By Elizabeth Prata*
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
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary says:
Many who hear the word of Christ, do not understand it, because they will not. But we shall find one scripture expounding another, and the blessed Spirit making known the blessed Jesus. Christ is the Door. And what greater security has the church of God than that the Lord Jesus is between it and all its enemies? He is a door open for passage and communication. Here are plain directions how to come into the fold; we must come in by Jesus Christ as the Door. By faith in him as the great Mediator between God and man.
What does ‘go in and come out’ mean? Is it that we will go in and come out of salvation? Not so! Our salvation is eternally secure.
Romans 8:28-30- We find in those verses that everyone who has been redeemed by Jesus Christ, without exception, will be glorified. (MacArthur: Is Your Salvation Secure?)
So what can coming and going mean?
“Go in and out” is a phrase frequently used “to denote the free use of an abode by one who is at home in the house” (Deuteronomy 28:6; Deuteronomy 31:2; Acts 1:21). The believer who enters into fellowship with God, and is “saved,” does not “go in and out” of that state, but can as a child share by turns the Divine repose of the home.
In listening to Steve Lawson preach on the verse, going in and out also means being able to freely conduct activities in the wider sphere of the community. People can go to the marketplace and do business (1 Corinthians 10:25, Acts 16:19), travel, thresh, and plant, to name a few examples. We remember how Gideon was so afraid of the constantly marauding Midianites that he threshed inside the winepress.
|A threshing floor at a high place|
The threshing-floors—open circular places in the fields where the corn was trodden out by oxen—would naturally be the first places where an invading enemy would come to forage, as in 1 Samuel 23:1, says Ellicott’s Commentary.
When threshing, the wheat is thrown high in the air and the wind blows away the chaff and the kernels fall to the ground. This would have been a wonderful sign, akin to a smoke signal, to the armies coming to forage.
|Threshing activity in the fields would have been a dead giveaway to the
advance party of any enemy army
Gideon was fearful of going in and out, so he chose to thresh in the winepress. Winepresses were sunk into the ground and walled by stone. There would have been no wind to blow the chaff and the confined space would have made threshing very difficult. This is one example of the hardship of those who cannot go in and come out.
|winepresses were not suitable for threshing, but Gideon felt so afraid
he could not go in and come out safely.
We all know what it feels like either not to be able to go and come freely, or to be afraid of going and coming freely (disease, war, crime…). What sweet relief it will be when we can go and come, and moreover, as the verse below promises, to have our Shepherd bodily present to guide us in all our goings and comings!
who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the LORD may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.” (Numbers 27:17)
Imagine when the promise in John 10 is fulfilled! For both Israel and the Church, we will be in perfect safety. No persecution, no attacks, no armies. Just peace in green pastures and rest! We will go in and come out, and all because JESUS made it secure, forever.
*This essay was first published on The End Time in May 2015