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Sermons about Good Shepherd
To the first century Middle Eastern ear these words from John 10 were a sweet sound. Those words grounded in the long history of an agrarian people were rich in meaning and truth. “Before men dared to think of God as their Father, they called Him their Shepherd” (Charles Jefferson, The Minister as Shepherd, p. 14). When Jacob stretched out his hands to bless his son Joseph he said God had been his Shepherd all the days of his life (Gen. 48:15). The greatest heroes of our faith tended sheep. All of the OT patriarchs, the greatest of the lawgivers Moses, the sweetest of the poets David, and some of the mightiest of the prophets were all shepherds (see Jefferson, p. 40-41). One of the greatest Psalms, Psalm 23, was written by a shepherd who realized he had a shepherd and so he wrote from the perspective of a sheep who had a relationship with a shepherd. Psalm 23 begins with a stunning truth. This universe we live in and this earth we live on are created and sustained by a shepherd God. The great Almighty, all-knowing, creator God of the universe compares Himself to a shepherd. The Lord is our shepherd, we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. We live in a world created by a shepherd God and we live in a world redeemed by a shepherd Savior. Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd three times in our passage. How good is our Shepherd Savior, and how is He good?
A story for 9/11 shows us that sainthood is not a worn out concept from a bygone age, but rather it is something that women and men of our own day are capable of practicing.
There are many voices that try to lead us in different directions in our lives. How can we know that it's the voice of God we are following? Check out the last parable of our Classics series, The Good Shepherd.
Luke is good at giving us odd interludes in his narration of the Gospel. We are to ask why? Geresenes was populated by Gentiles on the east bank of the Sea of Galilee. Most had a reason to be there, to hide from their past. Pig herders were not common, and not Jewish. Why did Jesus leave the Jewish side with the crowds of people thronging to see him, and go to the "bad" side to be met by a crowd of demons? Because He is the Good Shepherd. These people didn't even know they needed saving, or that they could look for a Savior. Yet Jesus went to them because He loves them. The same is true of us today. He comes to save us even today.
We live in a world where we often want information "now!"... In the Gospel of John, some of Jesus' opponents' wanted to know, "Are you the Messiah?...Tell us plainly ..(in other words, tell us right now!). This is how we are in the world. But Jesus encourages them, and us, to look not at the title, but at his ACTIONS. We, too, as the Body of Christ, are to follow, the Good Shepherd in our actions, and bring God's love into the hurting world.
LORD translates Jehovah Jehovah Jesus Demonstration of grace that He allows us to call Him our Shepherd. Among all men in my life who we admire, it is the LORD who is my Shepherd. Davids uses personal language like in Gal 2:20 ... He loved me and gave Himself for me. Jan 10:14 I am the good Shepherd. Reliability of the Shepherd is the basis of David's confidence. The sheep look adoringly to the Shepherd. This is no ordinary shepherd but the ultimate Shepherd who gave His life and made abundant provision for the sheep. We are purchased sheep. You have been bought with a price. And sheep that were not worthy to be purchased. Unworthy and dead. We do well to remember that we are bought. It is the sheep's joy to follow the Shepherd. We cannot allow the world to take our attention off Jesus. There are great benefits in following Him: I shall not want. Wherever the Shepherd was is the best pasture. Jn 17:4 I have given them Your word. The scriptures are sufficient. Equipped for every good work. Pastures that give us wise counsel and confidence. Your word is truth. Romans 8. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Happy is the sheep that stays close to the Shepherd. The world may tell you that you need this and that. I shall not want. (Not my wants. I shall not lack what the Shepherd deems good for the sheep.) Lie down - chew the cud. If we are good sheep, we will chew the word till we are challenged by it and rebuked by it. Do not be conformed to the world . . . be transformed ... To do this we have to steer clear of sin. Keep back York servant from presumption. To take for granted. We need to constantly remember how we became right with God. All our sin has been nailed to the cross and we bear it no more. Do you know this Shepherd. That He is the way to bring us back to God. If we come to Him, He makes us His sons and daughters and the sheep of His pasture.
John 10:1-21 Jesus teaches that the true shepherds enter the sheep pen through the gate while thieves break in some other way. Also the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep, not so the hired hand. Pastor Chris asks the question: To whom are we beholden, the one whose goal is to give us abundant life or the ones whose aim is to destroy?
There are far too many imposters for us to learn about them all, so along with the first disciples, each generation of Christians has to learn how to recognize the real Jesus for themselves.