“Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth,
I am the gate for the sheep….
whoever enters through me will be saved.”
There was only one way for the sheep to enter into the sheep-fold that Jesus was describing, and that was through the door, or gate. If they did not come in through the door, they were obliged to stay outside. This image, based on something that everyone then could visualise and understand, was quite clear. His point, however hard it might be for some to accept, was also obvious. There is no way into the Kingdom of Heaven except through Jesus. This is affirmed elsewhere in Scripture:
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus is the door through whom alone entrance into God’s presence becomes possible. Anyone who has not entered through Him has, in fact, not entered the Kingdom of God. Anyone who has come into a church, except through Christ as the door may have entered the building or the association, but has not entered the Church as the body of Christ. There is only one way, and His death on the cross must prove that beyond any doubt. If there had been another then no God of love would have allowed His Son to be brutalised and dealt with in such a fashion.
Jesus is the only entrance into the presence and Kingdom of God. His decision is the one that counts and when He judges that decision will be binding for all eternity. He needs to be taken seriously. At the same time He does not wish His sheep to be worried about their future so He gives them promises that are definite and certain.
• “Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)
• “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)
• “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
To receive the salvation offered by Jesus and through Him is to turn from ourselves to Him, from our way of life to His, and from the words of the world to the Word of God. As John Stott has written, ‘the way to ‘receive’ or ‘enter’ the Kingdom is to repent and believe; that is, to turn decisively away from all known sin and to turn in faith and commitment to Jesus as King’ and to trust Him completely. It is a decision that we need to remember and live out every day.
Am I an onlooker or a member? Do I honour my salvation and Saviour?
Lord Jesus, I come to You (again) as Saviour and Lord – acknowledging You as the only way to the Father, and thanking You that You have brought me to this moment in my life. As I accept You, as best I can, as my Saviour, please open wide the door for me and draw me into the Life that You have prepared for me. In Your name I pray. Amen.