Summary: This sermon explains the reasons Jesus is the good Shepherd of everyone.
JESUS, THE GOOD SHEPHERD
The “I AM” statements represent a particular relationship of Jesus to the spiritual needs of men.
1. Bread of life – source of provision for life.
2. True Vine – source of vitality and productivity.
3. Resurrection & Life – source of hope in death.
4. Light of the world – source discernment and direction.
5. Good Shepherd – source of guidance and protection.
When Jesus declared that He is the Good Shepherd, He was actually comparing himself to the Pharisees and other leaders of Israel. People looked on the king, priests, and prophets as shepherds. But instead of providing guidance and protection for Israel, the Pharisees’ authority became a burden to Israel.
In chapter 9, the Pharisees expressed their skepticism to Jesus’ authority and power. They did not believe that Jesus cares and performed that miracle for the blind man. They even discredit the credentials of Jesus. Jesus being the incoming king, prophet, and priest declared that He is the Good Shepherd.
Why did Jesus proclaim Himself as the Good Shepherd?
1. BECAUSE OF HIS MOTIVATION (vv. 1-10)
Verses 1-10 described the people who are interested of the sheep. In the narrative Jesus identified two persons who are interested of the sheep: the Shepherd and the Thief.
1. Enters the sheep pen by the gate.
2. Watchman opens the gate for him.
3. Sheep listen to his voice.
4. Calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
5. When he has brought all his own, he goes on ahead of them and his sheep follows him because they know his voice.
6. Came that the sheep may have life and have it to the full.
1. Enters the sheep pen by climbing in by some other way.
2. Sheep does not listen to him because he is a stranger to them.
3. Came to steal, kill, and destroy.
As we differentiate the motives of the Shepherd and the thief; the thief was not concerned about the welfare of the sheep. His motive is to exploit and plunder the sheep.
The sudden shift of metaphor from shepherd to gate (see vv. 7-9) seems rather strange to us, but in reality it is not. When the sheep returned to the fold at night after a day of grazing, the shepherd stood in the doorway of the pen and inspected each one as it entered.
If a sheep was scratched or wounded by thorns, the shepherd anointed it with oil to facilitate healing; if the sheep were thirsty, he gave them water. After all the sheep had been counted and brought into the pen, the shepherd lay down across the doorway so that no intruder--man or beast--could enter without his knowledge. The shepherd became the door.
ILLUSTRATION When you think about your own parents, they may not be perfect as expected but they care for you like a shepherd. They think about your going out and in everyday and making sure that you are safe and healthy.
Jesus’ main purpose was our welfare which he defined as free access to pasture and fullness of life. Under his protection and by his gift we can experience the best life can offer. Jesus can give a whole new meaning to living because he provides full satisfaction and perfect guidance.
2. BECAUSE OF HIS DEVOTION (vv. 11-21)
Verses 11-21 described to us two types of Shepherd: owner Shepherd and the Hired Shepherd.
1. Lays down his life for the sheep
2. Knows the sheep and sheep know him
3. Have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen that He must bring in also.
4. Other sheep listen to his voice and sheep will become one flock and one shepherd
1. Abandons the sheep and run away
2. Cares nothing for the sheep
The Hired Shepherd in times of danger is concerned more for his own safety than that of the sheep. When the flock is attacked by a wolf, the hired hand deserts them. The hireling may guide the sheep to pasture, but he will not endanger himself for them. The hired shepherd watches over the sheep only because he is paid to do so.
Up to verse 15, Jesus was talking about the nation Israel. But in verse 16, he mentioned about other sheep that are not part of sheep pen – these are the Gentiles. His goals is to put these sheep together under one Shepherd.
Jesus as the Good Shepherd stays and cares for the flock even in times of danger. The Good Shepherd is willing to die for the sheep. They belong to Him, and He cares for them. (See Matthew 18:10-14)