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I Am The Door

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I Am the Door

I AM’s recap....
CONTEXT:
Beginning of ch.7, the disciples go to the feast, but Jesus says He doesn’t want to go because His time has not yet come. But He goes in secret. The festival lasts a week, and in the middle, so a few days later, Jesus goes into the temple and begins to teach. And it says that the Jews marveled because He was teaching and had never been formally trained. So without reading all of ch.’s 7 & 8, I just want to go through and read some phrases to you, and you will see a theme that builds up to the passage that we will look at today.
7:28....He who sent me is true, whom you do not know. But I know Him...
(sidenote)
(sidenote)
Jon 7:31
John 7:31 NKJV
And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?”
Remember I said that there is a difference between His followers and His disciples? There were those that believed in Him, but didn’t believe that He was the Christ.
8:14 …I know where I come from and am going, but you do not know where I come from and where I am going.
8:19 You neither know me nor my Father....
8:23 You are from beneath, I am from above. You are of this world, I am not of this world.
8:38 I speak what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.
8:42 If God were your Father you would love me, for I proceed forth and came from God;
8:43 Why do you not understand my speech? Because you are not able to listen to my word (listening vs hearing)
8:44 You are of your father the devil
8:45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.
8:47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.
John 8:54-56
John 8:54–58 NKJV
Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
John 8:54–56 NKJV
Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
John 8:54-58
Do you see the theme? The theme is that the people are different. They are of a different father. He knew who He was and where He was going, but they did not. They didn’t know Him. They were from below, He was from above. They didn’t understand the things He said. They didn’t love Him. They didn’t believe Him.
This brings us to the immediate context of our text, which is the story from ch. 9. In , we have the story of the blind man that Jesus healed. This story is remembered because it’s the one where Jesus mixed His spit with some dirt and rubbed it on the man’s eyes to heal him. Now, when teaching on this passage, everyone the first thing everyone wants to know is why Jesus did this. Do y’all want the answer? Me too!
So the people see that he now has sight, and ask what happened, and he answers that Jesus healed him. They take him to the Pharisees, and the Pharisees question him, and they condemn Jesus for healing on the Sabbath, and conclude that He must be a false prophet since He ‘worked’ on the Sabbath.
So they go through this whole charade of questioning him and calling his parents and questioning them, and after it all they return to the question they started with.
vv.24-34
vv.35-41
So this is the context in which we come to John ch. 10. We saw the theme through what Jesus was saying about the people not being of Him, then we see these teachers of Israel not receiving Him because they didn’t believe, which put them into this same camp. And we see 1 lamb. 1 sheep that was blind and destitute, and he receives the kingdom of God. In this context, Jesus is going to use the following illustration to show us a word picture of this scenario that we just looked at.
So John ch.10. This is not a parable, but an illustration. It is a word picture. It is an allegory. Jesus is going to use an illustration that is all too familiar to them.
The illustration of the people being sheep and God being the shepherd was not a new concept. God had spoken to them using this terminology for centuries.
Isaiah 40:11 NKJV
He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
Psalm 23 NKJV
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Psalm 23 NKJV
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Psalm 23
Psalm 23
Jeremiah 31:10 NKJV
“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, And declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’
Zechariah 9:16 NKJV
The Lord their God will save them in that day, As the flock of His people. For they shall be like the jewels of a crown, Lifted like a banner over His land—
Acts 20:28 NKJV
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Read vv1-10
Shepherding was a common trade.... Shepherds were nomadic most of the time, because much of the land was arid. So they had to travel to keep the sheep finding new fresh green pastures. When they were traveling, at night the place that they herded the sheep to was a sheepfold, which was usually made of stones.
Sheepfold Slides
Sheepfold Slides
Sheepfold Slides
If they were in the countryside, they would sleep in the doorway of the fold. If they were close to a city, there were usually sheepfolds in town that could sometimes even hold more than 1 flock. In those cases, there would be a ‘hired-hand’ that would stay in the gate for the night while the shepherd found an inn, then the shepherd would return in the morning.
So it is this sheepfold that Jesus is referencing in John ch. 10.
Read vv1-10
Read vv1-10
So we are going to look at the sheep/sheepfold, the shepherd, the thieves and robbers, and the door to the sheepfold.
What is the sheepfold? Is it the church? Heaven? Israel?
What is the sheepfold? Is it the church? Heaven? Israel?
....I believe it is the church. Maybe there was an immediate interpretation/application for Israel, but I believe that to take an occasion and say that it doesn’t apply to the church, but only to Israel, unless it is clearly stated, there’s something wrong with that viewpoint.
In this Illustration, who does Jesus say He is?
