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“I AM THE DOOR”

Date: 
March 4, 2018
Speaker: 
Rev. Terry Martinson
Reading: 
John 10:1-10; Matthew 7:13-14

THEME: Jesus is the door that leads to life, eternal and abundant.

INTRODUCTION

  • The sermon today is the third sermon of the Lenten series focusing on the “I am” statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of John…
    • The first sermon – two weeks ago - was “I am the Bread of Life.”
    • The second sermon – last Sunday - was “I am the Light of the World.”
    • Today’s sermon is “I am the Door/Gate”… or at least that’s what it was supposed to be…
  • Jesus said, “I am the door (gate) for the sheep. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.”  (John 10:9)
  • But I have a problem… I preached on this very text just 10 months ago… I’m sure you remember that sermon J!... you should remember the sermon – you, the congregation, helped to create it.
  • When we worked on that passage together in worship, I asked, “What do we know about gates and doors?” You answered:
    • There are many types of doors and gates…
    • Doors keep us safe…
    • Doors indicate movement in our lives…
    • Doors lead us somewhere…
    • Doors may reveal a mystery on the other side…
  • We focused on the fact that doors lead us somewherewe talked about education, and opportunities, and even the new year as being doors that lead us somewhere…
  • Then I asked, “If Jesus is the door/gate, where does Jesus lead us?”  You responded:
    • Jesus leads us to God…
    • Jesus leads us to abundant life…
    • Jesus leads us to eternal life…
  • Since that sermon from ten months ago is so fresh in all of our minds, I want to give you another opportunity to create a sermon, focusing on a different text, Matthew 7:13-14.
    • Matthew chapters 5 through 7 contain Jesus’ great sermon, “The Sermon on the Mount”
    • The Sermon on the Mount is really more like a collection of teachings rather than a sermon.
    • Verses 13 and 14 of Matthew 7 make a transition in The Sermon on the Mount from the ethical teachings, like the Golden Rule, to a series of warnings about the choices we make.

 

MATTHEW 7:13-14

  • Listen carefully as I read this passage because I’m going to ask you what you think these verses mean.
  • Matthew 7:13-14“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
  • How do you understand what Jesus is saying in these two verses?  (CONGREGATION’S RESPONSES)
  • Perhaps if I share these verses with you from The Message by Eugene Peterson the meaning will be a bit more clear: “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life – to God! – is vigorous and requires total attention.” (The Message – Eugene Peterson – Matthew 7:13-14)
  • This passage makes me think of the television game show Let’s Make A Deal, where contestants can choose between door no. 1… door no. 2… or door no. 3… what they win is determined by the door chosen…
    • life is like that, too…
    • the door we choose determines where we will end up and what we will end up with…
  • When Jesus spoke, he was not referring to Let’s Make A Deal, but rather to the gates of the temple…
    • Ancient Jewish temples had many entrances to them…
    • There were broad and tall entrances, as well as narrow and short...
    • Entering through the wide gates was obviously easier, while it was almost impossible to enter the narrow gates without stooping down and brushing one’s self against the wall…
    • Jesus said, the road to destruction, like the wide gate, is fast and easy, while the path to everlasting life is as difficult as entering through the narrow gate…The narrow gate requires some sacrifice…
    • There is a cost to discipleship… following Jesus is not easy and it requires sacrifice…
    • “The way to life – to God! – is vigorous and requires total attention.”  (Peterson)

 

CONCLUSION

  • It should be noted that a gate/door is just a starting point, a beginning…
  • Life is full of crossroads – places where we are confronted by choice… we must choose between one way or another… one way is inevitably broad and easy… the other is narrow and hard… the narrow way is often less crowded… one leads to life, the other may lead to ruin…
  • Robert Frost wrote:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both…

I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

  • Doors lead us somewhere…
    • Jesus said, “I am the door (gate) for the sheep. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.”  (John 10:9)
    • Jesus is the door that leads to life, eternal and abundant!

 

Sermon Seeds

  • The Message – Eugene Peterson – Matthew 7:13-14
  • Daily Study Bible –William Barclay – Matthew 7:13-14
  • Two Ways, One Choice – a sermon by Brian Anderson
  • There Are Two Gates – a sermon from Executable Outlines – Mark Copeland
  • Only Two Ways – a sermon from The Sermon Notebook
  • The Road Not Taken – poem by Robert Frost

 

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