What does John 10:9 mean?
ESV: I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
NIV: I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
NASB: I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
CSB: I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.
NLT: Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.
KJV: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
NKJV: I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
Verse Commentary:
Sheep pens in Jesus' era were constructed with a single, narrow opening. This allowed the gatekeeper to control which animals got in or out. When allowed by the gatekeeper, shepherds could call to their flocks, who would respond only to the voice of their own shepherd. Jesus has used this well-known concept to explain His ministry to His religious critics. This verse continues the second of three analogies related to shepherding.

Here, again, Jesus claims "I am the door." So far as this metaphor goes, Jesus means He is the gatekeeper—the person who controls access to the pen. He is also the opening, the single means by which the sheep can move in or out. This also reflects the nature of God, as Moses heard from the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).

This analogy brings several layers of meaning. First and foremost, it is only through the door that the sheep can "be saved." This uses a Greek term, sōthēsetai, which implies something being kept safe, healed, or rescued from destruction. This is very dramatic terminology for literal sheep, though the pen was their best protection from wild animals. Jesus' statement, then, is unusually direct in its spiritual implications. Jesus is that door, and the only door, an idea often repeated in the New Testament (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

Closely related to this, the door—Jesus, in this case—is what separates all sheep into two basic groups. Sheep are either "in" or "out"; they are "saved" or "unsaved." There are no other categories, and no other options. This, also, supports the New Testament's consistent teaching that Jesus Christ is the one and only means by which any person can be eternally saved.

Also, some interpreters see this as a reference to Jesus leading people out of Judaism and into its intended fulfillment, Christianity.
Verse Context:
John 10:1–21 continues directly from Jesus' encounter with local religious leaders, after giving sight to a man born blind (John 9). Jesus' references here to shepherds and shepherding are pointed barbs at these hypocritical, self-serving figures. In this section, Jesus actually creates three separate metaphors; these are not meant to be understood as a single analogy. The first comes in verses 1 through 6, the second in verses 7 through 9, and the third in verses 10 through 18. In doing so, Jesus explains how He differs from the corrupt leaders He confronts. He also delivers His third and fourth ''I am'' statements, out of seven in this gospel.
Chapter Summary:
This passage continues Jesus' discussion with the religious leaders of Jerusalem, seen in chapter 9. Jesus lays out three separate analogies about His ministry, using the concept of sheep and shepherds. In those statements, Jesus explains why some people refuse to accept Him, declares Himself the only means of salvation, and again predicts His sacrificial death. This leads to controversy. Later, Jesus is cornered by a mob in the temple grounds. They once again try to stone Him as He repeats His divine claims, but He escapes in some way not fully described by the text. After this, Jesus leaves the area and returns to the region where John the Baptist had once preached.
Chapter Context:
Starting in chapter 7, the gospel of John describes Jesus' preaching at the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem. Through chapters 7 and 8, He debates with critics and attempts to explain spiritual truths. On the way out of the city, Jesus gives sight to a man born blind, as shown in chapter 9. That begins an extended debate which continues in this chapter. Jesus gives analogies of His mission using shepherding as a theme. Months later, He repeats those ideas when cornered by an aggressive mob in the temple. This sets the stage for His grandest miracle, the raising of Lazarus, seen in chapter 11.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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