How very condescendingly the Lord Jesus Christ sets himself forth! The noblest figures of speech are not too lofty to describe his merits. If we could speak with the tongues of poets and of angels, we could not adequately represent his loveliness; and though the writers of the Scriptures, inspired by the Holy Ghost, have used language which exceeds all other in majesty and beauty, even they are not able to tell all the excellence of the glory of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yet, beloved friends, when he speaks of himself, he is pleased to use no lofty imagery, no far-fetched metaphors; but he talks of himself one day as water, and another day as bread; and here he deigns to call himself a door. The illustration is exceedingly simple; who is there that will not understand it? He means that, as by passing through a door we enter into a house, so by passing through Christ Jesus, by faith, we enter into eternal life, and enter into the true Church, and ultimately shall enter into heaven.
“I am the door.” This metaphor is not only simple, but it is wonderfully commonplace. The dealers in profundities will not like this expression. The gentlemen who must have something new—something very striking—will hardly admire this kind of talk; but, then, our Lord does not court their admiration. His object is not to win the applause of the wise and the poetical, but to win the souls of the poor and the needy, to bring to them eternal life; so he uses what I may call a child’s figure, a common-place figure, “I am the door.”
He has selected this emblem, I should think, partly that it may often come before our notice. You will not go out of this place without seeing a door; you will not get into your own house without seeing a door; and when you are inside, you will not get into your parlour without seeing a door; and when you go up to bed, you must pass through the door. When you rise, to-morrow morning, and start to go out to your work, you will have to open a door,—two doors probably; and, when you reach your work, there is pretty sure to be another door to be entered. Doors meet your gaze almost everywhere, so our Lord Jesus Christ seems to say to you, “I will meet you wherever you are; anywhere and everywhere, I will speak with you, and plead with you. I will make the door of every room in your house, and the door of every cupboard, too, to preach a little sermon to you, as you shall be reminded by it that ‘I am the door.’ ” I am sure our Lord Jesus Christ does not want his ministers to deliver magnificent orations, spread-eagle sermons, with long and elaborate sentences in them. He wants them just to come and talk as he talked, in all simplicity, so that the very poorest and most illiterate of their hearers may understand their meaning, embrace the truth they proclaim, and find everlasting life in him of whom they speak. So shall I try to do at this time, keeping the style of my discourse congruous with the text.
We will begin by noticing first, the door; secondly, the users of it: “By me if any man enter in;” and, thirdly, the privileges of each of these users: “He shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”