presumes a "within" and
a "without" relationship. Those who enter through "the door"
(Christ) enjoy a relationship not afforded those on the
outside. Christ is "the door" to God; he is "the door" to
spiritual freedom; he is "the door" to forgiveness. It is
"through Him" that both Jews and Gentiles have "access by one Spirit
to the Father" (Eph. 2:18). Indeed, he is "the way, the truth,
and the life," and no one "comes to the Father," except by him (John
14:6). As Peter so eloquently said, "Neither is there
salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven
given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
If Christ is "the door," then all must recognize and respect his
authority (cf. Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17); all must obey him to be
saved (Heb. 5:8, 9), and all must possess genuine faith in his
fitness and his resources as the spiritual provider of the
soul. Through Jesus, "the door," we can "have life, and have
it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Any religious leader who
does not "enter the sheepfold by the door is a thief and a robber"
(John 10:1), who comes "to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (John
10:10). Only Jesus, who is "the door," is able to provide that
abundant life. Jesus is a strong door; hence, we must not
resist him. Jesus is the only door; hence, we must not obey
any message except his saving gospel; we must not be members of any
church except his church. He is an open door, ever ready to
receive all who come to God through him.
Jesus is "the door" to "the sheepfold" (John 10:1, 7, 9) which is
his church (Acts 20:28). Apart from "the shepherd," and
outside "the sheepfold," sheep were exposed to the elements, and
often fell prey to robbers, wolves, and other beasts of prey.
They had no security! By the same token, those who refuse to
come to God through "the door" and who thus remain outside of
Christ's church, the spiritual sheepfold, have no spiritual
security. In essence, they are like lost sheep without a
shepherd. To enter "the sheepfold" through "the door" one must
believe (John 8:24), repent of sins (Luke 13:3,5); confess faith in
Christ (Matt. 10:32; Acts 8:37), and be baptized "into Christ" (Gal.
3:27) "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Upon so doing,
one enters Christ, "the door," and his "one body," the church (1
Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22, 23), which is his "sheepfold." Herein
one is able to "find pasture" (John 10:9), peace and security, and
enjoy that abundant life. Sinner friend, "the door" is still open
for you. Enter today!
-- Via Truth Magazine, Volume XLIX, Number 22, November 17, 2005
http:// www.truthmagazine.com/archives/ volume49/22-november-17.pdf
News & Notes
Colston's surgery went well. His gall bladder was
removed, and he is now healing from that.
Let those of us who are Christians also
continue to remember the following people in prayer for their
health: Virginia Fontenot, Shirley Young, Cheryl Crews,
and Terry and Pam MacDonald.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom.
10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins
(Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet.
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can
be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
9923 Sunny Cline Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70817
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 6 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (225) 667-4520
(Gospel Observer website)