Study Series: Gospel of John – The Seven Great Claims of Jesus
Study 3 – I am the Door of the Sheep (John 10:7)
The idea of sheep and shepherds in firmly rooted in Jewish culture.
Abraham had his flocks. Jacob, or Israel as he became, when asked by Pharaoh what he did,
responded, “Your servant is a shepherd.” Moses was called by God from shepherding
Jethro’s flocks to shepherd His people out of Egypt. And David, too, was taken by God from
caring for his father’s sheep to become the shepherd king of Israel. This concept of
shepherd would inspire David to write one of the best known of all scriptures, Psalm 23. The
LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want…
Where Jesus says, in our key scripture, I am the Door of the Sheep, what does He mean?
Well, Jesus has in mind a sheepfold. Imagine a walled enclosure with an opening at one end.
The shepherd would place his rod across this opening and count his sheep, one by one, into
the sheepfold, a place of security where the shepherd could care for his sheep.
A good shepherd would know his sheep by name and be able to identify each one
individually. If one were missing, he would leave the ninety-nine and search for the one. He
would then sleep across the doorway, effectively becoming the door of the sheep:
preventing the sheep from straying out of the sheepfold, and stopping the wild animals
from getting in.
Jesus used this analogy of the sheepfold to describe the Kingdom of Heaven and eternal life
in God’s presence. As the door, He is the sole means by which we enter into the Kingdom of
Heaven, into eternal life. There is no other way in. As Jesus will say later on, “I am the way,
the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except by Me.”
Once again, this I Am statement of Jesus associates Him with the ‘I Am’ God who revealed
Himself to Moses. The Yahweh covenant God of Israel. And this declaration that He, and
only He, is the door is absolute. And so, again, we are left with the question, “is what Jesus
says of Himself here true?” If it is, what will we do with that truth?
1. If you are studying in a group, discuss what it means for you that “Jesus is the Door of the
Sheep.” If you are studying by yourself, please write down your thoughts about this truth.
2. In John 10:16 Jesus says that He has “other sheep which are not of this flock.” Who is He
referring to? What significance does this have for you?
3. Jesus promises in verse 9 that, “anyone who enters by Me will be saved…” The word
‘saved’ here is sozo, a rich word meaning to be saved, kept from harm, preserved, rescued,
saved from death, saved and free from disease, to thrive, prosper, be cured, healed. Discuss
in your group what it means to be ‘sozo saved’. How can you share this truth and its
application with those who have not yet experienced ‘sozo’?
4. If you are not yet a Christian, what do you make of this claim of Jesus? Is it truthful and
accurate? If so, what will you do with it? Once again, such a claim, if true, requires much
more than just our mental assent. If Jesus Christ is God, and if He is the only way into the
Kingdom of Heaven, into eternal life, will you accept Him as your personal Lord and Saviour?