Summary: Salvation, Sacrifice, Our Value, He Knows Us
I AM - I AM the Good Shepherd
June 3, 2018
John 10:11 (p. 748)
I love animals…They are delicious! No, listen, I really do love animals…Until the Lord got ahold of my future I was going to be a Veterinarian. Milligan for my undergrad work then Auburn, which is the best Veterinarian school in the nation. I was going to major in Equine (horses) Medicine and make a ton of money. A summer as lifeguard at BGCC and then Johnson Bible College changed my trajectory…Presently in my house are 3 dogs (a pit bull, and 2 labs) and a parrot named Ping…They all have distinct personalities and they all listen to me with different levels of obedience.
Buck, my year and a half old yellow lab is still kind of a puppy. He’s much better than he used to be, but this sweet little guy (100 lbs.) is the destroyer of coat hangers and pillows. He will sneak into the living room, get a pillow…and then come to the door and show it to you…and then begins the real fun as you chase him around the house yelling “NO BUCK…NO!!!” until you finally catch him…take the pillow out of his mouth…and fuss at him…He’s learning, but still every once in awhile he still does this. he wants my attention…even if it’s bad attention. And he doesn’t want to give that pillow up.
I’m not sure how much time Jesus spent with animals growing up as a carpenter’s son…but every Jewish boy knew about sheep and sacrifices…sheep, goats, heifers and bulls…as well as doves and pigeons were part of the Jewish culture…They knew about clean and unclean animals…They knew about how different each of them were.
When Jesus says “I AM” the Good Shepherd in John 10 I believe He understood how sheep operate…How they relate to their Master…what their needs are and what their personalities were like…He believes people are a lot like sheep…and they need love and protection.
READ JOHN 10:11 (p. 748)
“I Am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
You see sometimes you and I are a lot like my dog Buck…We grab what we were not intended to have…We run from our master with it firmly clinched in our teeth…and we only release it when we’re exhausted and caught.
Frances Thompson, a one time opium addict who died of Tuberculosis in 1907 wrote one of the most profound Christian poems of all time called “The Hound of Heaven.” It’s written in old English and hard to read but the truth it shares is absolutely “soul shattering.” Here’s just the first stanza of this lengthy poem…I’m sure I won’t do it justice in my Kentucky dialect…but here goes:
I fled Him down the nights and down the days
I fled Him down the arches of the years
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind, and in the midst of tears
I hid from him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hope I sped and shot precipitated
Adown titanic glooms of chasmed fears
From those strong feet that followed, followed after
But with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat, and a Voice beat,
More instant than the feet:
All things betray thee who betrayest me.
What this redeemed man is saying is…I ran from you Jesus…I tried to get away from You for years…I went into the very depths of sin and despair…but You chased after me…You would not give up on me…You kept calling my name…You know the life you had for me…and would not let me settle for something else.
Isaiah 53:6 records these words: “We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us have turned to his own way. And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Every one of us have run away from Jesus…“The Hound of Heaven.” Every one of us have chase after things we shouldn’t have and hold onto them for far too long. But the Good Shepherd comes searching for us. He will not give up…and when the time comes for it,
I. HE WILL DIE TO SAVE US!
I’ve got a question for you…Have you ever tried to help someone who didn’t want to be helped? Maybe a son or daughter or grandchild who was hellbent on destruction…or a mate that continually chased after things that ripped the family apart? Or your mom or dad that continually chose a path that was destroying them?
I know the answer to my question…all of us have…and many of us were the ones running head long into that destruction.
In your hearts did you ever give up? Did you ever give up chasing them…praying for them, loving them? NOPE. Not if you really loved them.