I am the Door

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    John 10:7-18 says, "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. [8] All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. [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. [10] The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. [11] I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. [12] But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. [13] The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. [14] I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. [15] As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. [16] And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. [17] Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. [18] No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This
    commandment have I received of my Father."

    In John 10 Jesus gives an illustration of His love and protection of Christians. He tells us that He is the door (John 10:7). In that day and time, sheep were kept in a field that had only one entrance. The shepherd would sit or lay in that entrance when watching the sheep. This would keep the sheep from wandering out away from the fold through the door, but it would also keep dangers from entering in through the opening. As the door, Jesus is not only the one to help keep is in the fold, but also the one who keeps the wicked out.

    As with most things in this world, people tried to take advantage of sheep in that day and time. There were thieves and robbers who had intentions of personal gain and had no concern for the sheep. They came to steal, kill, and destroy. Ironically, many times the thieves come presenting themselves in the form of the shepherd. These thieves appear to be good, godly, religious leaders in the church, yet their motives are far from pure and the end result of their leadership will be destruction.

    Jesus is the true shepherd. He is the good shepherd that has concern for the flock. The good shepherd gives life to His sheep (John 10:11). The good shepherd offers the more abundant life to His sheep (John 10:10). The good shepherd will put himself on the line to protect the sheep.

    Often times sheep owners would hire people to watch their sheep. These “hirelings” were quite different from the good shepherd. When the hireling sees the wolf coming, he flees because he does not care for the sheep (John 10:12-13). They are not his sheep and he is not going to suffer loss. Why would he put his own neck on the line for sheep that are not his own. Yet Christ is not just a hireling, but a good shepherd. As the good shepherd, He loves the sheep and put Himself on the cross for His sheep. It describes how as the good shepherd, Jesus knows his sheep (John 10:14). Yet also, He is known of His sheep. The sheep grow to know their shepherd as the one that cares for them, feeds them, protects them, and provides for them. The sheep will listen to the shepherd and follow Him.

    As Christians we must be careful who we are following. There are many “thieves” and “hirelings” in the religious world who make a mess of the flock. They are either seeking personal gain from the flock, or seeking to destroy the flock, or simply are not willing to stand up for and protect the flock from dangerous false teachings. As Christians, we must follow the one true shepherd. We must follow the good shepherd. The one who willingly laid down His life for the flock (John 10:17-18). The one who leads us, loves us, calls us, died for us, and saves us. The Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.