John 10:7-9 - The Third I AM; Jesus is The Door or Gate of Salvation.
John 10:7-9 - The Third I AM; Jesus is The Door or Gate of
John 10:7-9 (ESV) I am the door of the sheep... If anyone enters
by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
John 10:7-9 (NIV) I am the gate for the sheep... whoever enters
through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
One of the distinctives of the Gospel of John is its series of
"I am" sayings of Jesus. Their significance is underlined in 8:58,
in which Jesus announces that "before Abraham was born, I am!" His
hearers understood the implicit claim, for they knew full well that "I
am" is the Greek equivalent of YHWH, Yahweh, the revelatory and
personal name of God that vitalizes the Old Testament. What are the "I
am" statements in John, and how do they display the deity that Jesus
* "I am the bread of life" (6:35). Jesus is the One who sustains
physical and spiritual life.
* "I am the Light of the World" (8:12). Jesus is the source of
* "I am the Gate for the sheep" (10:7). Jesus provides access to
God and salvation.
* "I am the Good Shepherd" (10:11). Jesus lays down His life for
us, His sheep.
* "I am the Resurrection and the Life" (11:25). Jesus is the
source and giver of life eternal.
* "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life" (14:6). Jesus alone
provides access to God the Father and all of the Father's good gifts to
* "I am" the true vine (15:1). Jesus is the source of spiritual
vitality. By remaining close to Him we are enabled to bring forth fruit
and so glorify God. [Victor Bible Background Commentary mod]
Jesus the door/gate; He is the one way into salvation. [NIV SB]
Jesus is the door/gate; He is the way, the truth, and the life
(John 14:6). [The Bible Notebook]
In ancient times the sheepfold was a circular stone corral with
a single narrow opening. After the sheep were inside, the shepherd
would lie down across the opening, using his own body to form the gate
or "door" of the sheepfold. Nothing could enter or leave the fold
without the shepherd knowing about it. [Daily Walk Bible]
Jesus is not one of many doors to the Father, but the only door.
He never claimed to be one route among several to an intimate
relationship with God, but insisted He was the only way. [Life Principles SB
By Charles Stanley re John 10:9]
In the sheep pen, the shepherd functioned as a gate, letting the
sheep in and protecting them. Jesus is the gate to God's salvation for
us. He offers access to safety and security. Christ is our
protector. Some people resent that Jesus is the gate, the only way of
access to God. But Jesus is God's Son--why should we seek any other way
or want to customize a different approach to God? [Life Application
Jesus here declares Himself to be the only true entrance to the
spiritual fold. Access to the spiritual kingdom is possible only through
Him. Those who hold forth any other means of access to God are false
shepherds, false teachers. Such were the Pharisees to whom these words were
addressed. They clung to the teaching that salvation comes to those who
observe the torah (see on Matt. 19:16). They rejected Jesus, "the way,
the truth, and the life", and tried to prevent others, such as the
blind man of chapter 9 from accepting Him. [SDA Bible Commentary]
Of Gates And Ways
"I am the door; if any one enters by me, be will be saved,
and will go in and out and find pasture." John 10:9 RSV.
The two main symbols in Matthew 7:13 are the gate and the
way. Of course, as Jesus sees it, there is more than one gate and
more than one way. There are two, but not more than two. We are
either with Christ or against Him. We either have God for our Father or
we have the devil as our parent. There are no other options.
The gate may be thought of as our decision to follow Jesus.
As He says in John 10, He is the door. And in Acts 4:12 we read
that "there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we
must be saved" (NIV). Entering the gate is our decision to follow
It is of interest to notice that in Matthew 7:13, 14 there is
no mention of anyone entering the wide gate. Why? Because we are
born in the broad way that leads to destruction. That is a fact of
birth, not a conscious decision. We make a decision to leave the broad
way but not to enter it.
If the gate symbolizes our initial acceptance of Jesus as
Saviour, then the way signifies our Christian life subsequent to that
Matthew's own life is an illustration of the gate and the
way. In Matthew 9 we find him sitting in his tax of lice. At that
point Jesus enters the picture and says, "Follow Me." Matthew drops
his business and his old ways and begins a new way of life. He
leaves behind his unjust ways as a publican, his old friends, and his
old goals and commitments. Matthew now has a new Master. That means
that he also has new values, new friends, and new goals.
Christianity is not a flash of light or a warm fuzzy feeling.
Those things may (or may not) take place, but the main point of the
illustration of the way is that Christianity is a lifelong commitment to
Jesus and the manner of life set forth in the Sermon on the Mount.
Genuine Christianity dominates everything we do. It is truly a "way" of
life. [Walking With Jesus By Knight]
As Christians, we talk about God "opening doors" to us as a
means of His revealing His will. What we are asking God to do is
engineer our circumstances to match what we think would be best. The
problem is that we misunderstand what the door is. Jesus said He is the
door. Circumstances are irrelevant, for no one can shut the door that
Jesus opens (Rev 3:8). If you have substituted activity for your
relationship with Christ, then circumstances can disrupt your activity. When
the activity is hindered, you may assume the door has been closed.
Yet, if Christ is the door in your life, He will guide you into every
experience of Him that He wants, and there will be nothing that people can
do to stop Him.
When Paul and Silas were thrown into prison at Philippi, it
appeared that the door to their ministry in Greece had been violently and
firmly closed (Ac 16:22-24). The reality of their situation, however,
was that their Lord had opened a door of ministry to a previously
unreached group of men in prison. The Philippian jailer and his household
would become a significant nucleus of the new church in Philippi. From
a human perspective, a door had been closed; from God's
perspective, Paul and Silas continued to minister exactly where God wanted
When people oppose us, we can become discouraged or worry
about what others are doing to us. We may even try to take matters
into our own hands to accomplish what we think God wants. This
reveals that we do not really believe Jesus is the door for our lives.
If we did, we would be assured that through Christ we have access
to everything He wants to do in and through us. [Experiencing God
Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re John 10:9]
EXCELLENT MINI-VIDEO ON THIS TEXT:
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON EXPERIENCING GOD:
EXCELLENT BIBLE PROPHECY SERIES BY DR RON CLOUZET:
SPECIAL MUSICAL DEVOTIONAL ON CHRISTIAN LIVING: