Say what!? Jesus is literally the door?

Here’s an interesting twist on verse we’re all familiar with. Jesus said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” (John 10:9) Over the years, I’ve always assumed this was a metaphor. You know, a figure of speech not meant to be taken literally.



  1. a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.
  2. something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol.

Because, after all, Jesus certainly didn’t mean He was a literal door, right? Well, here’s where it gets weird.

In biblical days (as well as modern), it turns out that the shepherd himself was the literal gate for the sheep pen.  The pens were made of piled rocks with one narrow opening in which the shepherd either stood or lay down.  Nothing could get in or out without going through the shepherd.  See for yourself in the video below.  Wow.

Maybe this verse is more “literal” than we think.

The Gate from on Vimeo.

Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:7-10)

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Author: Shawn Nelson

Shawn Nelson is the President of Geeky Christian, a ministry which seeks to use technology to evangelize the lost and provide free material for Christian growth. He holds a BA in Biblical Studies from San Diego Christian College and an MDiv from Veritas International University where he is currently a Doctor of Ministry student. He is married with two children. He is also the author of several free books and others on Amazon.

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