Jesus is the door to life // John 10:9
Everyone is trying to find meaning, purpose and ultimate fulfillment in life. Life provides many doorways to what we believe will give us satisfaction, identity and peace. These doors promise great things. You can hear the sounds on the outside and what's inside seems alluring. People will guide you, entice you and show you all manner of doors in life. These doors could be labeled financial riches, fame or popularity, entertainment, religion, sex, career, travel, food, drugs/alcohol/escape or even suicide. What can keep me up at night as a father is worrying about which doors my kids are toying with going through, drawn to or have gone into. Each door holds behind it a set of consequences; we can't un-see what we've seen or un-experience what we've experienced. But Jesus appears in life and tells His followers He is the door that leads to salvation, freedom and life! He tells His followers, He is the only door that can fulfill, redeem and provide life. He is not a door but rather, the only door to life.
In John 10 and verses 1 through 9, Jesus shares that He is the doorway to life. He is not a doorway—He is the door to life. He is making an exclusive faith claim that carries with it incredible consequences. His teaching in the opening of chapter 10 is a continuation of His teaching in previous chapters in which He revealed He is the bread of life; the light of the world and now the door to life. Later in John 14: 6, He will plainly state "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." To the Samaritan woman at the well who was looking for the Messiah, Jesus told her "I am He" (John 4:26). To a group of frustrated religious leaders Jesus equated Himself with the God of the Old Testament when He said, "...before Abraham was born, I am." The religious leaders' response was to stone Him because they clearly understood He was equating Himself with Yahweh, the great I Am of Exodus.
Pastor, theologian and author Tim Keller made this observation regarding Jesus' claims to deity, "The prophets come to show you where god is. In Jesus, [He says] I'm God and I've come to find you. No other founder of a world religion makes this claim. Either He is wrong and crazy or He's the way."
Orthodox Christianity rises and falls on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the actual physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead, you don't have Christianity. The writer of Hebrews brings home the essentialness of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus in Hebrews chapter 10 and verses 19 through 25. Christians enter into the holy place (Holy of Holies—very presence of God) by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way which Jesus started for them through the veil, that is His flesh (reference to the literal death of Jesus) they have access to God. Jesus' resurrection established His role as a great high priest (intercessor) between God and mankind.
In light of this, Jesus' followers are called to do 3 things:
- draw near,
- hold fast,
- and provoke one another to love and good deeds.
Christians draw near to God with a clear conscience. The writer of Hebrews uses the language of temple sacrifices and addresses the hearts of believers in metaphor writing they are "sprinkled clean from and evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." Coming to God through Jesus is coming clean.
Christians are to hold fast the confession of hope without wavering having confidence in Jesus and not our own merit to allow us access to God. Christians do not grovel at the door of heaven and hope to gain access by some great deed or sacrifice of our own; but rather, by a gracious invitation from Jesus and based upon His sacrifice alone. We don't find God He finds us and calls us home.
Christians are to stimulate (literally provoke) one another to love and good deeds. The exhortation here is not to encourage but rather compel one another to act like Christians; to love others with generosity of spirit making the world around them a better place. I've had people provoke me to love and good works and it wasn't gentle. I wasn't living out what I said I believed and a friend called me out on it. It provoked me to get myself sorted out with God and on track with His teaching to love others.
If you are a Christian, are you doing these three things? Have you taken Jesus at His own words that He is the only way to the Father? Of all the doors in life, which one are you leading people to? Remember all the doors that are out there. Jesus is the door to life—show people to the door.
Find the recorded sermon here.