Summary: # 29 in series. As the good shepherd, He Willing to Die for the Sheep, He Knows (Loves) His Sheep and They Know Him and He Keeps His Sheep Eternally.
A Study of the Book of John
“That You May Believe”
Sermon # 29
“Jesus Is The Good Shepherd”
Last week we discovered that in John chapter ten Jesus made two “I AM” state-ments in which He clearly stated for the people in general and the Pharisees in parti-cular that what the “true” Good Shepherd should look like. He stated that he was the both the “The Door of the Sheep” (v. 10) and “The Good Shepherd” (v.11). Last week we looked at that he was the one and only door of the sheep and this morning we are going to look at the fact that he is the Good Shepherd in verse 11 through 18.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. (12) But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. (13) The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. (14) I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. (15) As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. (16) And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. (17) “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. (18) No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
In these verses Jesus Declares That He Is the “Good” Shepherd. The Greek language has a number of words that conveys the idea of goodness and very often there do not differ a great deal. Here he uses the word kalos for “good” which refers to that which is morally good but also to that which is beautiful as well as what is what is good. We have taken this over into our language when we speak of beautiful handwriting as “calligraphy.” We gain the sense of this when we compare Christ claim to be the “good shepherd” with His parallel claim to be the “true vine” (John 15)and the “true bread” (John 6) the word means genuine or true as opposed to that which is false or artificial. But we also must understand that he is claiming beyond that He is not just one “a” good shepherd as though there where others, He is saying, He is “the” one and “the only Good Shepherd!
Even though as the Prince of Preachers Charles Spurgeon wrote, “ … there is more in Jesus, the good Shepherd, than can be packed away in a shepherd,… ” still Jesus did describe himself as a shepherd. So there must be lessons for that he want us to gain from the study of them.
This morning I want us to note three things about the relationship of the shepherd to his sheep.
Jesus might have told us a lot of things that a good shepherd does for his sheep. Sheep are so utterly helpless that He must look to meet all of their needs. But Jesus does touch on any of those things, but goes straight to one unexpected one, when…
First, He Declares As The Good Shepherd He Is Willing To Die For The Sheep. (vv 11-18)
“The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
This fact is obviously of crucial import-ance because it is repeated four times
(vv. 11, 15, 17 and 18). But it is also important because of the contrast that is drawn with the hireling who runs away when danger threatens (vv. 12-13) “But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. (13) The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.” Jesus contrasts the true shepherd who will risk his life for the sheep with a hireling who runs from the wolf and leaves the sheep behind to be attacked and scattered.
Three things stand out about His death.
•This death was Voluntary.
Jesus death was neither an accident nor a tragedy. Jesus says in verse eighteen, “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.” He says he lays down his life of his own accord which makes it clear that his life is not simply taken from him by his opponents. “He did not die as a martyr, killed by men; He died as a substitute, willingly laying down His life for us” Warren Wiersbe. He chose to lay down his life for his sheep. He offered His life as a sacrifice for the sheep. The sheep were in mortal danger not from beasts such as wolf and lions but from sin.