BORN TO BE ALIVE, series
Impact Christian Church
Pastor Steve With • 02/05/17
“The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” John 10:11
In John 10, Jesus proclaims himself to be the good shepherd more than once. I counted the references. Three times he says he’s the
- Everything Was Good
Come back with me to a long-ago time, when God created humans and placed them in a beautiful garden, to walk with him and to care for his creation. Everything God created, according to Genesis 1, was “good.” There was no such thing as loss, not even death. Think about it: it was everything we could have hoped for, everything we could have wanted.
“Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!” Genesis 1:31
- Everything Will be Good
And look at our future, the future of a Christ Follower, of a Disciple of Jesus Christ…
5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. Revelation 21:5-7
In Between what was and what will be…
- Everything is Good
- This Story Divides into 3 Parts
- The Gate (vv1-10)
- Jesus Is: The Gate
- Christ Followers: Come to Him & Be Led O
- Affects on Us: Jesus leads Them to a A Rich and Satisfying Life.
10:1 “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!
(remember we finished John 9 last week, this was a lousy place for a chapter change…look at verse 40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?” 41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.”)
- Christ Followers: Come to Him & Be Led Out
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (v3)
2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
6 Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.
- Affects on Us: Rich and Satisfying Life.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (v10)
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
- The Good Shepherd (vv11-21)
- Jesus Is: The Good Shepherd
- Affects on Us: Jesus Sacrifices His Life for His Sheep.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
- Christ Followers: Know their Shepherd
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,
- Affects on Us: Jesus Sacrifices His L for His Sheep.
“just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.” (v15)
16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
19 When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him. 20 Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?” 21 Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
- Jesus often spoke in rural images that communicated visually to the people he addressed. Even though we are not as acquainted to those images today
One such image that Jesus used was of a shepherd. This was a common image that the people in his day saw. Canaan was largely a pastoral region more than an agriculture region. Shepherds were very commonplace. When Jesus says “good” shepherd he is referring to more than merely skill in the shepherd task. He was using the word in much the same way we would refer to a good doctor.
One that is not only adroit in skill but one known for his sympathy and his graciousness.
What are the outstanding characteristics of this good shepherd?
1. He cares for Us.
the Good Shepherd, is concerned and interested in people. They matter to Him.
2. He knows Us!
The eastern shepherds raised sheep for wool rather than for food. Thus sheep were usually with a shepherd for years. The shepherds knew each sheep, every one of them. Sheep know the shepherd’s voice. The shepherd knows the uniqueness of each sheep.
Have you ever gone to a gathering, and didn’t know a soul? You felt so alone, so isolated, so distant. Then all of a sudden someone from a across the room calls your name. You are recognized. You are known. A flood of acceptance and honor comes over you. You relax, you belong.
The Good Shepherd knows each of his sheep by name. The Indian theologian D. T. Niles once noticed a young Indian shepherd boy keeping a huge flock of sheep. He stopped and asked, “How many sheep do you have?”
“I don’t know,” answered the boy, “I can’t count.” Niles asked him, “How do you know if some of the sheep haven’t wandered off when you get to the place where you’re going to camp at night?”
To his astonishment, the boy answered, “I don’t know how many wander off, but I know each one. I can’t count, but each sheep has a name, and I know their names.”
3. He died for Us!
The good shepherd places his body between the sheep and vicious animals. He will die protecting the sheep. So Jesus died for lost people. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, actually gave his life for us.
Five times in this text Jesus clearly affirmed the sacrificial nature of his death. His sacrifice was:
A voluntary sacrifice (v.18 NIV). No one took Jesus’ life; He willingly and voluntarily gave it up for us.
A vicarious sacrifice (v. 15). He died as a substitute, willingly laying his life down for us.
- The Son of God (22-42)
- He Is: The Living God
25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”
31 Once again the people picked up stones to kill him. 32 Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?”
33 They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”…
39 Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them. 40 He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile. 41 And many followed him. “John didn’t perform miraculous signs,” they remarked to one another, “but everything he said about this man has come true.” 42 And many who were there believed in Jesus.
- Christ Followers: Listen and Know their Shepherd
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (v27)
- Affects on Us: Eternal Life
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me” (v28)
How do we get Eternal Life? We go through the Gate where we find the Good Shepherd and there He leads us to eternal life with the Son of God.
“And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” John 17:3