How I Am Changes Who I Am
The Door
John 10:1-10
 
Are you an anxious person, and if so, what's causing it in your life and robbing you of peace? It may be anxiety about the future of your job or marriage.  It could be unpaid bills and not enough money, some deadline or challenge at work.  There are all kinds of things that cause us anxiety. 
 
In fact, the word “anxiety” literally means to be pulled in two different directions. An anxious person is a divided person and in John 10 as we continue our series of messages under the heading I AM, we find God's answer to anxiety!
 
Having given Moses the responsibility of leading the children of Israel out of Egypt into the Promised Land, Moses asked God in Exodus 3.13-14, “When I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM.' And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.”
 
Seven times in John's gospel, Jesus uses that I AM name and each time He is declaring His deity! And more than just identifying Himself, He is offering to His followers a solution for their problems.  And what He desires to do is change us through a better understanding of Who He is.     
 
We hear Jesus say in John 6:48, 'I AM the Bread of Life,” which speaks of His Provision.
Jesus says in John 8.12, “I AM the light of the world,” which speaks of His PATHWAY.
 
Today we're going to hear Jesus say in John 10, “I AM the door,” which tells us that Jesus is our PASSAGE!
 
Jesus is our Provision: He is the bread.
Jesus is our Pathway: He is the light.
Jesus is our Passage: He is the door.
 
And we're going to discover today that this Door is God's answer to our anxieties!
 
John 10:1-10
 
We're not as familiar with the image of Jesus as a door as we are with imaging him as the Good Shepherd, the Bread of Life, as Living Water, or as the Lamb of God. 
 
I've never heard a praise song about Jesus being a door nor seen him portrayed as a door in a stained glass window.  I've seen him standing and knocking at the door as is mentioned in Revelation 3:20.  But that's not the same as being a door Himself as we read here in John 10:9.
 
And yet doors are of the utmost importance to us, just as Jesus knew they were.  Doors can lock us out, or lock us in, or let us in to where we need to go. 
 
So how is Jesus being the door God's answer to our anxieties? How does Jesus being the door, bring an end to our divided lives?
 
Well, through this door
 
  1. We have Salvation
 
verse 9
 
This third I AM declaration of Jesus takes us back to chapter 9 where He had healed a man born blind. When asked about it by his neighbors, he told them in verse 11, “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.”
 
So they took him to the Pharisees and they questioned him and his parents about the alleged miracle. To the Pharisees he said in verse 25, “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
 
Well, that angered them and according to verse 34, “they cast him out.” Funny, isn't it? How religious people get frustrated, trying to explain the actions of God, when what He does, doesn't fit within their box.
 
Pick up the account in
 
verse 35-38
 
Jesus not only led that man out of physical darkness, but spiritual darkness! “Then he said, 'Lord, I believe.' And he worshipped Him!”
 
Well the Pharisees are not impressed with the man or Jesus and they engage Jesus in an exchange regarding their spiritual condition and it is in that setting that Jesus makes this statement about being the door. 
Notice in verse 1 of John 10, He refers to “the sheepfold”.
 
verses 1-2
 
What is a “sheepfold?” A sheepfold is a small cave or shelter cut in on the side of a hill where shepherds put their sheep for the night. The “sheepfold” provided a place for the sheep to get out of the weather and away from predators for the night.
 
Now the main thing we need to see as far as this message is concerned is regarding the opening into the sheepfold.  There was not a door or gate that hung on hinges as we might encounter in our day.  In fact, there was not a physical door of any kind. 
 
 
The shepherd was the door. He would lay his body across the entrance of the sheepfold and anything that came in or went out had to cross through him.   
 
And when Jesus identifies Himself as “The Door”, He is saying, “What the shepherd was to the sheepfold, Jesus is to God's fold.”  He is The Door!
 
And in particular, in verse 9, this “door” is associated with salvation.   
 
This word “saved” means “to rescue from danger and to keep safe.” Better than being “safe and sound” is being “saved and sound.”
 
Listen to His declaration again: “I AM the door.” He didn't say, “I AM a door,” as if He was one of many doors that you can go through to be saved and sound. He said, “I AM THE door.”
 
Now somebody says, “Are you saying that Jesus is the only door, the only way that leads to salvation? Isn't that a little narrow-minded and not politically correct?”
 
No, no!  Please don’t quote me as saying that. I didn’t say that, I’m just quoting Jesus!  He’s the One who made the statement and if you want to accuse Him of being narrow-minded and politically incorrect, then be my guest! 
 
