Message: Part 3: Jesus is Your Entrance
Scripture Text: John 10:9
1. We’re beginning the season of Lent this week, and throughout we will be in the Gospel of John.
a. In this gospel, Jesus
talks mostly about himself. He uses the word “I” 177 times compared to 34 in all 3 combined.
i. 85 times Jesus combines the words “I am” or Ego Eimi in the Greek.
ii. Seven of those “I ams” are linked with a predicate object- “I am the…” followed by a vivid metaphor.
iii. I am the bread, the light, the gate, the shepherd, the resurrection, the way, the vine.
iv. These 7 “I Ams” are spread throughout John’s Gospel and they are the glue which holds it together.
b. We are going to spend each week through Easter looking at an “I Am” statement and how they have the power to unfreeze your faith and draw you into intimate
relationship with God.
2. The next “I Am” happens in John 10.
a. Read John 10:9
i. There are three keys to understanding this “I Am”
b. Unlike the rest of the “I Am’s,” this one is intertwined with another: “I Am The Shepherd.” They’re not just side-by-side, they overlap.
i. Jesus is both the person charged with keeping the flock safe and together, he is also the place built for the purpose of protecting the sheep from thieves
ii. When the flock was pasturing away from home, the shepherd would build a temporary enclosure out of stones and wood and be the gate himself. At night he would lay across the entrance so nothing got past him.
iii. Both “Door” and “Shepherd” reinforce idea of safety and security.
c. Like many of the “I Am’s”, I think this one also makes a connection with the Old Testament story of Moses & Exodus: when God delivered the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt and protected them on their journey home to the Promised Land.
i. A prominent “door” in that story is the one on every Israelite house, painted
with the blood of a pure sacrificial lamb to protect the occupants of that home from the Angel of Death in the 10th plague.
ii. This is the plague which finally convinced Pharaoh to let Moses lead the people to freedom.
iii. It’s an important story for the Jews, proving God’s power to save and inspiring the observance of “Passover”
d. An overlooked part of this “I Am” is how Jesus introduces a new definition for a door or sheepfold gate.
i. It doesn’t just provide safety for who comes “in” and stays “in,” but safety for going in and out.
ii. In other words, the door’s protection extends wherever you go, whether in the
sheepfold or the pasture around it.
iii. That’s one amazing door.
3. Jesus’ “I Am” are all pronouncements of who and what He desires to be for you. YOU are the “anyone” in this verse.
a. If this is true: that Jesus is the door, several things are NOT the door; the guarantor of your safety and security.
i. What or who have you turned to for protection? Think honestly about your answer to that question.
ii. How has this protection performed for you? Does it cover both the “going in” & stepping outside your comfort zone?
b. For Christians, the question this statement asks is whether you think Jesus is a good enough door for you?
i. Do you look to Jesus for safety and something else, like right doctrine, piety, doing lots of Christian-y things, being churchy?
ii. Surely, the door must involve something more than just trusting Jesus.
c. And, what about both the “going in” and “going out?” Is the promise of Jesus’ protection motivating you to getting outside the sheepfold of church, into the world, to demonstrate His safety and lead others into His sheepfold?
4. In 1934, a group of Christian pastors, teachers and theologians gathered in the German city
of Barmen to protest the newly formed Nazi government’s attempts to bring Protestant churches under its control, creating a “German Christian” movement bringing church and state together to protect German nationalism and preserve the German race.
a. The new German church would remove unsupportive pastors, expel anyone
Jewish descent, promote a more ‘heroic’ Jesus and remove the Old Testament.
i. During their meeting in Barmen, the protestors calling themselves the “Confessing Church” wrote a short declaration rejected any form of church which did not place its security solely on Jesus and his commands.
ii. The signers of this declaration faced arrest and being sent to Nazi Concentration Camps where many died. Some had to flee their home and go into exile in America. Some went into hiding to lead secret churches which took on the mission of helping Jews escape with forged papers.
b. If push comes to shove, is Christ alone my door?
5. This ever-present light is like a 100-degree sunny day for a block of ice. It has the power to
unfreeze your faith.
a. Each week I’m going to give you three ‘thaw levels’ for Jesus to unfreeze you now and over coming week – if you’re willing to go there.
b. Warm: Who or what do you most trust to protect you? Why?
c. Medium: Think through how Jesus can or does come through as your ‘door’ in as many scary or threatening situations you can think of.
d. Hot: How is Jesus using you to be his “door” for others? How can your gifts keep others focused on Jesus?