I am the door/gate
October 11, 2008 Leave a comment
I am the door/gate for the sheep
In this third “I am” saying of Jesus, “I am the door/gate for the sheep,” (John 10:7, 9), the Greek word for door/gate is θύρα (thura), which can be translated as either door or gate—although it refers more often elsewhere to door than gate. Here Jesus is speaking on at least two levels. The first level refers to the literal, biblical agrarian world of the Holy Land. Sheep were protected from robbers and thieves by herding them into pens or sheep-folds and the shepherd may very well have served as the door/gate for the pen to keep the sheep safe inside the pen and allow them to go outside when it was time to go back into the pasture or to the nearest water source. On a deeper, spiritual level, Jesus is speaking of his authenticity as the Messiah over against false-pretender leaders, teachers and messiahs. He is also speaking of eternal life, where Jesus is the door/gate into heaven, hence the way of salvation for those who belong to and follow him. The picture/image/metaphor of a door is a most comforting one then in relation to Jesus and all of his would-be followers. A closed and locked door speaks of protection and security. An open door suggests freedom, opportunity, adventure, excitement, and growth in faith, hope and love as one follows Jesus wherever he leads us.