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I AM: the Good Shepherd

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The Good Shepherd.

Recap last week: the picture Christ paints.
We discussed the spiritual realities that this physical story presents.
Jesus is the door: he is the only way of salvation.
The sheep hear his voice: Because the shepherd calls them. He has called them out.
John 10:11 NASB95
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
In this passage, Jesus identifies himself here as the shepherd.
Jesus is the door: he is the only way of salvation.
The sheep hear his voice: Because the shepherd calls them. He has called them out.
In this passage, Jesus identifies himself here as the shepherd.
Not just a shepherd, but the good shepherd.
What makes the shepherd good?
He lays down his life for the sheep.
The goodness of the shepherd is determined by the length at which he will go to bring good to the sheep.
When we think of the good shepherd, we have a tendency to think of the shepherd who is petting the sheep smiling at them from time to time.
However, the role of the shepherd was no soft and cuddly job. It was a job looking after these rascals. They aren’t the smartest animals. They are nosey, and quick to get themselves into trouble.
As a result, the shepherd’s job often had to step in between the sheep and danger.
and in that danger, The most the shepherd can give is his own life to protect the sheep.
Let’s take a minute to appreciate the fact that sheep aren’t that great. They are not the most majestic animals.
They aren’t dogs, or lions, or horses.
They are a common animal.
An animal, that for the most part are used by humans for clothing.
But the good shepherd will lay his life down for the sheep.
But why?
Why would anyone lay their life down for sheep?
Let’s ask the hireling.

Why would anyone lay their life down for sheep?

Let’s ask the hireling.
John 10:12–13 NASB95
“He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.
Imagine this scenario:
The hireling is not a true shepherd, not the owner of the sheep, he is out there watching the flock.
He sees a wolf, lion, bear, you name it and he knows that there is danger.
He has nothing invested in the sheep?
He’s been hired for the day.
He gone. He ain’t losing his life for something he has no investment in.
He gone.
There’s no reason for him to lose his life for sheep.
So he leaves.
The wolf comes and snatches away the sheep, and the hireling outruns Forrest Gump to the house.
He is not concerned about the sheep.
jesus has had a poiunt about all of these picture.
Pharisees, are all about money. They have no desires.
Those looking out not for the interest of the sheep, but they are only concerned with money.
Zechariah 11:15–17 NASB95
The Lord said to me, “Take again for yourself the equipment of a foolish shepherd. “For behold, I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken, or sustain the one standing, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hoofs. “Woe to the worthless shepherd Who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm And on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered And his right eye will be blind.”
A Hired hand, or anyone that is only interested in Money will not be one who looks after the best interest of the sheep.
Ezekiel 34:11 NASB95
For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.
A true pastor is sacrificial shepherd because he follows the example of the sacrificial Good Shepherd.
He has no interest.
Now, Lets ask the shepherd.

Why would anyone lay their life down for sheep?

John 10:14 NASB95
“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,
I am the good shepherd.
He knows his own.
and They know him.
To the hired hand, they are a job (nameless sheep)
To the shepherd they are his own possession.
He knows them by name.
They know Him, intimately.
He knows them, intimately.
The word know.
Matthew 1:25 KJV 1900
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
This isn’t just factual knowledge. This isn’t familiarity. This is intimacy. It is knowledge that extends beyond any knowledge of any person you think you may know in this world.
(Your husband, Your wife, your children, yourself) Keep in mind, the one who desires to know us intimately, already knows all things
However, though he knows all people and all things, this knowledge that he is speaking of in verse 14 is a different type of knowledge for a specific group of sheep. The shepherd has bought his sheep. They are his own possession.
Lets take a moment to appreciate the fact that our all knowing shepherd desires to know us like that. knowing all about us.
Do we desire to know him? If we are His sheep, we will.
But how deep does this intimacy go?
Jesus’s relationship with the Father informs us of how our relationship with him is.
John 10:15 NASB95
even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
This word know also means more than just a basic knowledge. This is a “know"that is associated with intimacy.
The knowledge and intimate love that Christ has for His Father is the same type of knowledge and intimate love that Christ has for the sheep.
And this is the goal of Jesus calling us to himself.
Oftentimes, the Gospel is preached as an escape from hell and it is, but that understanding is simplistic.
The goal of our salvation is knowing Christ like Christ knows the Father.
The end goal is not streets of gold but a knowledge of the one who paved those streets.
Oftentimes, we elevate heaven to the ultimate goal, but it is the Creator of heaven that we are after.
Jesus himself says this. that eternal life isn't just well i don’t have to go to hell I can go to heaven now.
John 17:3 NASB95
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
THIS is eternal life: knowledge of God.
So, we ask again: Why would anyone die for sheep?
So that we may know him as he knows us and as we know the Father.
This is why he dies. This is what he wanted from the beginning
That’s why he says at the end of verse 15 again, and “I lay my life down for the sheep.”
In verse 16, He switches gears a little and talks about his sheep from other folds.
The context of the text is entirely Jewish.
Jesus is a Jewish man speaking to Jewish people, but Jesus shepherding is not only for the Jewish sheep. His laying down of his life, will not be, as all the other sacrifices have been.
All the other sacrifices that occurred in the OT were for the people within the covenant of Israel, mainly jews.
But listen to what Jesus says:
John 10:16 NASB95
“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
The original fold he is speaking to is Israel.
In fact, he comes to his own first.
John 1:11 NASB95
He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
Romans 1:16 NASB95
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
There are many benefits to being a Jew, but being a Jew does not necessarily mean one is in the fold of God.
Romans 2:29 NASB95
But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
In fact, the goal was never Jewish. The goal was global from the beginning. God made the promise to Abraham.

