John 10:7-9 “Then said Jesus unto them again, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enters in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture’ “
When considering the names of Jesus or God, a door doesn’t always come to mind. We have to consider the function of a door, and it will make sense why Jesus referred to himself in this way. Let’s consider how sheep were kept and our modern view of a door.
For Jesus’ day, a sheepfold was an area likely built up with stones to keep the sheep inside. There was no gate or door to keep predators out or the sheep inside. The shepherd was the door! The shepherd tending the flock would sleep in the doorway to protect the flock and keep them in or let them out at the appropriate times.
Our modern doors on our homes, we lock them at night to keep thieves out, we lock them to keep our valuables protected, we close them to keep the weather or anything unwanted from coming in, and we keep them closed in the winter to keep heat inside. But, they also can be open for us to come in and out as we please. Now, if we try to open the door to someone else’s property, we will likely find it’s closed because it isn’t a place we are welcome to go. At our homes, we can keep others out or let them in.
When Jesus says He is the “Door of the Sheep,” He is acting as a shepherd sleeping in the doorway to protect the flock! He is keeping the predators away from His flock, from us! No one can enter except those that go through Jesus, and He is the gatekeeper to protect the sheep. Jesus is a door and a protector. If you are saved and have accepted Christ, you are in the sheepfold! You have gone through Jesus and entered in. Now Jesus is at the gateway or doorway acting as a protector.
Jesus, later in Matthew 10, explains how a hireling, someone paid to watch over the flock but does not own the flock or have a personal connection to them; when tough times come, they will run and leave the sheep on their own. We can see this in religious leaders leading a flock (a church), and tough times come; they cut ties and run! Aren’t you glad Jesus doesn’t just get up and leave? Christ is the shepherd, and He has a personal connection to the sheep. They are the redeemed in Christ! Jesus will never leave or forsake His own.
The next time you are dealing with the struggles of life, remember there is someone at the door, and His name is Jesus. We can approach Him to take our burdens, struggles, and cares to Him. Then, when we do, we can ask Him to be that door to protect us from attack, protect us from predators, and keep us safe from harm.
Do you trust Jesus as your door? Many Christians run to Jesus only when there is an emergency. Think about this, would it make sense to run and get the shepherd if a wolf was entering the sheepfold, or would it make more sense to already have the protector or door in the gateway? If a thief was trying to break into your house, would that be the time to realize you needed to lock the door, or should you have locked it up ahead of time to deter the thief? That is the protection of God! Pray for it ahead of time, trust in it, rely on it, and when the struggles come, you’ve already made preparations and have the Sheperd ready and watching.