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The 7 "I Am" Statements of Christ: I Am the Door/The Good Shepherd

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Catching Up In this series we are studying the seven “I Am” statements of Christ found in John’s Gospel. When Jesus said the words “I Am” preceding each of these statements, He was purposely connecting Himself with the word “Yahweh,” the Hebrew name for God which means “I Am.”

Today we’re going to look at both Jesus’ 3rd and 4th “I Am” statements because they are found in the same discourse.

Background Once again, before we get into the passage we’ll be studying today, we need to set up the context. Jesus is again speaking to the Jewish people in Jerusalem. Today’s passage is recorded in John 10 and is in response to events that took place in John 9. Jesus had healed a man born blind, on a Sabbath, and this caused quite a stir in the community. John 9:13 says the people ended up bringing the man to the Pharisees, and what followed was a heated debate over the identity of Jesus. In fact, in verse 22 we find out this:

John 9:22b the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.

And that’s exactly what happened to the man who was healed. After he had been questioned twice by the Pharisees and had watched his parents be called in and questioned, this is what took place:

John 9:30b-34 (ESV) [this is the man who had been healed speaking] You do not know where he comes from [talking about Jesus], and yet he opened my eyes. 31We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

34They [the Pharisees] answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

They excommunicated the man. Why would they do that? Why would they have agreed, as we read above, “that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue,” or excommunicated. Because the Pharisees and religious leaders perceived the possibility of Jesus being the Christ, and anyone who believed as such, as a threat to their power and position.

Oh here we go!

I Am the Door, I Am the Good Shepherd Now that we’ve set up the context, let’s look at the passage with Jesus’ 3rd and 4th “I Am” statements:

John 10:1-15 (ESV) 1“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

They “did not understand what he was saying to them,” so, just as He had done before, this is when Jesus decided to get their attention:

7So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

8All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not