Summary: The "I Am" proclamations of Jesus in John’s gospel reveal that Jesus was the Messiah and that He was the same God who spoke to Moses from the burning bush. When Jesus said he was the gate for the sheep and the Good Shepherd it became a sudden Impact momen
Sudden Impact Part III – “I AM” Series
Thesis: The "I Am" proclamations of Jesus in John’s gospel reveal that Jesus was the Messiah and that He was the same God who spoke to Moses from the burning bush. When Jesus said he was the gate for the sheep and the Good Shepherd it became a sudden Impact moment on the crowd of the day.
Text: John 10
Key Verses: John 10:7 and 9
"Therefore Jesus said again, ’I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep." (7)
John 10:11 and 14
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (11)
Illustration: Put up "The Good Shepherd" painting copy.
To really appreciate the message of this painting and John 10, you need to center in on the Word and then look at the painting and meditate.
The Good Shepherd was painted by the German artist Bernard Plockhorst.
Let’s read the text and meditate on the story/allegory of Jesus and reflect on Jesus’ words against this painting.
READ JOHN 10
Reflect on Painting
Notice the mother sheep of the little lamb that "The Good Shepherd" is carrying in His arm. She may not be able (you will not be able) to see, the thorn in his leg; but she knows he has been hurt and follows close to the shepherd, watching with a mother’s anxious care on her youngen.
Note also the wild rugged beauty of the background of the picture the narrow stony path between rocks, the entangling thorns along the side, the lacy tree leaves, and the brook or pool dim shoreline in the distance.
The face of "The Good Shepherd" as with downcast eyes, he tenderly gently holds the injured lamb and carries the lamb safely back to the fold.
One of the most familiar sights in Eastern countries is to see the shepherd leading his flock either to pasture or to the fold.
In Middle East culture shepherding was a way of life for many. The two "I Am" statements in this chapter are both associated with the common practice of shepherding. When Jesus united the door and good shepherd "I Am" statements the Jews would have understood His terminology. They would know that the shepherd was the door and the door was the shepherd.
If you have studied Christ’s sayings you would observe that He taught His followers by using actual experiences that they could relate to. You could say Jesus was culturally sensitive to where his followers mind sets were.
Chilton notes, "The sheepfold Jesus was thinking about was an open space surrounded by a wall, with but one opening and here the shepherd took up His position as the door. It was this that the sheep literally and actually came in and out through Him. Thus they were watched over, cared for, counted and examined to see if any were hurt. If they were hurt, the Good Shepherd would anoint with a healing oil to help facilitate healing in the sheep. He would know His sheep so well they would be named and the sheep would also know their shepherd’s voice. (pg. 49.)
The sheep never made a mistake when they hear their shepherd’s call.
Illustration: H.V. Morton gives an account of this sort of thing: "Early one morning I saw an extraordinary sight not far from Bethlehem. Two shepherd had evidently spent the night with their flocks in a cave. The sheep were all mixed together and the time had come for the shepherds to go in different directions. One of the shepherds stood some distance from the sheep and began to call. First one, then another, then four or five animals ran towards him; and so on until he had counted his whole flock" (In the Steps of the Master, London 1935, pg. 155). George Adam Smith similarly tells of three or four shepherds separating out their flocks solely by their peculiar calls. (The Historical Geography of the Holy Land, London, 1931, pp. 311f.).
* Personal experience at Converse’s farm with cows.
At night the sheep were in the fold and protected. By day the shepherds would for the most part, let their sheep graze on the pastures. It’s interesting when you read of the Good Shepherd your mind just immediately races back to Ps. 23 (READ TEXT).
A Psalm Enshrined Too Long
As I parked my car in front of a big city hospital in Miami, one of our best-loved physicians came down the steps and started toward his car. It happened that it was very near mine, so, I waited. When he came close, I noticed that his lips were moving as though he were talking. With a grin, I said, "Bascom, you are too young to be talking to yourself."