So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The their comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
John MacArthur in his commentary on John 10 says, "Each village in the sheepherding regions of Palestine had a fold where sheep were kept at night. The shepherds would graze their flocks in the surrounding countryside during the day and then lead them back to the communal sheepfold in the evening. There the shepherds would stop each sheep at the entrance with their rods and carefully inspect it before allowing it to enter the fold. Once in the fold, the sheep were in the care of during the night. He would give only the shepherds access to the sheepfold; therefore, anyone who could not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbed up some other way, was a thief and a robber (MacArthur, 2006. p.425).
The door to the sheep is Jesus Christ Himself! It is Jesus Christ alone who has the authority to determine which sheep can enter His fold and which cannot. He alone is also the only authority that can determine which shepherds can access His sheep because they are His sheep because He is not only the door but He is the good and only true shepherd.
1. There is only 1 true door.
So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
Jesus is the door. For the sheep, there was only one door that would lead them to safety and protection and for the one who seeks to find eternal life and salvation, there is only one door to find it. The one who hopes to find rest and safe pasture must enter through the only door that God says will lead to it and that is through the true door of Jesus Christ.
For thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. (Ezekiel 34:11 NASB)
Everyone who is saved is one of God's sheep. It is God who searches and seeks out His sheep. Through this door, the saved ones will go in and out and find pasture. Notice that it is God Himself who will go out and seek and find His sheep. He is the door that not only permits sheep to enter but keeps sheep out that are not part of His flock. So, when one wanders off, He will go out and find that lost sheep Himself.
"As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on a good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will fee My flock and I will lead them to rest," declares the Lord God. (Ezekiel 34:12-15 NASB)
God cares for us because we are His sheep. We will be fed by Him in a good pasture if we enter through the only door that leads to salvation, Jesus Christ. Notice that Jesus cares for and searches for His sheep because they are in fact His sheep. Jesus is the only true door that leads to eternal life and He knows those who are His and have been given to Him by the Father. He will make sure that His sheep have open access to go in and out and to graze and be fed and be cared for.
2. There are many false doors.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber."
False doors abound. There are many false religions and many false Christ's. They are thieves and robbers and try to steal and kill and destroy God's sheep but they can't because when we enter through the door of Christ we are protected. False teachers and false religion try every trick in the book and they continually come up with new ways to attempt to pull sheep away from Christ and to themselves. However, Christ says that this can not and will not happen.
Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, 'Thus says the Lord God, "Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?"'" (Ezekiel 34:2 NASB)
Those who are led to false doors are led there by false shepherds. They feed themselves on the sheep they seek to kill and destroy.
They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. (Ezekiel 34:5 NASB)
False doors lead to sheep being scattered.
"As I live," declares the Lord God, "surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock." (Ezekiel 34:8 NASB)
False doors cause sheep to be eaten by wild beasts. The sheep are eaten and become prey for wild beasts when there are false teachers and false doors leading them because these false shepherds do not care for and protect the flock as the true door and the true shepherd does.
Thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them." (Ezekiel 34:10 NASB)
Because Christ is the true door, He will demand His sheep from these evil and false shepherds who lead people to false doors. Ultimately, false shepherds and false doors have no real power because they are not founded on the blood of Christ and the living and perfect and inerrant Word of God.
3. The true door leads to abundant life.
I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:9-10 NASB)
Jesus Christ, the only true door leads to salvation, eternal life, and abundant spiritual life.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even the so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. (John 5:21 NASB)
Notice that it is Jesus Christ who gives life and He gives it to whom He wishes. Jesus is the perfect Savior and Jesus is the perfect door to the sheep and to eternal life.
Also, in Romans, it is made clear that our sin brings us the wage of death but in Christ, we have His wages or His righteousness credited to our account through faith and as a result, we have the free gift of abundant eternal life through Jesus Christ who is both our Savior and Lord.
"I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest," declares the Lord God.
God sets over us one Shepherd and one Door, Jesus Christ, who feeds us Himself meaning that we are fed by His Word and His life and He leads us to rest.
Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation. (1 Peter 2:2 NASB)
We are to long for meaning "crave" or "I long for, strain after, desire greatly, have affection for." While one can be saved simply by repenting and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only door to salvation, you will never truly experience the full abundant life that He came to bring you unless you crave and long for and obey His Holy Word.
Go through the true door of Jesus Christ! Be Saved! Then rest in the abundant life that is found in your Savior and in studying His Word and walking in it.
MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: John 1-11. Chicago, Illinois. Moody Publishers. 2006.