“I Am The Door”
John 10:9-10 (NKJV)
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
This is the Word of God for the people of God... Thanks be to God. Amen.
What’s the most important part of our church? Aside from the people... what’s the most important physical part of our church? Have you ever considered such a question?
Is it the choir loft? The nursery? The windows?
Maybe the communion table or the baptismal font! Maybe the pulpit! Some may say the Davis Hall (the Fellowship Hall). If you’ve ever attended worship at little country church that lacked indoor plumbing, you may say the restroom is the most important part!
Of course, if were to ask this question “Family Feud” style, and we surveyed 100 people, I have no doubt what-so-ever that the #1 response would be the sanctuary. After all, this is where we, as the people of God, gather for worship... and worship is the primary function of the church.
But... think about this for a moment: I read this past week, that a church architect was once quoted as saying: “The most important part of any church... is the front door.”
I’m not quite sure that’s what we’d expect to hear.
It makes sense, in retrospect, because the front door’s the very first thing we encounter.
I was watching a program on the History Channel or Discovery some time ago... about banks. And the program pointed out that when banks began to change their doors, it represented a fundamental shift in the way we think about banks... because years ago... banks were built to look like fortresses! Their front doors were thick and solid and secure. They portrayed a sense of safety and security.
But at some point, banks started becoming more “user-friendly” and customer oriented. Glass doors were installed... making it possible to took into a bank building and see what was going on inside, before you ever entered in. The glass doors were thought to be more welcoming. Of course, today you don’t even have to go into a physical bank building... you can do practically all your banking online!
I mention this to you because our church doors DO say something about our church! When the weather’s decent, the front doors are usually propped open on Sunday morning as people arrive... as a silent witness to those on the outside... saying, “You are welcomed here!”
Doors are important...
The story’s told of a pastor who went out one day to visit a church member. It was obvious that someone was home, but no one answered the pastor’s repeated knocks on the door. So the preacher took out one of his business cards, and wrote “Revelation 3:20" on the back... and left it...
Of course, Revelation 3:20 reads, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and dine with you, and you with me.”
Well, the next Sunday, that same card turned up in the collection plate. Below the preacher’s message... was written the following: Genesis 3:10, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked...”
Doors are important.
Of course in John’s Gospel... Jesus makes quite a few “I AM” statements concerning himself. “I am the vine... the bread of life... I am the way and truth and the life... I am the good shepherd.” And in our brief, yet powerful lesson this morning, Jesus says, “I am the door.”
What in the world is Jesus trying to say? What does he want us to hear in these words today?
Well, doors are passage ways... doors are a means of getting to another place... a way of entering in. A door’s not an end in itself.
Which makes Jesus’ words a humble statement... for sure.
The obvious interpretation is that Jesus is saying HE is the path way, the opening, the entryway... to God. Jesus is our protector... our security... our door to the kingdom!
Which is true! Jesus is the way to eternal life... to abundant life... Jesus is the entryway to God’s grace and love and acceptance. Jesus is the door to salvation.
But - an equally important fact, about most doors... is that they work both ways. The traffic moves in both directions... so for Jesus to say, “I am the door” is also a way of saying that HE is the way God gets to us!
Through Christ you and I can know the love, grace and mercy of God... the forgiveness of God... the peace that passes all understanding. God reveals his nature, his character and presence through Christ.
Of course, there are those who take offense at Jesus’ words... which isn’t surprising, to tell you the truth... because today everyone seems to be offended by everything!
Those offended by Jesus’ claim to be the Door-way to God say it smacks of exclusion... it’s too narrow a path.
But God’s word speaks to this very thing, in Matthew chapter 7, verse 13, Jesus’ words no less, as he says, “Enter through the narrow gate (or door). For wide is the gate and broad is the path that leads to destruction, and many enter it. But small is the gate (or door) and narrow the path that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
The door of Christ has always been a narrow way. But not an exclusive way... It’s simply a way that every single person’s not capable of entering. Jesus says those who know his voice, respond, and follow him.
Of course, the narrow way... the narrow path... the narrow door... may initially strike us as non-inclusive... that it’s designed to keep others out! But that’s simply not true!
The doorway of Jesus... is open to all... it’s an entry that locks only by OUR refusal to enter in.
John Calvin said, “No man is excluded from calling upon God, the gate of salvation is set open unto all men: neither is there any other thing which keepeth us back from entering in, save only our own unbelief.”
Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”