I was watching a video the other day, and in the middle of it, the host started talking about the Chinese word for disciple. He said that the Chinese word for disciple can be translated and have a meaning of “through the door,” or “entering the door.”
This idea of “entering the door” or “through the door” comes from a time when martial arts masters used to teach Kung Fu behind closed doors. All teachers (or masters) would have times when they would publicly demonstrate their skills or have their students demonstrate the skills that they had been taught. Sometimes these were just basic skills and sometimes they weren’t the actual skills that the teacher taught at all. This goes back to a time when having that secret martial art skill, style, or “one punch” would be beneficial either financially or give them a place of status and respect. So they didn’t want to give away their best skills (or any of them) for free to the competition.
But when it came time for the master to teach the students, it was done in a private setting, many times in a courtyard behind closed doors. That’s because, again, masters didn’t want everyone to know the secrets of their style and their teaching methods. Many times they wouldn’t understand them, or they’d steal them, or use their own skills against them.
So when a person decided that they wanted to follow a specific master, there would be a big ceremony, that individual would make a pledge, and then they would be allowed to enter through that closed door, and become a disciple of that master and his martial arts style. So the term disciple conveys the idea of “through the door” or “entering the door.”
Now I thought that was kind of cool, but then let’s carry this idea over to Jesus. Jesus chose his disciples, they didn’t choose Him. He took them and trained them and told them things that others around didn’t get to hear. He revealed to them the secret things of the Kingdom of God that others would have loved to hear, but they weren’t close enough, they didn’t enter the door, they didn’t choose to be close enough – just like this idea of the Chinese word for “disciple.”
But the biggest thing that I thought was so cool is that this “disciple” term means “through the door,” but Jesus Himself said “I AM THE DOOR.”
These practitioners of Kung Fu we’re walking through a closed door to get the knowledge and skills that was behind it. The door that Jesus spoke about was so much better than any martial arts, any skill, any word, any meaning….anything.
The door that He spoke about is the door that leads to a life that’s better than anything imagined in this life (read that sentence again which emphasis).
“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” – John 10:7-9 KJV
While those students entered through a door to learn a skill, Jesus invites everyone to enter through a door (The door), to find a life free of condemnation, guilt, shame – life free of being held in bondage to sin, of power and authority, and find peace and rest.
Just like those students in the old times in China, walking through a door to hear the secret things of a great master, THE Master invites us to enter in through Him to learn the things that you cannot learn anywhere else, to hear the truth that no one else has. The question is, will you walk through the door?