9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Jesus was explaining His relationship with His people using the parable of a shepherd and his sheep. In the earlier section of this chapter, Jesus spoke of the sheep in the fold and the shepherd entering the fold through its door (vv. 2, 3a). Then He spoke about the shepherd and his sheep leaving the fold through the door (v. 3b), with the shepherd leading them into the pasture (v. 4). Now in our verse, Jesus describes a midday scene where the sheep had been led out from the village fold to the grassy slopes to graze and to the brook for a refreshing drink.
Now, we should not think of Jesus as the door of the fold, for in this parable, the shepherd had already left the fold and come to the pasture. Rather, we must perceive the door as representing the entrance to a wooded thicket somewhere in the pasture, where the sheep would enter to find shade and water. So here, when Jesus referred to Himself as the door, He is referring to Himself as His people’s provider and protector.
Perfect safety for the sheep lay in their being led into the pasture by the shepherd. Without him, they would not be brought into the safe pasture. The shepherds shouldered the responsibility for locating safe pastures for their flocks, a task not always easy in that semi-arid land with many wild beasts. Likewise, only through Christ can anyone enter into eternal salvation and enjoy all the subsequent spiritual blessings.
So Jesus said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved”. When people put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, they are led into everything God has prepared for them in the realm of salvation. Christ becomes their Shepherd, and He assumes the responsibility for supplying all their needs. Thus, Jesus Christ is the door not only to salvation, but also to spiritual nourishment. So He said that His people “shall go in and out, and find pasture”, like the sheep. Their spiritual growth will occur when nourished by Christ through His Word.
That’s why Paul said in Acts 20:32, “I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” If we “go in and out” along life’s journey according to His Word, we shall be spiritually well-nourished and strong all through our earthly journey.