Summary: EASTER 4 - Jesus is the Good Shepherd who loves his sheep to and even beyond death. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who wants all sheep in his flock.
JESUS IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD (Outline)
May 15, 2011 -
Easter 4 -
INTRO: Not too many people today have the job of being a shepherd. The job of a modern day shep-herd has greatly changed since the time of Jesus. A shepherd is still vital in taking care of the sheep. At the time of Jesus the shepherd spent many hours caring for and protecting their flocks. Jesus uses this word in order to describe the depth of his care and concern for the sheep. As believers we know that the care of Jesus for his sheep is much more than an earthly concern. Jesus’ care for his sheep is first and foremost an eternal concern. "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (PSALM 16:11).
JESUS IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
I. Jesus loves his sheep beyond death.
II. Jesus wants all sheep in his flock.
I. JESUS LOVES HIS SHEEP BEYOND DEATH
A. In verses 1-10 Jesus describes himself as the gate for the sheep. All others are thieves and robbers.
1. The disciples wondered what Jesus meant by the words: “gate, thief, robber, stranger’s voice”.
2. Verse 11. There is to be no misunderstanding. “I am the good shepherd”. This is clear.
B. Verse 12. There is a vast difference between the good shepherd and the hired hand.
1. The hired hand is not going to risk his life for someone else’s property, especially not sheep.
2. The hired hand runs away. The wolf attacks. The flock scatters. False teachers are wolves.
C. Verse 13. The good shepherd does care for the sheep. The good shepherd will even die for his flock.
1. Soon, the disciples would fully understand the depth of the care and concern of Christ.
2. This Jesus would love his disciples to the point of death and beyond, even his death on a cross.
D. The entire earthly life of Jesus was one of being the good Shepherd. Even though exhausted at the end of long days Jesus never forsook those that needed shepherding. In fact, very often Jesus went out of his way to supply what was needed for those who needed it most. Jesus took an indirect route when going to Galilee in order to save the Samaritan woman at the well. One time Jesus and his disciples had no time to eat. The crowds were great. Even after leaving and trying to find a place to be alone, Jesus did not forget the flock. "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things" (MARK 6:34). Teaching.
E. Such is the love of the good Shepherd! On our own we would scatter like lost sheep. Our sinful nature is always only too anxious to wander off down the wide, broad path of destruction. Time and again we come before our gracious God with only wickedness, sin, and rebellion clinging to us. None of us, not one of us deserve anything but eternal punishment. Thankfully, we not only have a good shepherd but Jesus is our Good Shepherd. By grace through faith we can and do confess Christ as our only Savior. "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly….God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (ROMANS 5:6, 8).
F. Our eyes of faith look at our Good Shepherd and behold the great love of our God. This is the only way that anyone knows anything about love. We are born with a sinful nature. ALL of our righteous acts are like filthy rags. By nature we are the very enemies of God. Thus we all too often live our lives in our wicked, evil, and sinful ways. Our Good Shepherd lays down his life for us. Our Good Shepherd loves us, his sheep, beyond death. "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers"(1 JOHN 3:16). We are at the busy “love time” of the year: Mother’s day, Father’s day, graduations, confirmations, and weddings. It is only by the sacrificial love, life, and death of our Good Shepherd do we begin to know love. Then we share God’s love.
JESUS IS OUR GOOD SHEPHERD.
The good shepherd, our Good Shepherd, loves us beyond death.
II. JESUS WANTS ALL SHEEP IN HIS FLOCK
A. Verses 11a, 14a. Jesus teaches his disciples this simple and clear truth: “I am the good shepherd”.
1. Verse 14. The shepherd knew his sheep because he took care of the flock day and night.