Owners of the house come through the door! If you see someone climbing through the bathroom window in the dark of night – its a pretty good possibility that its either your teenager trying to sneak home after curfew or it is a thief!
We moved to Kitwe in May 1993 and moved to a house on Lukanga Drive. One morning in late November I woke, and walked down the hall toward the kitchen. As soon as I opened the door to the main part of the house I knew that we had been visited by thieves. The dining window was pried open and the burglar bars broken and twisted back. Our few possessions had been ransacked and anything deemed valuable was gone – tools, office equipment, kitchen wares. I was particularly angry when I saw my Bible and family devotional lying in a puddle outside the broken window.
Thieves didn’t break in out of love for us.
They didn’t come to bless or encourage us.
They came to steal. They came to take what didn’t belong to them for their own selfish purposes. They were thieves and that is what thieves do!
That is exactly who these religious leaders of Israel were: thieves and robbers!
They were false shepherds! They had demonstrated that by the way that they treated the blind man who Jesus healed (9:34). This man had experienced an unprecedented healing and had come to the obvious conclusion – this man Jesus came from God! No one could heal one born blind unless he came from God. The Scribes and Pharisees cast him out of the temple – excommunicated him – for saying so!
Jesus now points out obvious conclusions about these men! They are false shepherds!
Our text in John 10:1-10 Jesus draws undeniable conclusions regarding the religious leaders of Israel. The sheepfold in our text speaks of the nation of Israel and specifically Judaism.
How do you know who is a true shepherd of the sheep? The Shepherd comes to the sheep though the door. The shepherd knows the sheep and the sheep respond to their voice and follow the shepherd.
THE PURPOSE OF THE DOOR (1-5)
In ancient Palestine the sheep fold was usually made of piles of stones in a circular or share fashion with thorn branches around the top. Sometimes the fold was made from weaving together thorn branches. There was one doorway into the fold. Shepherds would bring their flocks together in one common pen such as this for the night. One of the shepherds would build a fire and lay out his bedroll and sleep across the opening of the pen. Anyone, or anything going in our out would have to pass through him.
Thieves targeting the flock would sneak up and try to break through the enclosure to steal the sheep, or slaughter one or two.
The owner of the sheep had rightful access to the fold and to the sheep. In the morning the shepherd would enter the fold and call out to his sheep. The sheep who belonged to him would respond to his voice and gather together to follow him out to the pasture.
The door is protection for the sheep (1)
Sheep are weak creatures! Sheep cannot fend for themselves, they need someone to look after them all the time. They need protection.
Mt. 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Sheep are simple creatures! You can teach dogs tricks and you can train horses but not sheep! They are pack animals and easily get lost. One sheep will follow another, and if one jumps off a cliff the whole flock will follow.
Sheep are defenseless creatures! Leave a cat or dog in the bush and they will turn wild and fend for themselves. Leave a sheep in the bush and they will get killed. They do not have sharp teeth or claws and cannot defend or protect themselves.
The door is proof of who is shepherd and who is thief. (2)
A shepherd comes through the door! Simple as that!
The shepherd comes through the door because he cares for the sheep. When a shepherd realizes that even one is lost he will search until he finds it.
Mt. 18:12-13 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.
The door is the point of access to the fold (3-5)
There is only one way into the fold and that is through the door!
The Shepherd has rightful access to the fold (3a). The shepherd knows the sheep. He knows them by name (3b). There is an intimate relationship that the shepherd has for his sheep. If you are one of Christ’s flock, He knows you! He knows everything about you, your aches and bruises, your failures and successes and He lovingly calls you by name!
You can drive a herd of cows, but you cannot drive sheep! You must lead them. The shepherd leads the sheep out and then he goes before them (4).
Whatever you are going through right now, Jesus has already been there! He is leading you – though it may be the darkest of valleys and you cannot see where you are or where the path leads, know this! Your shepherd has been there ahead of you.
