Jesus is the Door

Posted: July 5, 2015 in John

John 10:1-10, “Jesus is the Door”

It can be a scary thing to have an encounter with a thief, and it certainly changes your perspective on things. Vastly worse than someone who might steal a TV is someone who attempts to steal a soul, and that’s the sort of thief Jesus warned of in our text.  Jesus was very aware of the thieves that were all around Him as He ministered to the people of Jerusalem, as well as the ultimate thief who threated all the world.  How is someone protected from a thief?  By having a great door.  Jesus is that Door, and we find our protection in Him.

Contextually, there was someone in need of Jesus’ protection right then & there.  In Ch 9, Jesus had healed a man who had been blind from birth – an incredible display of Jesus’ power as the Almighty Creator God.  Blind men had been healed in the past, but never someone who had been born blind.  Jesus not only had power to restore, but He had power to create.  This caused quite a stir, and the Pharisees had called the newly-seeing man to testify.  They badgered him with questions, trying to look for some hole in his story & ultimately find a reason to discredit Jesus.  The man didn’t give them what they were looking for, so they eventually insulted him & threw him out of the synagogue.  They tried to take everything from him in a vile unjust punishment, but that’s when the man was found by Jesus & came to faith in Him as the Messiah/Christ.  The man had his enemies, but the Lord Jesus was available to him, offering His protection and provision.

That’s when Jesus gives a parable, teaching of His protective work.  Unlike the thieves and robbers who try to steal the people of God away from God, Jesus knows His own & protects His own.  Jesus actually describes Himself in two ways: as both the door to the sheepfold & the shepherd of the sheep.  It’s the first of those descriptions we’ll look at today.  We find our protection by being guarded behind the door.  Enter into Jesus’ protection today – enter through the door!

John 10:1–10
1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

  1. Most assuredly…”  This is a common phrase in the Gospel of John, and normally John shows Jesus using it when making a pronouncement about doctrine.  Literally, the phrase is “amen, amen” – a doubly emphasized statement of certainty or assurance.  Most recently, Jesus used the “Amen, amen,” when pronouncing Himself to be the I AM – the Almighty Creator God worshipped by Abraham.  What is less common with the phrase is Jesus’ use of it to introduce an illustration.  10:1-6 is a figurative saying – one of the closest examples of a parable in the Gospel of John.  It is the synoptic collection (Mt, Mk, Lk) that is known for the parables of Jesus, not so much John.  Yet here is one example, and it is one that is not included among the synoptics at all.  This is unique on a lot of levels, so it’s worth paying attention to.  And that’s the point. Jesus IS trying to get their attention.  Although there is a definite subject change between Ch 9-10, there is not a change in the setting.  Jesus is still in Jerusalem, among the people who witnessed the aftermath of His healing of the blind man.  In fact, Jesus had not even ceased speaking after His condemnation of the Pharisees.  The Pharisees had shown themselves to be blind to the things of God, unable (unwilling) to either discern the truth of God or the Messiah of God.  Thus, Jesus makes this pronouncement to draw an important contrast.  The people of Jerusalem needed to know the danger of the false teachers among them, and one of the best ways of doing that was through this illustration.
  2. The parable/illustration itself is fairly simple, and one that the agrarian culture of the Jews would have readily understood.  They had all seen the works of shepherds among their own flocks.  Perhaps there were even some shepherds among the crowd listening to Jesus that day.  It is because the setting was so common that Jesus specifically called their attention to it.  The very thing they witnessed every day was used by Jesus to point them to something infinitely greater: the love of God for each one of them, and the reality of the spiritual conflict that waged all around them.
  3. Jesus begins with the idea of conflict, and He does so by introducing two people He contrasts in the parable.  In regards to the sheepfold, the first person He describes is not the shepherd, but the “thief.” It’s not the protector, but the enemy.  The person who snuck into the corral by any way other than the front door was a “thief and a robber.”  Robbers would have been considered to be more violent criminals than thieves, but Jesus links them together here, and His point is plain.  Anyone who has to sneak his way is doesn’t belong, and is bad news for the sheep.  This gets back to the idea of warfare.  After all, a warning needed to be given regarding thieves.  If a potential of theft didn’t exist, a warning wouldn’t be required.  But the thief was real, and the warning needed to sound.
    1. The warning still needs to sound.  We have an enemy who seeks to take us down (more on this in vs. 10), and we need to beware!  There is a spiritual battle taking place all around us, and our eyes need to be open, even if we cannot physically see anything but the results of our enemy.  Few people ever physically see a demon, but all of us can witness the evil they do among the people around us.  We need to beware.  Note: beware, but don’t be in fear.  We can be knowledgeable & wise concerning our enemy without fearing him.  Remember that Jesus is infinitely stronger than the devil!  A person has no reason to fear the attacks of Satan when he/she belongs to Jesus Christ.