Slides
In v. 7. He says that He is the door. So if we let this play out… If we are the sheep, and He is the door, who is the shepherd that comes through the door to shepherd the sheep? None other than Jeahovah, Father God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob.
We have to clear a couple of things up to be able to get this illustration.
#1 - But isn’t Jesus the Shepherd? The Great Shepherd? Well here, I’m going to show you that He is the door and Father God is the Shepherd, but yes, in the following verses that Craig will look at next week, we will see that Jesus says He is the Shepherd. So first, we will see Him make the case that God is the Shepherd, then next week He says that He is the Shepherd, therefore He is again claiming to be God. So in this text, Jesus is not the shepherd, but Father God is.
#2 - In v. 9 He talks about entering by the door to find eternal life. Well, the Father doesn’t need to enter through Jesus to find eternal life. So you have to see that that verse is parenthetical. It is saying that the sheep that enter through the Door find eternal life. But the rest of this passage is talking about the Shepherd entering through the door.
So, having said that, who are the thieves and robbers that He’s talking about? I have always assumed that it was the priests and other leaders of the Jews. But, He is talking about God is the shepherd, but other ‘shepherds’ came before God and did not come through the Door, who is Christ. So really, it is addressing false Gods.
This is why I say it could be the priests and other leaders, because it was anyone or anything that was trying to shepherd the sheep without coming through the door, which is Christ. And what does He say about these imposter shepherds? Whether they be gods or men or whatever else? That they were thieves and robbers. That they come to steal, kill, and destroy.
Another interesting sidenote that we see here. It’s that the sheep don’t hear the call of the false shepherd. We have had a lot of conversations about whether or not you can lose your salvation, and ultimately whether or not it is God’s work that keeps you saved or our work that keeps us saved. Regardless, if you can lose your salvation, I would say that it is a very difficult thing to do. Because if you enter through the door of the sheep, if you enter the fold through Christ, authentically, not through some false motive of self-preservation or pride or some other wrong reason, then when the false shepherd comes calling to steal, kill, and destroy, you won’t recognize his voice and you won’t go following him.
So let’s recap:
He is coming from the context of the people being different than Jesus. Not believing Him; not loving Him; not knowing Him; being of a different Father; of a different world.
They are condemning the blind man for being healed, and the blind man is believing in Jesus and receiving the Kingdom of God. And in their condemning him and Jesus, Jesus says that they, having seen, have become blind.
John 9:39–41 NKJV
And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.
And Jesus responds to them not knowing Him, to them being blind, to them not hearing Him and believing His words, by giving this story to show that if they do not enter the family of God through Him, then they do not know God. Additionally, if they are listening to a god or a leading that does not come through Jesus, or if they are following, more specifically, after God through the system of Judaism at the expense of denying Christ, then they are listening to a false shepherd.
So ok, cool. But what does this mean for us? The same!
-1st off, if you have entered the fold through the door of seeking to have a better life on earth, then you may be in the wrong fold, or may have entered through the wrong door. Because the door into the family of God is simply this, believing that Jesus is God and that He is worthy of you giving your life to follow Him.
-2nd beware of things that beckon you to follow that don’t have Jesus at the front of it. Does this mean all I can do is go to church? No!!! Use your gifts and find your calling!!! Listen for what Jesus has for you to do in His Kingdom. He doesn’t leave you in the fold. He leads you out to pasture and beside still waters, even leads you to the valley of the shadow of death, and takes you out into the presence of your enemies, the whole time having promised to protect you from them.
3rd-
So with this understanding, let’s read this again.
So now we have the context and the meaning all worked out, let’s close with what Jesus closed with. Ultimately, just like there is 1 Good Shepherd, there is 1 bad shepherd as well. There may be many bad shepherds that come, but they are all representing the 1 bad shepherd that comes to steal, kill and destroy. And so again, just as He has been doing in the text, He gives a comparison. The bad shepherd comes to steal, kill and destroy. But what about the good shepherd? He has come that we may have life, and life more abundantly.
In closing, I want to talk about what that looks like.
Sheepfold slide. The sheepfold has walls. But it has not ceiling. IT has some protection, but not total protection. False shepherds can try and come in through other doors, and wolves and lions can climb over these walls. IT gives some protection, but not complete protection. Why wouldn’t God want to give us a fold with high walls, and even with a ceiling to protect us from the storms? Why would God want to allow u to be in the presence of our enemies, and to be so near to death and destruction?
It’s because He wants us to know that it’s not walls that protect us. It’s the Shepherd. says that some will trust in horses, and some in chariots, but we will trust in the Name of the Lord our God.
What shows more of the power of God? The fact that He keeps you from going through anything? Or the fact that He can allow you to pass by the very gates of hell and He still protects you?
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