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Recently we studied John 10:9 where Jesus said “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” As we have looked at some of Jesus’ other “I Am” statements in John, (such as “I am the bread of life” and “I am the light of the world”), I’ll have to be honest, this is the one that always seems to make me stop and think a bit.

It’s not so much that Jesus says He is the door, (which can be difficult to fully understand apart from a true understanding that Jesus provides the way to heaven), but rather that He says “ and will go in and out and find pasture.” In order to better understand what is going on here, I want to look at 3 aspects of what Jesus said: the term “go in”, “out” and finally “find pasture”.

First, what does Jesus mean by going in? Out of the three aspects today, this one is probably the most self-explanatory. Jesus being the door means that He provides a way in, (as all doors must provide a way in), to God’s Kingdom. He states this same truth another of other places such as John 14:6 and this truth is also stated about Him in Acts 4:12 and John 3:36. That for us to enter God’s Kingdom, we must find the door and the door to God’s Kingdom is through Jesus and Him alone.

Notice what Jesus then says in John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus here is contrasting Himself as the door with those who may claim to be the door but really are not. Or people who claim there is no door in order to keep people from entering the true door to God’s Kingdom. Rather, Jesus provides the way for us to find God’s Kingdom and that by doing so we “may have life and have it abundantly.”

Second, how about what does Jesus mean when He says that we may also go out through this door? Does this mean that once we have entered the Kingdom of God we can also leave? If so, why would we want to? Based on this particular verse as well as reading the rest of John 10 and other references through out the Bible, it wouldn’t really make sense for the “going out” to mean leaving the Kingdom of God.

Instead, I think it is helpful for us to consider a sheep pen and exactly the purposes for the sheep to “go in” and for them to “go out”. When sheep are brought into the pen, (the going in described above), they are typically brought in for protection. Shepard’s don’t leave sheep in the pen all day everyday, but rather bring them in for their own protection during the night or when other dangers are nearby, (predators, weather, etc…). So Jesus does provide us into God’s Kingdom and when we enter we are eternally protected from any and all accusations and nothing will be able to separate us from God’s Kingdom once we have gone through the door, (Acts 8:38-39).

But sheep also must go out from their pen into the world to roam about, feed and find pasture, (which we will talk about next). So when Jesus says that we can “go out” He doesn’t mean that we exit the Kingdom of God but rather that we are free to go out and live our lives in this world without fear. We can go to those around us and share the Gospel, give of our resources for the work of God and live out our faith as a witness to those around us. We are able to live this “going out” because we know we are secure because we have already gone through the door and are eternally safe in Jesus’ arms but also because we know as we go we have a loving Shepard who will guide, protect and watch over us (John 10:11).

Finally, this brings us to what does Jesus mean that we will find pasture? For a sheep to find pasture is their ultimate place of rest. Pasture is a safe place where sheep can feed and live out their main life objectives, (for sheep those main life objectives aren’t real complicated). Pasture is a place of comfort. A place of security. For the Christian, this means we can find comfort in our lives knowing that Jesus has provided the way for us to enter God’s Kingdom. Now I am not talking about the type of comfort of health and wealth proclaimed through the heretical prosperity Gospel, (which is really no Gospel at all) throughout the world. Rather, I am talking about the type of comfort Paul had experienced through his life of trails and tribulations, ups and downs.

Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Our pasture is that we can enjoy the many good blessings that God has given us in this life and be satisfied with them regardless of our circumstances. But that we also get to look forward to the next life where the blessings of God will flow forth and we get to experience God and His Kingdom in person.

My invitation for all of you this week is to come in and rest. Life is so hectic, chaotic and frankly, short. There are so many things we can be worried and anxious about. So many things demand our purpose and mission. So many distractions of false comfort and fleeting pleasure. And there is Jesus. The door to God’s Kingdom who alone provides us good things, (no matter what our circumstances are!), in this life and the next. So if you are burdened this week, will you listen to Jesus’ words and let yourself enter God’s Kingdom. Come in and rest in Jesus.

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