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Jesus is the Door and the Good Shepherd

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Jesus is the Door and the Good Shepherd

John 10:1-18

Series: The Great I Am

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Feb. 9, 2014

*Did Jesus ever claim to be God? -- The answer is: Yes He did, very often and very clearly. In fact, this was the main charge against the Lord from the religious leaders of the Jews.

*One way Jesus claimed to be God can slip past us in a way that it never would have escaped the Jews of His day: I'm talking about the Lord's "I AM" statements in the Gospel of John. For us the "I AM's" highlight great truths about our Savior. But through these statements, Jesus also rightly claimed to be the God of the Old Testament.

*Through these statements, Jesus claimed to be the Lord God who revealed Himself to Moses as the great "I AM." In Exodus 3, God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and the Lord said to Moses:

10. "Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.''

11. But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?''

12. So He said, "I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.''

13. Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?''

14. And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM.'' And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' ''

*In Hebrew this name "I AM" was Jehovah or Yahweh, and God used this name almost 7,000 times in the Old Testament. In our Bibles it is usually written as LORD with all caps.

*Today in John 10:7, Jesus said, "I am the door of the sheep." Then in vs. 11, He said, "I am the good shepherd." Jesus is the Door and the Good Shepherd, but what does this mean for us?

1. First it means that Jesus wants to guide us.

*Listen for the Lord's guiding voice in vs. 1-5. There Jesus said:

1. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

2. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

4. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

5. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.''

*It may be kind of hard to look at ourselves as sheep. But God say we are. That's because in many ways we act like sheep. And one thing about sheep is that they tend to wander off. They get so busy, grazing with their heads down, that by the time they look up, they are lost. So, Isaiah 53:6 says: "All we like sheep have gone astray."

*We need a guide in life, and Jesus Christ is the only one who can give us the guidance we need! How does He do it?

[1] With a personal relationship.

*The Lord guides His people through a close, personal relationship. This is such a crucial thing for us to see in vs. 3-5. Again, Jesus said:

3. . . "the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

4. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

5. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.''

*Jesus Christ guides His followers with through a close personal relationship. The Lord spoke of this relationship again in vs. 14-16. There Jesus said:

14. "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

15. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

16. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

*John Beehler helps us understand the close relationship between the Shepherd and His sheep. John said, "Most owners didn't own a lot of sheep. A flock of 100 was huge. Most flocks were no larger than 10-20.

*Sheep were like valued pets. The good shepherd knew everything about his sheep. The individual sheep in a flock all look alike to the untrained eye. But a good shepherd can tell them apart because of their markings or peculiar traits."

*A shepherd was explaining this to one of John's friends, and he was surprised by the shepherd's familiarity with each animal. "'See that sheep over there?' he asked, 'Notice how its feet toe in a little. The one behind it walks kind of sideways. The next one has a patch of wool off its back. There's one with a black mark below its eye, while the one closest to us has a small piece torn out of its ear.'

*He knew each one by name. These were not just sheep. They were 'Patch,' 'Limpy,' 'Blackie,' 'Tag,' and 'Nosey.' By day and night the shepherd lived with them. He was always there for them. You see, a shepherd, in order to know his sheep and care for them, has to live among them. He has to be close to them."

*As Jesus said:

3. . . "He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

4. . . And the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

5. (And) they will by no means follow a stranger. . ." (1)

*In the mid-1900s, Bill Rice was a well-known evangelist. He grew up in Texas cowboy country. Bill told about a trip to Israel, where he saw a shepherd leaning on his staff. The shepherd was surrounded by his flock of sheep. It was a moving sight, and Bill told his wife Cathy it must have been how David looked when he was a young shepherd.

*But while they watched, they heard a noise, and along came another shepherd with his flock of sheep. They greeted each other with hugs, and while they visited, the sheep got mixed up. They wandered all around, smelling noses and baaing at each other.

*Bill thought: "Great guns! When these two wake up they'll be fit to be tied. It is a cowboy's nightmare to have two herds of cattle mixed up. It takes from now to Christmas to get two herds of cattle separated." Then Bill said that while they were visiting, "we looked and, so help me, here came a third man with another flock of sheep. They were spread out everywhere and all mixed up. Man alive! Somebody ought to tell their wives they'll not be home for breakfast.

*Finally, one fellow turned around to walk away. He walked maybe as far as 30 or 40 feet; never stopped walking. Over his shoulder he said, 'Mmmmmm, brrrrrr, mmmmm, brrrrr.' And I never saw anything like it in my life. Sheep all over the place picked up their ears, and looked, and came scampering after him.

*He never stopped walking. He didn't stop and count them. He just kept on walking, and his sheep followed after him. When the other shepherd left the same thing happened! 'Mmmmmm, brrrrrr, mmmmmm, brrrrrr.' And here came the sheep."

*After that, Bill tried to get sheep to follow him. He said, "We would be in a taxi going some place, and we would see a shepherd with his sheep. I would tell the taxi driver, 'Hold it! -- I want out. I want to go over there and look at those sheep.' We'd go over there, then I'd say to the taxi driver: 'Ask him if I can talk to his sheep.' 'Ask if you can do what?' 'Ask him if I can talk to the sheep.'"

