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Wednesday, November 5, 2014
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"I Am The Door"
"So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep" (John 10:7).
Doors are not something we normally have a lot of discussion about. But we all certainly can appreciate the value of doors; exterior doors keeping our homes secure and the weather out. Interior doors of course provide privacy.
But many doors have real character. I have seen posters with pictures of various doors that reveal their character and when visiting Jim Thorpe, a small mountain town in eastern Pennsylvania, this last weekend I saw a poster with a wide variety of doors in the village. (Click on photo to the right for larger view.) There are doors that are elaborate and decorative in addition to being functional.
Wherever we live we should be familiar with doors but we recall having a wonderful meal with a family in Guatemala over 20 years ago who lived in a tiny two room house with no interior or exterior doors at all. They shared with other villagers an outdoor latrine, a common faucet and a shower.
Doors are referenced all through the Bible with the first reference in Genesis 4. It was a message from God to Cain before he killed Abel, "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Among the last references to the door in Scripture has Jesus standing at the door and knocking in Revelation 3:20. Today let us examine a reference among the "I am" statements in John's Gospel.
Jesus asserted His deity in using this phrase to describe Himself. They are known as the ego eimi (ἐγώ εἰμι) statements from the Greek words for "I am".
1. I am the bread of life. John 6:35,48
2. I am the light of the world. John 8:12, 9:5
3. I am the door. John 10:7
4. I am the good shepherd. John 10:11-14
5. I am the resurrection and the life. John 11:25
6. I am the way, the truth and the life. John 14:6
7. I am the true vine. John 15:1,5
And among the last words in the Bible is our Lord's powerful self-declaration, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 22:13).
In our daily text our Lord is sharing with His disciples one of His great teachings. In fact in this teaching we have two of the seven "I am" statements and both are related.
He uses an illustration that would have been so familiar to them on the basis of observation and experience along with their knowledge of the Scriptures such as Psalm 23.
Christ said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep." Just a few verses later He states, "I am the Good Shepherd."
In the Bible period a shepherd would build a temporary sheep pen by building a wall when staying overnight in distant pastureland. He'd leave an opening where the sheep could come and go and be safe. All that remained was the closing for the door, but there was no door. Somehow a door had to be provided in order for the sheep to dwell in security.
A good shepherd, in caring for his flock, would simply lie down across the small opening. The shepherd became the door, and in this way the sheep remained inside and the wild beasts remained outside. Because the shepherd had become the door, there was nothing for the sheep to fear. Their protector and provider had guaranteed their protection from predators while also preventing them from wandering from the secure sheepfold and entering enemy territory. "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture" (John 10:9).
As one of His sheep I am so thankful for this self-revelation of a desperately needed provision. Christ emphasized the statement with the repetition where He "said to them again" and with the dual emphasis, "Truly, truly". We do well to listen.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, just like the shepherd willingly lays his life down for his sheep, You also willingly laid down Your life for us. You took on our adversary, the devil, who takes people captive for his own diabolical plans. You struck down the devil's scheme to enslave and devour us, and his plan for death and the grave. Instead You became to the doorway to the Father when You told the disciples, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me." We thank You for being the door to our eternal salvation, when You laid down Your life for us, through Your shed blood. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Gentle Shepherd" Video GVB
"He Will Carry You" Video GVB
"Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us" Video Marty Nystrom
"He Leadeth Me" Video Marshall Hall
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version. Other versions are also occasionally used.
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