I'm just repeating what Jesus said!  By the way, there’s a whole lot of what Jesus said that is not politically correct. And you need to know he didn't call me to be politically correct; He called me to preach His word and that's what I intend to do whether that makes you glad, sad or mad.
You say, “Well, I don't like that.” You don't have to like it, but you will have to deal with it, either now or later.  I kind of like what R.G. Lee told a woman one time when she told him she didn’t like what he preached.  He said, “Neither did the devil.  Go home and classify yourself!”
 
He said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.” Do you know who “anyone” includes? It includes anyone!  That is an amazing thought!  I’m not offended because Jesus claims to be the only way to God.  I’m amazed there is any way at all!  And I’m even more amazed that He includes anyone who comes!  And yet the promise of Scripture is “whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
 
Anyone! Whosoever! Anybody may come!  That includes every race, every face living in every place! It includes: the model citizen, the felon, the alcoholic, the homosexual, the adulterer, the homeless, the wealthy, the poor, the rich, the red and yellow, black and white!  Jesus said, “If ANYONE enters by Me, he will be saved.”
 
Through this door and only through this door do we have salvation.  Second, through this door
 
  1. We Have Serenity
 
Verse 9b
 
I find the Lord’s language in the second half of this verse extremely intriguing.  He talks about going in and out and finding pasture.  So once we’re saved, into what do we enter and from what do we exit?  Why did Jesus say we would go in and out? 
We go in to
 
  • Liberty
 
Now think about the picture He’s provided for us.  At night, the shepherd would gather the sheep into the fold and lay his body down to protect them.  So what happened when the new day arrived? 
 
Every morning, the shepherd would give his sheep liberty as they left the sheepfold to graze and grow.
 
Did you realize that is your privilege as a sheep in the fold of Jesus?  There is no limit to the resources God makes available to you. You can have all you want of all God has to offer.  You can feast on His Word!  You can bask in His Spirit!  You can immerse yourself in His church!  All of the peace, love, joy, and happiness He can afford you is yours for the claiming! 
 
Every day you can get up enjoy a day of liberty and service in the world by passing through the Door!  You don’t have to worry if you’ll fail too much and lose your salvation.  You don’t have to worry about your spiritual performance and it meeting the Lord’s demands! 
 
What did Jesus say in John 8:36, “Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.”
 
We are free to grow and graze to our heart’s content!  We not only go in to liberty, we get out of
 
  • Legalism
 
 
Last Wednesday evening in our study of the book of Mark, we spent our time talking about the difference between Judaism and Christianity and how Jesus came to destroy Judaism.  He came to do away with religion. Religion is man’s attempt to get to God.  He does it by keeping rules and regulation and lists. 
 
In sharp contrast to that, Jesus is God's attempt to get to us.  He comes to seek and to save and to set free those who are lost and doomed and bound.
 
Jesus is the only way into a relationship with God.  Once we are in, we are in.  We aren’t bound by rules and obligations.  We don’t have to fear being kicked out of the family.  We enjoy the liberty of knowing we have entered through the door and He has set us free to graze and grow and be blessed. 
 
After all, what did David say?  The Lord is my shepherd!  I shall not want.  He gives me a place to lie down.  He provides nutrition and hydration.  He provides rest and reassurance.  He gives me everything I need in this life and the life to come!
 
Jesus is the only way into life and liberty and out of legalism.  He’s all about serenity and peace and provision.   
 
Through this Door, we have salvation, we have serenity, and
 
  1. We Have Security
 
Verses 27-30
 
Now if Jesus says, I give my sheep eternal life that will never end, can it end? Can it be interrupted?
For someone to say, “Well, I had eternal life for a while and then lost it,” they would not only be contradicting themselves, they would be calling Jesus a liar! 
 
Listen:  If what you had to begin with was eternal and then you lost it, it wasn't eternal to begin with. If it's eternal, there would be no end to it and if it's not eternal, than either Jesus Christ is a fraud and a liar or what you got wasn’t what He offered because what He said in John 10:28 is, “I give them eternal life.”
 
There was a man who lived in a small southern town, and after forth years of shaving himself every morning, he decided he had had enough. He told his wife he wanted to go down to the local barber, just for once, and treat himself to a barber shop shave.  .
 
He went down to the barbershop, which was owned by the pastor of the Baptist church and when he got there he discovered the barber's wife, whose name was Grace, was the one who did the shaves. 
 