*The taxi driver would get permission. Then Bill would walk out to the sheep and say, "Mmmmmm, brrrrrr." And he said, "They wouldn't even look up, not a one! I'd change my voice -- high, low. -- Nothin! It was the beatenest thing." (2)

*Jesus said the Good Shepherd:

3. . . "calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

4. . . And the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

5. (And) they will by no means follow a stranger. . ."

[2] He guides us with a close, personal relationship. Jesus also guides us with perfect leadership.

*Lots of times in life we don't have a clue about where to go or what to do. We need someone to lead the way, and Jesus Christ will never lead us to a place we shouldn't be. He will lead us to faith and love and righteousness. He will lead us to service and worship and witness.

*King David surely trusted in the Lord's leadership. That's why in the 23rd Psalm David could say:

1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

3. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.

*Jesus Christ will lead us in all the right ways of life. Then, when life here is over, Jesus will guide us safely home to Heaven! That's why in the 23rd Psalm David could also say: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever."

*The Good Shepherd wants to guide us.

2. He also wants to guard us.

*In vs. 7-10, the Lord is guarding His sheep:

7. Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

8. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.

9. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

10. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. . ."

*We have to remember that sheep need protection. They are pretty much totally defenseless on their own. Sheep are not that big or ferocious. You will never hear a football team called the mighty sheep.

*Sheep don't have sharp teeth or claws to defend themselves. They can't spray like a skunk or sting like a bee. They can't run real fast or fly away, and that matters, because our enemy is out there. In vs. 10, Jesus says our enemy comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. So we need protection. We need to be guarded, and no one can guard us like Jesus! (3)

*He is our door of protection. We see this in vs. 7&9, where Jesus said, "I am the door." He was talking about a sheep pen that only had one doorway, and the Good Shepherd was the door of protection.

*When the sheep returned to the pen at night, the shepherd stood in the doorway and inspected each one with tender care as it entered. If a sheep was scratched or wounded by thorns, the shepherd would anoint it with oil to help heal the wound. If they were thirsty, he gave them water. And after all of his sheep had been counted and brought into the pen, the shepherd would lie down to sleep across the doorway so no wolf or thief could enter. (1)

*Jesus wants to be our door of protection. Life is much more fragile than we usually think. All of our technology and all of our efforts can only carry us so far. We need someone who can protect us beyond the boundary of this life. Only Jesus can do that. And He will if you will put your hope and trust in Him. Then you can say what David also said in the 23rd Psalm: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

*The Good Shepherd wants to guard us.

3. And He wants to give to us.

*We see this truth in vs. 10&11, where Jesus said:

10. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

11. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."

*Jesus wants to give us life! -- Real life, eternal life, resurrection life. Jesus Christ wants to give us a life like His. But the only way He could do it was to give up His life for us. That was because of our sin. Justice had to be done. The punishment had to be received. The price had to be paid. And the only one who could die for our sins was the one who had no sin: Jesus Christ.

*God the Son became a man. He lived a perfect life. Then He died on the cross for our sins, even though He didn't have to die at all. That's what Jesus is telling us in vs. 17&18. There the Lord said:

17. . . "My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.

18. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.''

*Jesus didn't have to do it. But the Good Shepherd gave His life for the sheep, and then He rose again to live forever! And that's the kind of life He wants to give to you! Jesus wants to give us His eternal, resurrection life. He also wants to give us rich life! It's the abundant life He talks about in vs. 10.

*It's the kind of life Lee Strobel found in Jesus. This author and pastor was once an atheist. But he became a follower of Jesus when his daughter Allison was 5-years-old. Lee said that all she had known in her 5 years was a profane and angry dad. He remembers coming home one night and kicking a hole in the living room wall just out of anger with life.

*And he said: "I am ashamed to think of the times Allison hid in her room to get away from me. But five months after I gave my life to Jesus Christ, that little girl went to my wife and said, 'Mommy, I want God to do for me what he's done for Daddy.' -- At age five! What was she saying? She'd never studied the archeological evidence (on the truth of the Bible). All she knew was her dad used to be hard to live with. But more and more her dad was living in a new way. And if that is what God does to fathers, then sign her up."

*Just 5-years-old, but even at that young age, she could see the rich life God was giving her dad! And little Allison gave her life to Jesus too. Lee Strobel says: "God changed my family. He changed my world. He changed my eternity." (4)


*Do you want God to change your family, your world, your eternity? -- Turn to Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd. He wants to guide you, guard you and give His abundant, eternal life to you. You can receive it right now, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon "Be a Smart Sheep" by John Beehler - John 10:1-10

(2) Bill Rice, "The Branding Iron" - June, 1979 - Source: SermonCentral sermon "The Good Shepherd" by Ted Sutherland - John 10:1-18

(3) Thoughts from John Phillips - exact source unknown

(4) Lee Strobel from sermon "The Case for Christ" - Source: SermonCentral sermon "First Things First" by Bruce Emmert - John 10:1-10

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