Who are His sheep? Surgeon said that there are two identification marks that can clearly be seen:
- There is a mark on their ear: The sheep know & respond to the voice of their shepherd.
- There is a mark on their foot: The sheep follow their shepherd (4-5).
THE IDENTITY OF THE DOOR (6-8)
The door is Jesus! (7,9)
Anyone entering another way is a false shepherd! (8)
Any religious leader who rejects the person and work of Jesus is a thief and robber!
Consider some local examples of religious leaders who reject the person and work of Jesus Christ! They deny that He is the door and claim that there is another way:
- Jehovah’s Wittness – Jesus is not Almighty God, he is Michael the Archangel
- Mormons – Jesus was the brother of Lucifer
- Islam – Jesus is a prophet – a good moral teacher
- Judaism – Jesus is not God, not the Messiah. He was a prophet. (See Jn. 9)
Ezk 34:8 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock.”
THE BENEFITS OF THE DOOR (9)
Salvation means to be delivered from danger and death.
You must be saved!
- Political Salvation – The Jews of the OT and NT were looking for political salvation. Many today are putting their hopes in the same thing.
- Physical Salvation – They looked for physical deliverance in times of war, famine, danger or death.
- Eternal Salvation – Jesus did not come to bring political or physical salvation. According to Matthew 1:21, Jesus came to ‘save his people from their sins.’
Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Here’s an acrostic to help you understand the gospel message: (http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-best-method-for-sharing-the-gospel-82820/)
G – God created us to be with him. Genesis 1-2
O – Our sins separate us from God. Genesis 3
S – Sin cannot be removed by good deeds. Genesis 4-Malachi 4
P – Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. Matthew-Luke
E – Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. John
L – Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever. Acts-Revelation
This is not a prison, but a door! The sheep have freedom to pass through and enter for protection, safety, comfort.
Many feel that coming to Christ will restrict them, lock them up, put them in religious bondage – they refuse to come to the fold, they hesitate to enter by the door. In actual fact they are in bondage to what will destroy them – sin in its various forms promises joy, comfort, fulfillment but all of it is a lie! When you walk through the door of sin you find that it locks you up, puts you in bondage!
The only freedom mankind can find is found in Christ! In Him you can be free from the bondage to Satan and free from bondage to sin.
Jn. 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
They can follow Him in to enjoy fellowship, guidance, and instruction. They can follow Him out to serve.
The sheep can go out to find pasture – they are led to green fields and clean water! (Ps. 23). They are strong and healthy because they are nourished in the Word! All of this is only because they passed through the door!
THE NATURE OF THE DOOR (10)
The Sheep on their own face death & destruction (10a)
Satan is “the thief”. He is a deceiver, a destroyer, a killer! (I Pt. 5:8 – Lion)
The condition of the sheep is that they are lost in their trespasses and sins.
Is 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
The Sheep enjoy abundant life provided by the Shepherd (10b)
Jesus came to give life to the sheep – We pass from death unto life through Jesus Christ. He is the shepherd who goes out and finds the ones who are lost! (Ill: The blind man in ch.9. Healed him and came back to him to reveal himself.)
Jesus came to give his life for the sheep – I lay down my life (15)
Jesus came not just to give life, but to give abundant life! The shepherd comes and says to you:
- My mercy is abundant for you!
Ps. 86:5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
- My peace is abounding for you!
Jn. 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
- My comfort reaches the deepest part of your being!
2 Cor. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation…
- My joy permeates every aspect of your life!
1 Pt. 1:8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
- My eternal provision is adequate, bountiful and free!
Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
You can make all of this personal by asking yourself two questions:
- Have you heard the voice of the Shepherd call your name?
- Are you following Him?
Jesus Christ is the Door to eternal life! If you wish to enter the Kingdom you must come through that Door! If you are hearing his voice in your heart calling to you, respond in faith like the blind man (9:38). Do not reject his voice and remain in bondage to sin like the Pharisees (9:41).
If you would like to discuss a spiritual need, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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