My husband and I went to a big box hardware store yesterday to buy a couple of doors. We just needed interior doors, but we had to walk past all the elaborate ones to get to the cheap stuff in the back. I never knew there were so many styles of doors and that they could get so expensive. I have to admit I paused in front of some pretty doors and dreamed a little.
One of Jesus’ I AM statements in the gospel of John is “I AM the door,” or some translations say “I AM the gate” (John 10:7, 9). While we were looking for doors so that we could close off some rooms, Jesus is the Door that opens heaven.
The Lord was using the image of caring for sheep, something the people were very familiar with. His next I AM statement completes this message. He was warning against “thieves and robbers” (v. 1, 8) whose true intent is to “steal and kill and destroy” (v. 10). He was pointing His finger directly at the Pharisees, the self-appointed caretakers of Judaism. They served as guards of the Jewish hierarchy and were highly selective about whom they deemed acceptable and worthy of eternal life. (This is the key to the “Do not judge” command the world loves so much).
The religious leaders’ focus was keeping people out; Jesus came to bring people in. That’s an important part of the statement and one we dare not miss. Go back a few chapters with me to John 3:17-18. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
Jesus added, “Whoever enters through me will be saved” (v. 9). Here is the gospel: Every human being (except Jesus) by virtue of the sinful nature, is lost. That means we are all condemned. We all stand on the outside of Heaven with no hope of admission. Jesus came to save condemned people. He came to be the open Door. And He promised that whoever comes to Him in faith will “have life, and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10).
The doors we bought are “hollow-core” – thin sheets of pressed wood with cardboard strips in the center. Jesus is solid. He is indestructible. And He is grace. When you say “Yes” to Him, Beloved, the Door swings open wide. Are you ready to come in?