Introducing Jesus: "I am the door"
Scripture: "I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and go out, and find pasture." John 10:9
To understand many of Jesus' parables we have to start with a little bit of studying and understanding the context of the time. When I think of a door, it has a pretty different meaning from the meaning Jesus used here.
In this parable, Jesus was using the idea of sheep and shepherds that His audience was familiar with to show us who He is. He says, "I am the door," in the context of shepherding.
At this time, shepherds actually often were the physical door with their own bodies. They would lay across the threshold to stop predators from getting to the sheep, and to keep the sheep in the pasture.
Jesus was telling us that He takes this position with His own body (a physical sacrifice in the parable and later on the cross) to protect and provide for His sheep.
The other day, I read this passage in The Abide Bible. The Abide Bible has various ways of engaging with scripture, and this passage was accompanied by a painting of a shepherd at night called "The Sheepfold, Moonlight" by Jean-Francois Millet.
The painting shows a shepherd at night, and he is standing by the fence with his sheep. The sheep in the painting seem so unaware and innocent. They are simply following their shepherd in innocence, trusting and reliant on him to protect them at night. They seem unaware of their surroundings and well taken care of.
This is a picture of what Jesus does for us and invites us into as the door. He is the One who allows us access, and all are welcome. He gives us all that we need. His promise is provision and that by entering through Him, we will find pasture. We will be taken care of.
In this painting of a shepherd at night, I notice how the sheep are taken care of when they don't even seem to be paying attention. They are unaware of the danger around them, but the shepherd is there and cares for them. Often, I'm unaware of the presence of God.
It can be easy to get caught up in the busyness of each day and to forget to acknowledge the presence of God in it.
But God is always present, both protecting and providing for us, even when we are not attentive to it.
When Jesus says, "I am the door," it's an invitation to access. He gives us access to the Father and to provision and protection today. He is there to faithfully protect, day and night, and to allow us to enjoy His provision. He promises to give all that we need and give us access to life and life abundant (John 10:10).
We get to take on the posture of the sheep and to simply trust and rely on God to take care of us and protect us.
-How has God provided for you recently? How has He protected you?
-Acknowledge God's presence with you right now. What does it look and feel like?
-Jesus gives access to God. How can you use this access day to day?
Spend time acknowledging God's presence with you intentionally throughout the week. Specifically try to acknowledge God in moments that you might normally be tempted to become unaware of where God is in the moment or what He is doing.
Jesus thank you for coming and giving me full access to the Father. Thank you for your protection and for your provision. Help me to acknowledge your presence and the access you have given me throughout the week. Allow me to be trusting and reliant on you this week. Amen.