2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

  1. The thief isn’t the only person to come into the sheepfold; there is also the “shepherd.”  The shepherd enters through the proper way: “by the door.”  The sheepfold referred to by Jesus was likely a permanent corral/pen, with a stone wall of some sort surrounding it.  Towards the front was a single opening.  Sometimes there might be an actual gate – other times the shepherd or his assistant would lie in front and personally serve as the gate.  Either way, there was only one legitimate way in/out.  The thief or robber had to sneak in through another way, but the legitimate shepherd would simply go through the entrance. 
  2. Who the “doorkeeper” is, Jesus never says.  It may be best not to push the symbolism too far.  Jesus’ point is evident enough.  Although a thief would not be recognized, the shepherd would.  The shepherd would be known by both the doorkeeper and the sheep.  He would have unrestricted access to his sheep, and he would come to them as often as necessary.  The sheep would never be left abandoned – their shepherd would come to them.
  3. Notice the relationship the shepherd has with his sheep. (1) They are his “own” sheep, all belonging to him. (2) They are his named sheep, each one individually & uniquely known by him. (3) They are his led sheep, personally guided by him (something upon which Jesus will expand in vs. 4).  There is an intimacy in all of this – a true relationship.  This was not an unusual thing to describe when thinking of an ancient shepherd in the Middle East. However, it’s truly amazing when applying it to our relationship with God!  He knows us – we are His own – He has named us & He calls to us.  Amazing!  Remember that this is the Almighty God – the One who spoke the universe into existence.  He sustains every atom within every molecule in every piece of physical matter throughout the galaxies.  Out of an incalculable number of stars in the heavens, He not only knows them by name, but He knows you by name.  He is interested in you, calls to you, comes to you, and desires to lead you by His grace.  Incredible!

4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

  1. Continuing to describe this relationship, Jesus speaks of the shepherd’s example & the shepherd’s voice.  Again, the shepherd is able to go freely to his own sheep, and lead/bring them out from the pen/sheepfold.  How does he do it?  By his leading & his call. 
  2. First, he leads them: “he goes before them.”  The shepherd does not drive his sheep.  He doesn’t (as we might imagine in the West) use a dog to nip at their heels.  No, the shepherd personally goes before his sheep, by example leading them where he wants them to go.  He doesn’t have to berate or push; he simply walks in front of them & among them.
    1. Is this not what our Lord Jesus does with us?  Our relationship with Him is not based upon legalism, being beat into submission by adhering to a bunch of rules.  It’s based upon love!  It’s based upon His example!  We love Him because He first loved us.  We already served us to the utmost when He suffered and died for us upon the cross.  He submitted Himself to the max, out of obedience to His heavenly Father, for the glory of God, and to pay the penalty for our sin.  How can we refrain from doing likewise?  Why would we not also serve Him in grateful love, in the same way that He served us?  (Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.") That isn’t legalism; that is joyous love!
  3. Secondly, the shepherd calls to his sheep, and his call is sufficient. “The sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”  There is familiarity here – there is a close relationship implied.  Sheep cannot recognize a voice they have never before heard.  In this case, the sheep are familiar with the voice of their shepherd & they are willing to follow him wherever he leads them.
    1. Do you have a difficult time following Jesus in obedience?  Perhaps you don’t know His voice well enough.  We don’t want to take this idea too far from Jesus’ original context, but the principle can certainly apply in our daily walk with God.  If we find ourselves more prone to obey the desires of our sin than the desires of our Savior, perhaps we need to spend more time in the presence of Jesus.  The better we know Him, the more attuned we will be to His leading.
    2. Not only will knowing the voice of Jesus help keep us from sin, but it will help us distinguish Him from the voice of the enemy.  Knowing Jesus better helps us distinguish between the holy conviction of God & the attacking condemnation of the devil.  Knowing our Lord better guards us from the voice of the enemy.  Jesus expands on this in verse 5…

5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

  1. Jesus has already mentioned the thief & robber, and now He speaks of “a stranger.”  Although this could be a reference the same thing, it doesn’t have to be.  In any case, it definitely speaks of someone who is NOT the shepherd.  Ancient shepherds might combine several flocks into one corral, guarded by a single doorkeeper.  When the shepherd arrived in the morning, he could call to his own flock & separate them easily.  His own sheep would follow his own voice, and not others.  That said, it’s unclear if Jesus necessarily has that idea in mind.  Through the remainder of the teaching, Jesus doesn’t speak of competing flocks. (At least, not here.  In Matt 25, He teaches of the judgment of the nations in which He will judge between the sheep and the goats.)  In this case, Jesus seems to refer to only one flock belonging to a single shepherd.  In fact, the shepherd will eventually have more sheep to add to his flock (10:16), but there is still only one body of sheep that belongs to one shepherd.  Whoever the strangers might be, they are treated no different than the thieves and robbers.  Even if they came to the front door or encountered the sheep in the fields, they sheep would still not follow the strangers.  They “will flee” because they don’t know his voice.  They know the voice of their shepherd, but not that of another.
  2. All of this brings up a good question. “If Jesus’ sheep know His voice & won’t follow the voices of strangers, then why are there so many warnings in the NT about false teachers?  Wouldn’t we be protected from false teaching simply be believing in Christ?”  Although Jesus does link the thieves and robbers with false teachers (10:8), He seems to refer to something broader here.  Christians have many safeguards against false teaching: the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (1 Jn 2:27), the written word of God (per the Bereans, Acts 17:11), as well as qualified pastor-teachers within the church (Eph 4:11).  Yet even with all of this, there can be no doubt that some born-again believers in Christ sometimes get swept up in false teaching.  (Too many examples abound just in “Christian” television!)  Obviously one of the reasons the many warnings against false teachers exist in the NT is because of a very real danger for born-again believers.  Thus the Corinthians needed to be warned of false apostles (2 Cor 11), the Galatians needed to be exhorted not to return to the law (Gal 3), Peter had to warn of destructive heresies (2 Pt 2), John had to warn of those who had the spirit of antichrist (1 Jn 2), and more.
  3. So if that’s the case, what does Jesus mean by this?  The whole context is that of ownership.  The shepherd knows his own sheep, and the sheep know the voice of their shepherd.  To whom do they ultimately belong?  The shepherd; not strangers.  By way of application, this seems to speak of assurance.  Those who belong to Christ know the voice of Christ.  We cannot be stolen or snatched away by another.  As Jesus will go on to say in 10:28-29, no one can snatch us out of the His hands.  When we come to faith in Him, our eternity is assured by Him.  Jesus is our Protector and our Provider.  The devil may call to the Christian & wage war against the Christian, but the devil will never ultimately defeat the Christian.  Our ownership is secure in Christ!

6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

  1. As mentioned, the scenario of shepherds and sheep was a common one among the Jews.  There’s no doubt that those who listened to Jesus understood the basic facts of what He said.  Yet they still “did not understand.”  Why?  Because they did not have ears to hear.  They understood the cultural context, but missed the spiritual meaning.  Jesus spoke of shepherds and sheep but He wasn’t giving a lesson on animal husbandry.  He wasn’t part of the 4H club or teaching people how to excel at sheep ranching.  He was speaking of Himself & the relationship that each one of them (and us) could have with Him.  They heard Jesus on the surface, but not in true depth. (Beware you don’t do the same thing…ask God for ears to ear!)
  2. Fortunately, Jesus went on to explain the deeper meaning to them.  We don’t have time to explain the entire parable today, but we’ll begin where Jesus begins: He is the door.

