Summary: Jesus is the only true Gate to heaven, there are many who claim to be the messiah, but Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
Jesus – The Good Shepherd
Pastor Glenn Newton
May 15th, 2011
Text: John 10:1-18
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture.10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
I have a question for you this morning….. it’s pretty simple. “Has Jesus been a Good Shepherd to you? Has He demonstrated the qualities of a good shepherd in your life?” This morning I want to talk about what those qualities are, and I want you to ask yourself…Has Jesus offered these qualities to me? How have I responded?
Let’s talk about sheep for just a minute. In this passage, Jesus is the Good Shepherd and we are compared to the sheep of his flock. Since we don’t have any sheep herders here this morning that I know of, let me share just a couple of insights about sheep.
a. Sheep are not pictured as the most intelligent animals in the animal kingdom. The truth is sheep are known to jump off cliffs when put into pressure situations and they don’t know what to do…they are followers by nature…they need a leader.
b. Sheep are known to be stubborn. If left to their own devices, they will find themselves in danger. So, they are not real bright and they are stubborn. Are you starting to get the picture?
c. Have you ever taken your kids to the zoo and hear the kids say, “let’s go see the sheep!” I’ve never heard that. They are not known for their superior qualities, anything that would make them stand out in a crowd.
d. Last, but not least this morning….they pretty much are defenseless. They are not fast. They don’t have a lethal bite or sting. They have no secret weapon to defend themselves; they pretty much are lunch on a platter if they are not protected by some outside force.
Knowing all this information helps us understand how important the Shepherd is to the sheep. The truth is that the Shepherd makes all the difference, in life and death to the sheep.
The image of the shepherd and the sheep is interwoven throughout Scripture, showing us the relationship we can have with God, as Jesus is the Good Shepherd. What we can come to know is that God has offered us a special connection to Himself, through a personal relationship with Jesus. Let’s look at how this Shepherd to Sheep relationship is displayed in this passage.