I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9
This verse follows a discourse in which Jesus explains something important about his relationship with those who follow him:
Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. John 10:7-8
- If you only saw the word door by itself, it might not seem terribly important. However, as you see, Jesus says twice, “I am the door.” Why do you suppose Jesus makes this statement twice?
- On the night in which Jesus was betrayed, during his last supper with the disciples, what did Jesus say that recalled this statement? (see John 14:6)
- These statements all embody a clause that is crucial to understanding what Jesus claimed. When Jesus says, “I am,” what Old Testament scene comes to mind? (See Exodus 3:1-22) If this scene is truth, then what is the truth about Jesus?
- Numerous contemporary Christian leaders teach that Jesus is only one of many different ways to God. Marcus Borg says, “The enduring religions of the world all include lovers of God and saints in whom one can see the way, the truth and the life.” What do you say to someone who believes that every religion is a valid, even if different, way to the same God we worship through Christ?
- Eboo Patel fosters this attitude in his interfaith dialogue agenda. Eboo Patel is a member of President Barack Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships. He is an American Ismaili Muslim of Gujarati Indian heritage and founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit that aims to promote interfaith cooperation. Patel says, “Our interfaith movement builds religious pluralism.” The term religious pluralism at a high level sounds like simple respect, an admirable concept. Nevertheless, as the agenda unfolds in publications and seminars, it becomes clear that the people who support religious pluralism want to prevent people who believe that Jesus is the only way from saying such words. How do you sustain and live by the principle that Jesus is the only way when well-intentioned people appear to believe it is uncivil and perhaps subversive of the public good to assert this truth?