He sat down and she put that hot towel on this face and softened him up.  She rubbed on the cream and took that old straight razor and forever more gave him a shave.  She slapped some witch hazel on him and said, "That will be $20."
 
Well, he thought the price was extremely high, but since he’d never had a barber shop shave before and since she was the pastor's wife he paid the bill and went to work.
 
 
 
The next morning the man looked in the mirror, and to his amazement his face was as smooth as it had been when he left the barbershop the day before. He thought to himself, "I must admit that is not too bad of a shave. At least I don't need to get a shave every day."
 
The next morning his face was still smooth, and the next one, and the next one. Two weeks later that man still couldn't find any trace of whiskers on his face at all. There was no beard whatsoever. He couldn't believe it.
 
He returned to the barbershop and there was the pastor cutting away on some old boy’s hair.  He said, “Preacher, I have to admit I thought $20 was kind of high for a shave.  But as unbelievable as it sounds, it's been two weeks since my shave and my beard still hasn't started growing back."
 
The preacher never even looked up.  He just said, "You shouldn't be surprised, you were shaved by Grace, and when Grace is involved, once shaved always shaved."
 
Let me tell you just how secure you are in Christ. Let's say this coin represents a sheep belonging to the good shepherd and is in the sheepfold. That sheep is in the grip of Jesus, right?
 
Verses 28-29
 
The sheep in the sheepfold are actually in a double grip; the grip of the Son who is in the grip of the Father. I would call that security!
 
Have you ever found yourself locked out of your car or your home because you forgot or lost your keys?
 
Sometimes the locked door we are dealing with is   
a letter in your mailbox informing you that you've not been accepted by the college of your choice. 
 
Or maybe it’s when the job you wanted is offered to someone else.  Sometimes a door is locked against you when you don't make the cut for the team or win the scholarship you hoped to get. 
 
You face a locked door when the one you love does not love you in return or a friendship you hoped to foster falls apart.  
 
We all live with certain limitations of health, or ability, or money.  These limits have us facing locked doors that block us from the very people and things we had hoped to have. 
Years ago the famous zoo in Heidelberg Germany purchased a great brown bear from a traveling circus. All of his life this big creature had been locked up in a cage 12 feet long and 12 feet wide. And every hour of the day with its head swaying from side to side it would pace out the dimensions of that cage 12' forward and 12' back.
 
It drank water from an iron basin and the food it ate was pig slop and rotten garbage. The people who came to see it were cruel and they would toss rocks and cigarettes butts into its path to break up the march.
 
One man even fed it hamburger with pieces of glass in it and it cut the bear until blood ran down its haunches but somehow it survived. And the brown bear kept marching 12' feet forward and 12' backwards. As far as that bear was concerned, this was life and that was all there was to life.
 
But the day came when they were going to transfer it from captivity to the freedom of the beautiful Heidelberg zoo.  Now life at the Heidelberg Zoo was altogether a different proposition. Their bears didn't live in captivity but on acres of green grass with sparkling pools of crystal clear water to splash in and other bears for fun and fellowship with three square meals a day.
 
When the day arrived, they wheeled the big iron cage out on the compound and opened the door and what do you think happen? The big brown bear ignored the open door and the invitation to a bigger life and that big bear just kept on marching 12' forward and 12' back.
 
They called to it and it wouldn't respond. They offered it food and freedom.  But nothing would entice it to come out of captivity.  Finally the only way they could break the 12' shuffle was to put fire on the end of a pole and prod it through the bars and at the sight of the fire the big brown bear was frightened out of the cage on to the grassy compound.
 
Temporarily disoriented he sized up his new home  surroundings and suddenly he made a decision and in response to the decision he dropped his head into the familiar sway and began to pace 12' forward and 12' backward the exact dimensions of the cage.
 
You see, the prison that bear lived in was not metal but mental.  It could just as well have been made of stray and it wouldn’t have made any difference to him because to him, life was 12' forward and 12' backwards.
 
And after having exhausted their human ability to release the brown bear of Heidelberg zoo the only door that was left open was they put him to sleep.
 
The invitation Jesus gives in John 10:9 is for people living in a 12 foot cage.  He offers you more than you could ever imagine.  And all you’ve got to do is go in and go out and find pasture. 
 
You can go in a sinner and come out a child of God and enjoy the abundant life He has to offer.  But you’ve got to enter through the door and that door is Jesus.  And I invite you to come to Him today. 
 
Let’s pray.
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