And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed

The goal from the beginning is to have a people from every tribe and every nation.
Isaiah 49:6 NASB95
He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Jesus is saying the same thing.
I have other sheep and I am here for them too.
There is no more distinction between Jew and Gentile in Christ.
He has come to make them one.
One flock with one shepherd.
Isaiah 49:6 NASB95
He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Paul says it this way.
Galatians 3:28 NASB95
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Translation: The only distinction that matters is Christ.
Are you in Christ? Not are you Jewish? Not Are you American?
Are you in Christ?
It is the only distinction that matters for salvation and being included in the flock of God.
Jews will not be saved apart from Christ.
Gentiles will not be saved apart from Christ.
We make these distinctions. God doesn’t.
We are one flock with one shepherd.
That’s how heaven will be.
That’s how churches should look. When we separate over race, we are neglecting to appreciate the fullness of Christ’s redemptive work.
Jesus as the Good Shepherd comes to call his sheep to Himself, both jews and Gentiles will be one flock with one shepherd.
Isn’t this great? that Christ hasn’t just call Israelites but Gentiles as well. Hopefully there is a room full of those “not of this fold.”
And this is the reason the Father has sent Him, to call his people to himself.
He did this then. He does this now. He calls both Jews and Gentiles to himself. But why?

He does all this to save His sheep

Don’t forget verse 10 from last week.
John 10:10 NASB95
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Lets pause here for a moment and think about something.


But How in the world can we be saved by a dead shepherd?

And here comes the dividing line.
Verse 17-18
John 10:17–18 NASB95
“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
Here is where Jesus leaves the realm of metaphor and he steps in to the role of prophet.
He lays his life down on his own accord for his own.
But lets think about this for a moment.
Can’t anyone do this? Think of the stories of heroes who have jump in front of bullets, have dove on top of grenades, who thrown themselves in front of danger and in those moments they may have very well saved the lives of those for whom they sought to be heroes.
But we are talking about sheep here, and if the shepherd dies, the sheep are left alone.
But Jesus doesn’t stop there.
He has the authority to lay it down(something most people can do), but he continues, and I have the authority to take it up again (Something only God can do.)
Jesus is the exception.
He is the good shepherd, but there have been shepherd Im sure who have been killed in the line of duty, but He is the only one who has got back up.

The division within the flock happens naturally when the voice of the shepherd says something like this.

They are ok with him saying he is the good shepherd. They are not ok with him saying that he has the power of life and death.
John 10:19–21 NASB95
A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”
Verse 20- He has a demon and He is insane. (Rejection= NOT HIS SHEEP)
Verse 21- He is God. (Acceptance=HIS SHEEP)
This same division happens every time the Word of God is preached.
Those who are not His sheep hear His word and cannot possibly imagine giving their heart and soul over this shepherd. He is crazy to them.
Those who are His sheep hear His word and respond by loving it and following. It’s crazy not to go with Him.
Peter, one of Christ most loyal and yet it seemed was prone to stumble said it this way.
John 6:66–69 NASB95
As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:66-69
There is a mixed bag audience.
As Jesus spoke
Believers why are we running.
John 3:16
John 3:16 NASB95
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Matthew 1:25 KJV 1900
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
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