What does it mean that Jesus is a door for us?


John Piper:

So what does he say about his doorness and his shepherdness? First, his doorness. Tell us, Jesus, what does it mean for us that you are a door for us? Verses 7–10:

Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers [there have been many who claimed to give what only I can give], but the sheep did not listen to 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 comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Jesus is saying the same thing he will say in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I am the door. If you believe in me, and trust me to be the only path to God, I promise you two things (John 10:9): You will be saved; and you will go in and out and find pasture.

Particularly, you are saved from wolves and thieves that come to kill and destroy (John 10:10). Safe from every enemy that would destroy you. Enter by me and you will be forever safe. Saved.

But none of us wants to be merely safe. We were not created merely to be safe. The human heart wants infinitely more than safety. Oh yes, safety is basic and necessary. We want to be protected from what can destroy us. We want life. Life. But we want more than mere life. We want abundant life. Overflowing life. Deep life. Weighty life. Joyful life. We don’t just want to survive. We want to thrive at every level of our human being. We were made for this.

And so Jesus says more: “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved [yes, and more, so much more] and will go in and out and find pasture.” The point of saying this is that the sheepfold itself represents safety and protection. But sheep don’t want to stay there. In fact, they will die if they stay in the safety of the fold. They want green pastures and still waters.

And I think that when Jesus says in verse 10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly,” he means, “I came that they might be saved and go out and come and find pasture” — protection and plenty, solid safety and deep soul satisfaction. Abundant life is not about having stuff. It’s about having peace, having joy, having God.

So thank you, Jesus, for being a door for us. We believe you are the only door to eternal safety. The only door to soul-satisfying pastures. The only door to God. We enter. Thank you.

Read more or listen to this sermon, My Abandoned Life for Your Abundant Life, here.


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