The Expository Files

"I am the Door"

John 10:9

(Scanned from Christianity Magazine, June 1995)

Jesus described Himself as being "the door" (John 10:9). Years ago there was a TV game show called "Let's Make A Deal." Monty Hall would offer the participants the choice of two doors and, depending on the choice made, the player would receive a valued prize or be zapped. Our lives are very much like that game show; life is made up of choices and, depending on which door to life that we choose, we will either receive a blessing or be zapped.

Jesus is the door
Jesus said, 'No one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6). The one who enters through Jesus, "he shall be saved" (John 10:9). Then it is Jesus who sets the standard. Monty Hall would give a player some money which he could trade for a door. To get the door, the player would have to follow Monty Hall's instructions. We all recognized that to get the door, the instructions would have to be followed. In the same way, Jesus said, "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved" (Luke 16:16). Therefore, to choose the door which leads to salvation, Jesus' instructions will have to be followed, because "he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 7:2 1).

Door of faith open
After Paul's first evangelistic journey, "they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles" (Acts 14:27). Paul, during his third journey while at Ephesus, noted, "for a wide door for effective service has opened to me" (1 Corinthians 16:9). Jesus opens the door of opportunity to speak to someone in His name. We need to constantly watch for that open door. First, we need to be praying. . . that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may "speak forth the mystery of Christ" (Colossians 4:3). After praying for the door to open in someone's life, we need to watch for it to open. Typically, in anyone's life, there are certain times when the door opens to Christ (perhaps marriage, birth, death, moving, etc.). When I first started preaching at about age 27, an insurance man tried to get me to take out health insurance. Even at the grand sum of $35 a month, that door wasn't open then; but now with a family, I wouldn't dream of being without it. Constantly watch for the door to open in someone's life.

But to take advantage of that open door, we must not be distracted with other things. Our job, money, family, hobbies, etc., can distract us from taking the opportunity. We need to be ever vigilant. Even Paul was distracted, when he "came to Troas for the gospel of Christ and when a door was opened for me in the Lord, I had no rest for my spirit, not finding Titus" (2 Corinthians 2:12-13).

Temptation and the door of escape
We need to always know where this door is located. Paul said that no temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also" (1 Corinthians 10:13). Some consider themselves strong. The man who will not ask directions because that makes him look weak is proverbial. We can be strong when we recognize the strength of our weaknesses. Joseph was strong because he knew where the door of escape was located. When Potiphar's wife "caught him by his garment, saying, 'Lie with me!' ", He left his garment in her hand and fled.

The door of blessings
Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" (John 10:10). "Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father" (James 1:17). Even for Israel, God "rained down manna upon them to eat, and He gave them food from heaven" (Psalm 78:24). Yet they complained about that blessing (see Numbers 11:6). Would we really be thankful for the blessing of many conversions, or would we "complain against one another" (James 5 :9) because of something that we don't like?

"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God" (Romans 8:28). Are we looking for those things that "work together for good," or are our eyes fixed on something else? What makes the following quote so powerful is not only what it says, but who said it: "When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us" (Helen Keller).

Open door to heaven
If we miss this door, then we've really been zapped. John looked and saw "a door standing open in heaven" (Revelation 4:1). We need to always be spiritually looking for this door. Jesus is the door. But we won't be able to enter unless we hear, "Well done, good and faithful slave.., enter into the joy of your master" (Matthew 25:2 1).

By Denny A. Diehl
From Expository Files 6.11; November 1999