7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

  1. Jesus starts with another “amen, amen.”  He has given the parable/illustration, and now He declares the meaning.  What makes His explanation so interesting is that although the focus of the parable was the shepherd, the beginning of His explanation is about the door.  In the parable, the door received only a brief mention in vss. 1-2, and it would be easy to overlook it entirely as background.  Yet Jesus brings it to the forefront.  Before any discussion of Jesus as the shepherd, Jesus first describes Himself as the door.
  2. Even more striking is the level to which Jesus elevates it.  This is one of His descriptions of His deity.  “I AM the door of the sheep.”  Just as Jesus declared Himself as “I AM the bread of life,” (6:35) & “I AM the light of the world,” (8:12) & the “I AM” seen by Abraham (8:58), likewise here Jesus says “I AM the door of the sheep.”  This is an essential part of His revelation as Almighty God.  This is who GOD is, and thus it is who Jesus is.  Remember that “I AM” is a reference to God’s own covenant name as He revealed Himself to Moses (Exo 3:14).  By simply claiming the words “I AM” to Himself, Jesus is staking out a claim to be God.
    1. Jesus IS God, and the fact that He is makes all the difference in the world! He is the Almighty Creator – He is the Covenant-keeping God of Israel – He is One to whom everyone will one day bow in worship.  He is uniquely set apart from every true prophet, and (especially) every false pretender within religion.  He IS the True God.
  3. What is it that Jesus says about Himself as the I AM?  He is the “door.”  In the parable, the only legitimate way of entering the sheepfold to get to the sheep was through the door.  Jesus IS that door!  No one is able to be a part of His flock apart from going through Him.  Jesus will go on to teach something similar to this later – John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."  No one comes to the Father except through Him.  Jesus is the way – Jesus is the door.  If you don’t go through Jesus, you’re not going at all!
  4. People often have a problem with this, saying “It’s too exclusive!  It’s too narrow-minded!  It’s too intolerant!”  On one hand, they have a point.  It IS exclusive.  When Jesus says He is the only way, then He is the only way.  That automatically excludes every other religion or philosophy from heaven.  According to Jesus’ claim to be the door & the way, then Buddhists don’t go to heaven.  Muslims don’t go to heaven.  Neither do atheists, secularists, or even cultural Christians (be they Catholic or Protestant).  If a person is not going through Jesus, then Jesus says they aren’t going at all.  So yes, it’s exclusive.  But does that necessarily make it intolerant or wrong?  No.  To say that a human needs to breathe oxygen in order to survive is not being evil or intolerant against someone who prefers to breathe nitrogen alone.  It’s simply a basic truth if a person wants to live.  Likewise with eternal life.  There is a basic truth about eternal life in that Jesus Christ is the only One who can grant it.  That’s not intolerant; that’s just a fact.  There isn’t anything evil at all in Jesus stating it.  In fact, His statement is quite the opposite…it’s loving!  If someone is about to harm themselves, the loving thing to do is to warn them.  If someone is stuck in a burning building, the heroic thing to do is to get them out.  That’s what Jesus does here.  False religions & philosophies don’t save; they just leave people trapped in a burning building.  Jesus’ claim to exclusivity helps to open their eyes & rescue them.

8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.

  1. How exclusive are the claims of Jesus?  So much so that everyone else who preceded Him could be labeled as a thief or a robber.  Every false messiah – every pretender to God – every person who stood between an individual & the true worship of the True God was no better than the devil.  They engaged in the same work, with the same end results, attempting to take God’s people away from Him.  If that was true regarding those who came before Jesus, certainly it is true of those who have gone after.  Anyone who claims to deliver the promises of Christ without going through Christ is a thief, and they will be judged by the Almighty God.
  2. The good news is that the sheep didn’t hear them!  Those who truly belonged to Jesus remained with Jesus.  They demonstrated Jesus’ role in their lives as the shepherd by remaining in His fold.  This makes a lot of sense when we think of Jesus as the door.  After all, to enter into salvation, people have to go through Jesus.  To somehow leave salvation, they would have to go through Jesus as well.  Jesus will not lose by theft those who have been given into His hand!

