Thursday, July 07, 2011
The Vision (7/7/11): I am the door
Last evening in our CRBC mid-week Bible study we continued our ongoing study of John’s Gospel by looking at John 10:7-21. One of the verses we lingered over was John 10:9: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” This is one of the seven “I am” sayings in John (cf. 6:35; 8:12; 10:11; 11:25; 14:6; and 15:1).
In John 10:11, another of the “I am” sayings, Jesus calls himself “the good shepherd.” The first century shepherd would allow his flock to find pasture during the day and then call them into the safety of the sheepfold at night. He would go before them, and the sheep would follow him (see v. 4). They knew his distinctive voice, and he knew each of them. I recently heard someone who had worked on a dairy farm say that when he was doing that job he knew not only every one of his cows but could even recognize them by their utters! The shepherd had this kind of intimate knowledge of his sheep.
At night the shepherd would even sleep in front of the door to the sheepfold to keep out the wolf or the robber. In v. 15, Jesus says, “I lay down my life for the sheep.” Here is an anticipation of the cross. This is what Jesus did for his flock.
In v. 9, however, Jesus calls himself “the door.” This is an image for the exclusivity of Christ, what theologians sometimes call “the scandal of particularity.” The Reformers called it the doctrine of Solus Christus, Christ alone. Note that Jesus uses the definite article. He is the door, not just a door, or one door among many. There was only one way into the safety of the sheepfold and it was through the door. So, Jesus was saying there is only one way to know the God of Scripture and it is through me (cf. John 14:6).
We live in a world where this is an uncomfortable truth. There are not many ways to know God. There are not many paths that lead to the mountaintop. There is one door. And he is Jesus Christ.
If we really believe this, how will our zeal for knowing Christ be sparked? If we really believe this, how will we look upon those who do not know Christ? How hard hearted we are if we are indifferent their plight!
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff
Note: If you have not yet joined us for our Wednesday mid-week meeting (6:30-7:30 pm) for Bible Study and prayer, why not plan to join us next week.