Metaphors of Jesus: The Door

By Bruce James

Jesus alludes to himself as the Door in John 10:1-9. The idea of the door is used in conjunction with the shepherd and his work. The larger house in Palestine had a courtyard surrounded by a high wall; in the country places that courtyard served as a fold for the sheep at night. The courtyard had only one door and, at that door, the gate-keeper was in constant watch. Any honest man on any honest errand would seek admission through the door and would be admitted immediately. The one who had an evil purpose would avoid the door and try to get in by climbing over the wall. The one who really cared went through the door; the man who was out to hunt the flock sought some other entrance. So Jesus said, “I am the door.”

Another picture is a fold on the mountainside which was a simple ring of grass surrounded by a stone dyke or a hedge of thorns. This kind of fold had no door at all. It simply had an opening, and across the opening the shepherd lay at night, so that he was literally the door and so that no sheep could get out and no foes could get in except over the shepherd’s body. Jesus is the way His flock enters into safety and whereby they are protected from danger.

So then the picture of Jesus as the door tells us certain things about Him. (1) It is Jesus alone who gives us the way to the Father and family of God, exercising faith in His son and obedience to His Son’s will, we have the privilege of becoming His adopted sons. Jesus is the only door to His house, the Church (1 Tim. 3:15). (2) It is Jesus alone that gives us the privilege and blessings that are found only in His body, the Church (Eph. 1:3-23). When attached to the Head, then all is ours — the word, the promises, the precious commands. (3) Finally, Jesus is the only Door to eternal glory. Many guess and grope; others receive only part of the truth; but Jesus can lead us directly into the presence of God.

He is the door. to the knowledge of God; He is the door to security and peace; He is the door to the life which is real life. The Psalmist said, “The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever more” (Psa. 121:8).

Truth Magazine XXII: 3, pp. 61-62
January 19, 1978