Summary: In John 10 Jesus describes himself as the "good Shepherd" and this sermon explores what our proper response to the good Shepherd should be: 1. Follow me (vs.1-5) 2. Enter through me (vs.6-10) 3. Trust me (vs.11-12) 4. Listen to me (vs.14-16,27-30)
I AM series #3 Castle Hills Christian Ch. 07-04-04
I AM the Good Shepherd
This summer we’ve been looking at the “I AM” statements of Jesus. Jesus said “I am the bread of life” in John chapter 6. In Chapter 9 He said “I am the light of the world.” Jesus next “I am…” statement seems to fall on the heals of the previous one, and seems like the next point in Jesus’ argument with the blind Pharisees who don’t recognize Jesus as the light of the world. They ask Jesus if he is saying that they are blind and he replies. “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” (9:41).
That forms the pivot point for what will follow in chapter 10. In his attempt to reach his audience with the truth, Jesus tries yet another word picture. In Chapter 10, Jesus uses an example that was very familiar to everyone who was listening. Raising sheep was a big part of the economy in Israel, and everyone knew the dangers sheep faced in the area and the value of a dedicated, skilled shepherd.
In the beginning of Chapter 10, Jesus takes the opportunity to contrast the Good Shepherd with false shepherds, hirelings, thieves, and predators.
1. Follow Me John 10:1-5
1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice."
When Jesus said these words he was making two distinct and important points; the first one related to the blind man he had just healed.
(1) Before the man-born-blind was healed he was an outcast from the fellowship of believers and had to beg for a living. When Jesus’ men asked, “Is his blindness because of his sin or that of his parents?” That was no doubt what the blind man had heard time and time again. Instead of caring about his condition, people simply used him as a point of departure for theological discussions on sin and related illness. The standard Jewish notion was that illness was punishment for some past sin. (That was what Job’s friends told him when they found him in such a predicament. He was frustrated because he knew that wasn’t true). Sadly, when Jesus healed him, the man wound up cast out of the synagogue as a heretic for giving credit to Jesus as healer. The man went from outcast due to illness, to outcast due to beliefs in one day’s time. The leaders had cast out a sheep of the flock of Israel, not because he was a bad sheep, but because they were bad shepherds. Jesus made the comparison between the good shepherd and hirelings, thieves, and predators, to show that the shepherds of Israel were abusing the sheep.