Then said he to me, See you do it not: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets…
I. It is almost impossible to read this emphatic description of the passage of the saints through the gates of the New Jerusalem without going back to the same imagery as employed by Christ with regard to Himself (John 10:1, 2). In both places the general idea is the same — that of an open and free entrance, as opposed to a stealing in unlawfully, unobserved, and unwarranted. In both cases there may be a reference to Christ as the Door, it being through Him that admission is gained into the ministry of God here, and through Him alone entrance is won into the city of God hereafter; the leading impression, however, conveyed by the words is that of an unopposed entrance, like that of citizens possessed of undoubted rights, into the high places of the town. False religions make man the anxious suppliant of a Supreme Being with whom he has no affinity; Christianity represents him as in covenant with and allied to the Hearer of his prayers, the Object of his worship. "Through the gates into the city." There may be and will be the constant sense of duties left undone, of sins committed unworthy of a son of God, of feeble essays after holiness, falling short — ah, how short! — of what might be; but if only the conscience witness to an earnest desire to do God's will, there will still be the high heart of one who, in covenant with God, sees already his own nature on God's throne, and his own passage open, when his work is done, through the opened gates into the very citadel of the eternal city.
II. He who would enter heaven must enter in through the door. There is a certain fixed and definite means of access. By this and no other we look for admission. Now, here again we arrive at a special characteristic of Christianity. From the very beginning it manifested itself a thing of order, rule, system. Now there is in this both an argument and a lesson. In the quiet, unperturbed, self-restraining order in which it commenced, the gospel vindicates to itself a Divine origin. Herein it shows itself to be, not the offspring of man's enthusiasm, but of that same Divine mind which, in the silence of eternity, laid the foundations of the round world, and set the waters their bound which they should not pass. The visible universe and the faith of Christ are equal exemplifications of order and law. And there is a lesson also here. If we would be Christians indeed, if we would attain the holiness here and happiness hereafter which are the heritage of Christ's followers, then must we be content to go on patiently, as they went of old, through the round of religious discipline and religious ordinances.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.