I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” – John 10:9 (ESV)
The metaphor is the door that protects us when we believe. This truth is revealed to us given a twofold application. Jesus is the door to the sheep as well as He is the door for the sheep. In verses 7-8 Jesus appears as the door to the sheep; in verse 9 as the door for the sheep. We paraphrase, “I assure you truthfully, all who do not enter the sheepfold by faith believing in Me and have an appointment by Me, enter illegitimately proving to be a thief and a robber. Believe this, all who came before me have evil intent and are thieves and robbers. But he who enters justifiably is the shepherd of the sheep.” For the true shepherd, He is the door. For every true sheep He is also the door. For the shepherd He is the door to the sheep. For the sheep He is the door to all the blessings of salvation. The figure is very proper: a door leads both in and out: it gives the shepherd access to his sheep that are inside. It gives the sheep access into the fold, and out to the pasture which is outside.
“So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” John 10:7 (ESV)
Jesus is the Son of God and the manifestation of God Himself who came to earth to live a life that his created humans lived. He claimed to be the Bread of Life, the Living Water, Living Light, and now we learn the Good Shepherd. The shepherds in that time would sometimes lead their sheep into a fold. This round pen would be most likely have a rock wall with one opening. To protect the sheep at night the shepherd would sleep in the gateway as the door. He would know if anyone came to rob the sheep. When Jesus says, “I—emphatic; i.e., I alone—am the door of the sheep,” he means that he is the only One through whom anyone obtains legitimate access. There simply is no other entrance. The sheep in this way were saved from the threats and dangers in the world. No predator would be allowed in to frighten or molest the sheep. The Shepherd protected them with His life. Jesus promises, when he says, “I AM” the door that He was the only way sheep found safety and we are invited to enter by faith believing into His flock by trusting His promise.