9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

  1. Once more, Jesus affirms He is the door.  When Jesus says something once, it’s important.  When He repeats it, it’s doubly important.  When He repeats it in such a short amount of time (barely 2 verses), it is as if Jesus is underlining and highlighting it.  IOW, pay attention!  Jesus is the Divine Door!  He is the way unto salvation – He is the only mode by which we have access to God.  Jesus leaves no room for debate or ambiguity.  If there was any doubt before as to what Jesus said, He removes it here by repeating Himself.
  2. This time Jesus goes into more detail on the subject, teaching what we experience when we go through Jesus as the door.  Those who believe in Jesus have (1) salvation, (2) freedom, and (3) provision.
  3. First, salvation: “he will be saved.”  Saved from what?  Obviously we will be saved from thieves and robbers, but Jesus seems to be speaking of something more than this.  We will be saved, period!  As the sheep of Jesus, we belong to Jesus.  We have come through Him into relationship with Almighty God & we are known to Him by name.  We are saved!  The ancient enemy Satan has no hold upon us – the current enemy sin has no enslavement of us – the future enemy death has no claim upon us.  Jesus saves us from all of that when we enter through Him as the door.
    1. BTW, remember that this whole conversation is taking place because of Jesus’ work on behalf of the blind man, and the man’s loyalty & faith in Jesus as the Christ.  The man may have been kicked out of the synagogue, but he entered into something infinitely greater: salvation in the sheepfold of Christ!  What it was the Pharisees stole from him, his salvation could never be stolen away.  He had entered by the Door!
    2. So do we.  Again, we have great eternal assurance when we come to faith in Christ.  Satan will try to steal, and the world will try to attack, but our salvation will never be taken from us.  We are secure as we abide by faith in Christ!
  4. Second, freedom: he “will go in and out.”  Jesus’ role as the door guards us and protects us, but He does not imprison us.  We have freedom in Him!  This isn’t an unsure grip on our salvation; it’s a gift of freedom to those who are saved.  So many people are wary of Christianity, not wanting anything to do with a bunch of religious rules & “thou shalt nots.”  That’s not what someone experiences in a true relationship with Christ!  When a person comes to real faith in Jesus as Lord, we enter into a real relationship with the Living God.  Do our lives change?  Absolutely.  Do we desire to obey Jesus?  Yes – but that is now our desire; not a compelled burden.  Because we know our Lord in truth, our desire is to please Him, to glorify Him, and to walk with Him in faithful obedience.  That is what we are now free to do.  We weren’t free before – prior to Jesus, we were enslaved to our sin.  But now we have true freedom!
    1. Do you know this freedom?  If you don’t, you likely don’t know Christ.  Those who think of God as an oppressive despot have never truly met the Lord Jesus in faith.  Those who do find loving freedom!
  5. Third, provision: he will “find pasture.”  The pasture was the place the sheep could wander in safety, eating the green grass wherever they wanted under the watchful protective eye of the shepherd.  Through Christ, we enter into the provision of God.  All our debt owed by our past sin is paid – every spiritual need finds its fulfillment in Him – every future hope is certain in His promise.  All we need is found in the provision of Christ!  As David writes of his own relationship with the Lord: Psalm 23:1–4, "(1) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (2) He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. (3) He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. (4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."  Our green pastures are found in the grace of Jesus!  He meets our every need.
    1. Be careful not to take this out of context.  This doesn’t mean that Christians will never experience illness, poverty, and the like.  To be sure, we depend upon Jesus just as much for our physical needs as we do for our spiritual ones – but the “pasture” and provision He gives is based in His presence.  Christians in Third World nations living on $2 per day are no less provided for by Christ than any of us living in the United States.  They still enter into the green pastures of God because those promises are based in the person of Christ as the door of the sheep.  Every born-again Christian has access to the promises of Christ.  There are days we might suffer, but that doesn’t mean that Jesus has stopped leading us in & out to pasture.  He is still right beside us the entire time (even in the valley of the shadow of death).  Jesus’ presence protects us even in the worst of our days.

10 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.

