Summary: Jesus tells how close the Father is with His children through parables.
A MARVELOUS RELATIONSHIP
INTRO: 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.”
Jesus wanted to tell how much God related to His people. In order to get the point across, Jesus chose the symbolism of a shepherd and sheep. The shepherd possesses a closeness with the sheep. Likewise, Jesus tells how close the Father is with His children.
I. THE HEAVENLY FATHER RELATES TO HIS CHILDREN.
Jesus declared Himself as the means of establishing a relationship with God. To open life to Jesus means to be related to the Good Shepherd.
God relates to us today. He sent His Son Jesus to earth. Jesus relates to our every need, pain, sorrow, temptation, as well as our joy, happiness, love, etc.
II. THE HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS HIS CHILDREN.
Sheep know the shepherd’s voice. The shepherd knows the uniqueness of each sheep. This knowledge described intimacy. When a person comes into a relationship with Jesus, he or she is known by the Father and knows the Father.
The Bible tells us that even the very hairs of our head are numbered. If God can know how many hairs each person (and there are almost seven billion people in the world) has, surely there is nothing about us that God does not know.
III. THE HEAVENLY FATHER PROVIDES FOR HIS CHILDREN.
The shepherd led the sheep to the pastures. The shepherd provides protection for the sheep. Jesus is the provider and the protector for His people.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “Consider the Lilies of the field....”
God provides for our every need, when we trust in Him in faith. He does not give us everything we want.
IV. THE HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES HIS CHILDREN.
Shepherds would give their lives for the sheep. In verses 11-18, Jesus said four times that He was willing to lay down His life for people.
Jesus point is that the man who works only for reward thinks more of money than anything else; the man who works for love thinks more of the people he is trying to serve than anything else.
What greater love can God have for man than to give His only Son. We do not deserve God’s gift. But He did not give it to us because we deserve it, but because of His love for us.
CONC: Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd” (v. 14). To be His child means a marvelous relationship.