Jesus, The Good Shepherd - Jacob Stanley
In ancient times the metaphor of shepherd was common for gods or kings, with connotations of strong leadership but tender care.
Strong leadership but tender care.
There’s a story that goes: During World War I, some Turkish soldiers tried to steal a flock of sheep from a hillside near Jerusalem. The sleeping shepherd awoke to find his flock being driven off. He couldn’t recapture them by force, so he called out to his flock with his distinctive call. The sheep listened, and returned to their rightful owner. The soldiers couldn’t stop the sheep from returning to their shepherd’s voice. The passage for tonight is John 10:1-16 (read later) Firstly We need to understand that leading up to this speech Jesus has been causing a huge stir in Israel with the people of God and religious leaders. Whole cities are talking about him. Some believe him, and some are against him. To the point where many (tens of thousands) worship him and follow him town to town, believing that he is the Christ, and many on the other hand hate him, are making very serious plans to have him assassinated. Things in Israel are very tense. 3 sections, and three statements. Verse 1-6: 1. I am the good shepherd. Jesus is Israel's shepherd - the one that God has chosen to lead Israel. He is explaining to the religious people that God chooses him to be the shepherd to lead the nation, to lead Gods people. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens The doorkeeper is God - making a statement that God has affirmed Jesus as Israel’s shepherd leader 2nd section Verses 7-10:
2. I am the door. Jesus as the door. In ancient times a shepherd would lie across the entrance making himself the door to the pen of all the sheep in the town. The doorkeeper would know all the shepherds and would only let the real guys come and get their sheep. The mystery here is Jesus is saying he is both the sent messiah from God for Israel, and that he is also God himself. 3rd section Verses 10-17 1. I am the good shepherd. Jesus is not like the priests that have been hired by God to lead the people, his is the real shepherd. People had different religious teachers saying different things, but Jesus is different. He over all that. And he is saying to the people there that if they can hear and understand, they will recognise that he is different than all that have come before, he isn’t a military leader, he is not just another prophet, he is Israel’s shepherd, he is Gods only son, the one to sit on David’s throne for eternity. 2. Jesus tells them that as the good Shepherd he lays his life down for his sheep, prophecies his death and resurrection (saying that he will take his life back up, again asserting that he himself has the power over death) and in verse 16 Jesus finishes explaining this: 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. Jesus is the great shepherd over all Gods’ People, Jew and non jew, and if you hear his voice today, then he is also your personal shepherd. Three things for you. 1. You can hear God V5 says a stranger they won't follow. we have an in-built familiarity with God’s voice, it’s a familiar voice, not a strange voice. When he speaks, it feels right, like a loving parent, a faithful kind familiar voice. You were made to know his voice. 2. You can know God 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me God knows you, he knows how to lead you, he knows what you need, he knows what you enjoy, and what makes you happy, he knows your soul deeply.
3.You can be absolutely fulfilled in God v10 says The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly You may think that Jesus is trying to steal your freedom, kill your fun and destroy your reputation. That’s not true! Jesus came to give us the abundant life! The best life you could ever have is in responding to his voice and allowing him to lead you ... -------------Band up---------- He leads you out of the pen, and into the pastures. In this passage There are two pens. Verse 1-6 describe the First pen - this is the Pen of captivity - the pen of the world, its with everyone else, Gods sheep-to-be and the sheep that aren’t his Verse 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Jesus finds you in pen of captivity. The pen of sin and emptiness, of living for pleasure, of frustration, of darkness, the pen of chasing after the wind, but never catching that fulfilment you are searching for. He respectfully, gently approaches the right way without trickery or manipulation and calls out to you - by your name! he then leads you out of that life, that dark place. Verse 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. He finds you in a cage of life, he calls you out, you know his voice, once you respond he leads you! Then he leads you to the best place for you to thrive grow and flourish. For you to eat your fill and rest. Where he leads you to, you will be fulfilled.
The first pen is a confined restricted life, the devil lies and says its the best thing, but the first pen sucks, you were never designed to live in the first pen Leave the first pen, follow Jesus to the pastures, and come rest in the second pen Verse 9 Describes the second pen, a new pen 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. the pen of God’s refuge and safety is your new safe place. Jesus is the way to rest, safety and fulfilment - he says, enter through him into his pen, come in and go out... -he leads you out to pasture of freedom and fulfilment... and in for rest and safety. This is the life of freedom, a life of running free, a life of wide open spaces, a life where you can retreat to him at anytime and know that in the Good shepherd you have safety and protection. The pastures are the life the Lord has for you to enjoy, they are wide, open and endless. He longs to lead you and help you navigate your live. Altar call 1st person- in first pen, Jesus is calling your name 2nd person - you have been out in the pasture too long and the lord is asking you to come in and rest. Finish with Psalm 23 Repeat after me: 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.