As a young girl I was fascinated by storybook pictures of castles. Long corridors with rows of doors, secret passageways and locked rooms excited my imagination. They felt mysterious and foreign. Houses in my small West Texas town were simple – front door, back door, a couple of rooms in each home. Even so, I loved going new places and wondering what secrets might lie behind a closed door. Though I was too polite to try them, I badly wanted to open them all.
Only recently has it occurred to me that my fascination with doors is rooted in divine mystery. My Savior is a Door, and a Door to endless revelation. Jesus Himself said so. “I am the Door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9) In the same passage Jesus calls Himself the Doorkeeper and the Good Shepherd as well. I am sure this made John’s head spin, even as mine does when I contemplate Jesus as King and Servant, God and Man, Bridegroom and Judge. But surely He is all of these and more.
Jesus is the Door of reconciliation to the Father. In parables He teaches us the nature of the Father. In prayer He shows us how to draw near to the Father. In His death and Resurrection He proves the depth of the Father’s love. On the evening of His betrayal, Jesus tells the disciples, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
Now if Jesus is the Door to the Father, He is an unending door, always opening new rooms, new mysteries, new revelations of the Father who is glory without end. John experiences this truth on the Island of Patmos when once again His Savior appears to him. John hears a voice like a trumpet, a voice we are told belongs to Jesus, and the voice tells him to look into heaven where a door stands open. (Rev. 1:10. Rev. 4:1) This door reveals the Father in a glory John has never seen – shining like sardius and jasper with peals of thunder and lightning flashes around His throne, encircled by the rainbow, a sea of crystal at His feet. This door is no humble sheep gate!
Yet the Alpha and Omega, the Firstborn of the Dead, is always the Good Shepherd. As John looks through the open door in heaven he sees, “a great multitude from every tribe and nation and tongue, clothed in white robes, standing before the Lamb.” I am sure this vision recalled to John's mind words that Jesus had spoken early in his his life. “I have other sheep which are not of this fold; I must bring them also; they will hear My voice and become one flock with one shepherd.” I cannot imagine how Jesus’ Jewish audience understood these words, but I am sure it was puzzling. Even today we Christians stumble over these words. We find sheep from different folds a bit off-putting with their strange language, odd worship, doctrines which feel unbalanced or misguided in places.
But as Jesus is the Door to the Father, He is also the Door to our unity. He is the Shepherd of a vast and varied flock. Jesus knows His sheep even as the Father knows Him. And true sheep know the Shepherd’s voice. They recognize His voice in other sheep, even sheep of a different flock. True sheep always follow their Master, and they share in the love which binds the Father to the Son, the Shepherd to His sheep.
Jesus, we ask You to continue opening doors of revelation of the Father. And we pray for You to make us one flock under one Shepherd.