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Summary: Talking about discipleship=process/change - Humorous ‘Changing a light bulb’ religiously - We’re talking about a different type of change; fundamental, inside out, thru friendship with Jesus - When you’ve met Jesus, everything changes o His teaching c

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Talking about discipleship=process/change

- Humorous ‘Changing a light bulb’ religiously

- We’re talking about a different type of change; fundamental, inside out, thru friendship with Jesus

- When you’ve met Jesus, everything changes

o His teaching challenges your understanding

o His compassion softens your heart

o He turns your world upside down… and then you realize right side up for the first time.

- While…want to begin with the very essence of Christ’s ministry… to hear his own words… Declare the kingdom of God…

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:35-36)

In these words… we come to know the very heart and posture of Jesus… compassion… strongest word of its type in Greek, formed from the word which means ‘bowels’—Used only by Jesus

There’s a simple but poignant statement that’s often repeated today “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

‘Harassed and Helpless’

Bewildered, distressed—beat up, uncared for, wearied by a journey that seems to have no end

Religious leaders bewildering men with subtle arguments of the law that kept them from God rather than … weighed them down

Dejected—laid prostrate… can mean either in drunkenness or wounds.

SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD—hits home? Decent minds navigate earthly life reasonably well… souls in their eternal light… must reach safe pasture amidst distractions and dangers we don’t know how to recognize, let alone overcome.

GOD’S HEART… God’s heart comes alive in the very history of this phrase…

- Over 200x… shepherd/shepherding

- Abraham, Jacob, Moses… all shepherds… David

Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them… For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness… I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak…(Ezekiel 34:2-6)

We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way…(Isaiah 53:6)

So God Himself will take up the shepherds role

But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

Are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

For out of you will come a ruler

Who will be the shepherd of my people Israel. (Matthew 2:6)

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son… (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Jesus describes himself, in John 10

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns 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. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…” (John 10:11-14)

- Here his revelation as the good and great shepherd communicates profound commitment… in contrast to hired hands.

1. He finds us…astray and alone.

- For the shepherd the thought of one sheep… astray and alone, would consume his heart and mind

o Speaks to every one of us… at a deep level Talking with a friend yesterday… lost a parent… concerned for a pet

• Normal/natural… our existence is marked by being known… presences of others.

Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundredsheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Luke 15:1-7)

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