  1. As the door, Jesus gives salvation, freedom, and provision.  This is a major contrast with what is offered by the thief.  Jesus gives blessing, the thief brings burden.  The thief has but one purpose: to harm the sheep of God.  This harm is described in three ways: (1) to steal, (2) to kill, (3) to destroy.  The terms don’t need to be parsed out for the picture to be painted.  When the thief comes, it’s bad news!  Whether it is to steal away the message of the gospel, to take someone in despair to the point of death, or to destroy someone’s present life or eternal future, the thief brings nothing but trouble.  What the thief brings is precisely the opposite of what is guaranteed in Christ.
  2. Question: “Who exactly is the thief?”  Jesus has already alluded to the idea that the Pharisees were thieves – particularly in how they attempted to steal away the joy of salvation from the formerly blind man.  In addition, Jesus specifically labeled those who came before Him as thieves (10:8).  All of the false prophets & false messiahs were thieves and robbers attempting to inflict harm upon God’s true sheep.  Yet there’s something more.  Jesus has moved beyond the general description of plural thieves to a singular specific thief (“the thief”).  Although Jesus never names him, this seems to be a reference to Satan, the ultimate thief.  Jesus has already stated that the devil is a murderer & a liar (8:44).  This fits perfectly with the description given here.  The devil offers one thing: death.  He is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
    1. How different this is from the world’s depiction of the devil!  He is seen by the world in different ways: sometimes as a cartoonish character, sometimes as a fiction-based cautionary tale (like the Boogie Man), sometimes as a misunderstood party boy.  Some people go as far as to say they’d rather spend eternity in hell than heaven because they want to be with all of the “fun” people, including Satan.  That may be what Satan promises, but that isn’t at all what he will deliver.  The only thing the devil can truly give is death, because that is the very thing he himself faces in an eternity in the lake of fire.
  3. The thing about thieves is that they are always looking for the next score.  They’re looking for their next victim & next opportunity to strike.  So it is with the devil.  Satan knows his doomed future better than anyone, and he’s going down kicking & screaming.  He knows that he’s headed for hell, and he wants to take as many people with him as possible.  That’s why Peter writes that the devil roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Pt 5:8).  The point?  As we saw earlier, beware & be warned.  We may not need to fear the devil, but we shouldn’t be stupid about him either.
  4. Where does someone find protection from the thief?  By being guarded behind the door!  Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are protected from the lies and destruction brought by the devil (and anyone else doing his work).  The thief offers death, but Jesus offers life.  And what a grand life it is! “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  Jesus gives the kind of life in which we can abound!  True life – real life – guaranteed life – life in the now & life in the future – life!
    1. Do you have life?  You either have it or you don’t.  There isn’t any such thing as life halfway.  Someone’s heart is either beating or it’s not.  The same principle applies here.  We are either in Christ, trusting Him as the door, experiencing His life, or we’re not.  The promise is available to all – as Jesus said, this is the very reason that He came.  But you must respond to Him as the door in order to receive and experience it.
  5. Please note that the life promised by Jesus is not solely for the future.  It’s also for the present.  “They may have” is in the present tense.  The abundant life that Jesus offers is something that can be experienced right now.  We don’t have to wait until eternity to know the abundant life – this is something available to every Christian at all times.
    1. How do we experience it?  Through dependence upon Jesus & being continually filled with the Holy Spirit.  Know this: the Christian who has hope only for the future & not for the present is not living life as Jesus offers to us.  His desire for us is so much grander than that.  Jesus gives abundant hope, power, and grace for the present just as much as He does for the eternal future.  Our abundant life is not only for heaven, but also for earth.  Christian, live the abundant life!

Conclusion:
The promises we have in Christ are amazingly good!  As the Door, Jesus protects us and provides for us.  We have the assurance of our eternal salvation in the future, and we have the provision of abundant life in the present.  There’s no question that there are some who will try to steal this away from us, especially the evil one who offers nothing but lies, destruction, and death.  Between Satan looking to take us down, false teachers looking to lead us astray, and just the simple sufferings of life, it’s easy to get our eyes off of Christ and start drifting into despair.  It may be easy, but (praise God) it’s not necessary!

Christian, get your eyes back upon Christ!  Let your ears be attentive to His voice.  He called to us once in our salvation & we followed Him when we turned away from sin & surrendered our lives to Him as Lord.  But He doesn’t just call us once; He calls to us continually!  He knows us by name, and He leads us in & out as He guides us through life.  Listen for the voice of your Shepherd – take comfort in His protection of you as the Door.  Don’t just learn about the availability of the abundant life; experience it!

Perhaps as a Christian, you’ve started to feel a bit lost & disoriented.  You’ve been hit hard with the stuff of life (either through circumstances or spiritual attacks), and you’ve been left reeling.  Jesus’ promise is still for you!  He hasn’t left you – He hasn’t lost sight of you.  He loves you just as much as He always had from eternity past, and His presence is just as available to you today as it was the moment you first gave your life to Jesus.  Go to Him in prayer today, ask Him for His help in hearing His voice & commit yourself again to His hand as your Shepherd.  Entrust yourself to Him anew, and ask to be filled once more with the Holy Spirit.  He will give you the abundant life – that’s one of His stated reasons for coming in the first place.

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