Jesus would often speak using metaphors and figures of speech. As a result, people would often misunderstand him or not get what he was saying at all. In John 10, he uses a prolonged metaphor of sheep, shepherds, doors, and sheepfolds.

Read John 10:1-10

Jesus explains that there is only one legitimate way into a sheepfold, the place where the sheep are safe. That way is through the door. Anyone who attempts to enter by different means is wicked.

Because his listeners are confused, he makes his statement more clear. He is the door, the sheepfold is salvation, and the sheep are his people. Jesus is claiming that he is the exclusive means of salvation. It is only through him that people may be saved.

This teaching of Jesus is not fashionable in our day. For Jesus to claim that he is the only way necessarily is a claim that everyone else is wrong. This seems cruel. And it seems harsh until you recognize there is very real danger out there for the sheep. The shepherd isn’t concerned for their comfort. He’s concerned for their lives. There are robbers. There are wolves. There are storms. When peril and attacks are imminent, the sheep are quickly sent to the door, the only way into safety. “Run! Run to the safety of the sheepfold! There is nowhere else that can protect you!”

It may be difficult for us to hear that Jesus is the only way. This is because we tend to think of Jesus as an optional way to happiness and not as essential for salvation. Jesus however tells us that there is real danger out there. Sin, death, and Satan want to capture and destroy you. Jesus is the only means of safety. What/who else can save you from these?

I AM THE DOOR. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved” (Jn. 10:9)

Ask yourself these questions and write down your responses:

  • Do you feel that sin, death, and Satan are active threats to your life right now? Why or why not?
  • How could the exclusivity of Jesus make you uncomfortable? How could it comfort you?
  • Have you personally called on Jesus as the only means of salvation?

If you’d like to learn more about Jesus’ teaching about being the Door, listen to this sermon from Pastor Tim: