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I AM THE DOOR (GATE)

Date: 
May 7, 2017
Speaker: 
Rev. Terry Martinson
Reading: 
John 10: 1-10

INTRODUCTION:

  • In the Gospel of John, Jesus uses concrete images to help his followers understand who he is…
    • “I am the Bread of Life”
    • “I am the Light of the World”
    • “I am the Door”  (door = gate…  gate = door)
  • Jesus said, “I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.”  (John 10:9)

 

“I AM THE GATE”

  • When Jesus said, “I am the gate…” he knew the image that would come immediately to the minds of his hearers…
  • In Biblical times, a shepherd was literally the gate or the door of the sheepfold…
    • When the sheep were in town, there was a pen with a real gate where the sheep were kept…
    • But when the sheep were grazing out in the fields, the shepherd created a makeshift sheepfold with branches and brambles… once the sheep were safely in the fold, the shepherd would lie across the opening… the shepherd would literally be the gate… as the gate, the shepherd could control the coming and going of the sheep and keep the flock safe from wolves and other predators…

 

DOORS AND GATES

  • ASK: What do we know about doors and gates?
    • We know that there are all types of doors and gates… all sizes… all materials… some are warm and welcoming… others are cold and frightening…
    • We know that doors keep us safe…
    • We know that doors always lead somewhere…
    • We know that doors indicate a movement in our lives… when we pass through a door we are going from one place to another… the door connects us with what’s next….
    • We know that doors may reveal a mystery on the other side – we never know for sure what we might find on the other side of a door…
  • If we understand that doors lead us somewhere and that doors indicate a movement in our lives, then education is certainly a door… so is opportunity… and maybe even a New Year...
  • I wonder if we might consider prayer to be a door?  Or service? Or faith? Or church membership? Or Communion?

 

WONDERING ALOUD ABOUT DOORS AND GATES

  • As I started working on today’s sermon, I allowed my mind to wander… in my mind I tried to picture a variety of doors and gates and how each might relate to Jesus…
  • For a moment, I want to invite you to do the same…
  • ASK: When you allow your mind to wander, what images come to you when you hear the word “gate” or “door?”
  • Let me share with you a few of the images/pictures that come to my mind…
    • I picture the gate to the home where I grew up and the kitchen door which we used more often than the front door…  (home/warmth/acceptance/love/safety)
    • I picture the gate to the neighborhood playground…  (friends/fun/community)
    • I picture the revolving door at the big department store in downtown Brooklyn… (going round and round… coming or going?)
    • I picture a drawbridge and a great, wooden castle door…  (an invitation to imagine/dream)
    • I picture the automatic gate(s) of a gated community… (safety)
    • I picture the little doors of an Advent calendar… (surprise/faith)
    • I picture a prison door… (slam shut behind you/frightening/locked in/confined)
    • I picture a bouncer – a human gate – allowing some to come in while keeping others out… fortunately I never picture Jesus as a bouncer… he is always welcoming us in…

 

JESUS IS THE DOOR THAT LEADS TO…

  • Doors indicate a movement in our lives… Doors lead us somewhere…
  • ASK: Where does Jesus lead us?
    • Jesus us leads us to God… to the Father’s house…
    • To abundant life…
    • To real and eternal life…
    • To more and better life than we ever dreamed of…
  • Only when we live with Christ does life truly become worth living…

 

Sermon Seeds

  • Daily Study Bible – John 10 – William Barclay
  • Life Application Bible Commentary – Published by Tyndalw
  • Deeper Into John’s Gospel – Arthur Sueltz
  • I Am The Door – a sermon by Edward Markquart
  • I Am The Door – a sermon by Malcolm MacLean – Greyfriar’s Sermons

 

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