Summary: In John 10 Jesus is talking about how He is the Good Shepherd and that He can lay His life down and pick it back up again. Why would a shepherd lay his life down? What good is a dead shepherd?
Lent 2019 - Why the Shepherd Chose to Die
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot disown Himself.”
Please open your Bibles to John 10:1-21
As we come to this portion of Scripture, Jesus has just healed a man born blind.
And, I must tell you, I love the interaction between the man who has been healed and the Pharisees!
Well, the Pharisees end up insulting the man and kicking him out of their gathering!
After a while Jesus, the man born blind and some Pharisees are together and Jesus says in John 9:39-41,
“For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.
“Some Pharisees who were with Him heard Him say this and asked, ‘What? Are we blind too?’
“Jesus said, ‘If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.’”
Of course, Jesus is speaking of spiritual blindness. So, He goes on to speak to them in parables that they should understand, but, it just goes to confirm their spiritual blindness.
With that in mind let’s look at: John 10:1-21
May God bless the reading of His Word … (Prayer for help …)
In verses 1-6 Jesus is figuratively speaking of Himself as a spiritual shepherd, God the Father as the spiritual gatekeeper, the one who controls entry into the sheepfold of safety. Jesus says that the sheep actually know the voice of their Shepherd and they will follow him but will run away from a stranger.
In this section Jesus never mentions that He, Himself, is the shepherd.
The Pharisees don’t get it! Why is He telling us about sheep and shepherds and gatekeepers????
In verses 7-10 Jesus then identifies Himself as the Gate to the sheepfold. This means that He is the ONLY legitimate means of entry into the safety of the fold.
In verses 11-18 Jesus then identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd who protects the sheep with His very life. He is NOT like the hired man who abandons the sheep and runs away when a threat to the sheep comes.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd who is willing to die for His sheep; to lay down His very life. But ……. What good is a dead shepherd? And that bring us to the most unusual part of this passage.
“The reason my Father loves Me is that I lay down my life - only to take it up again. 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.”
Jesus is almost sounding like a broken record here when He says,
“… I lay down my life - only to take it up again …”
“… No one takes my life from Me - I lay it down of My own free will …”
“… I have the authority to lay down my life and then to pick it up again and this authority comes from My Father! …”
Jesus has been using sheep analogies. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has sheep.
Who wants to kill the sheep? Perhaps it is not so much to kill the sheep but to steal them.
The Pharisees are having a truly difficult time with Jesus. He seems to be stealing their sheep, their followers, their admirers.
“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
“They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.