Summary: THe good shepherd always goes looking for His sheep; even if they don’t want to be found.
The good shepherd John 10:1-6
There was a young man by the name of Hamish from Scotland and he couldn’t seem to get a job anywhere, so he told his parents he was going off to London to make himself some money. Well, he was gone for a few weeks and his mother hadn’t heard from him, so she started to get worried. She called a few friends she knew that lived in London and through them she got a phone number where she was told he could be reached. So, she called him up and said how much she had worried about him.
He said, “Don’t worry ma, I’m doing fine. I really like it here. I’ve got a job and I’m making plenty of money and as a matter of fact, I even bought myself a new car.” He said, “I’ve also got a nice apartment and everything is going well. The only thing that bothers me is; I’m having a hard time adjusting to the people.” He said, “My neighbors make an awful lot of racket every night and it’s really hard to get any sleep. The guy on one side walks around screaming half the night, while the guy on the other side always bangs on the wall whenever he can’t sleep.” His mother said, “What do you do when all this is going on?” Oh, he said, “I just sit there and quietly play my bagpipes.” Well, I’m sure that we all do a few things that bug people that we’re not aware of as well.
Now, just before we get into chapter 10 I want to touch on a few things that I missed the last couple of weeks. I guess the truth of the matter is, every time I go back over any passage of scripture there are things I could add. For instance, when Jesus healed the blind man you remember how I spent a lot of time talking about the method He used or the way He did it. The scripture says that Jesus just mixed dirt and spit and made clay, and then He put it on the blind man’s eyes and told him to go to the other side of town and wash it off. And we might wonder, “Why did He do it this way?” I mean, was Jesus just showing the Pharisees that He could do these things without breaking the Sabbath law or was He causing the blind man to exercise faith by doing what he was told to do, by walking halfway across town with muck on his face in order to get healed.
Well, both of these things are true, but I also think He did it this way just to be different, in the sense that Jesus was always changing His methods of doing miracles whether it was healing, casting out demons or anything else.
I mean, sometimes He just said the word and the sick person who was standing right in front of Him was healed and there were times when He healed someone who was as far as twenty miles away. And there were times when He touched people like lepers that no one else would touch for love nor money. And in the case of the deaf man, He poked His fingers in his ears. It almost seems like Jesus never used the same method, the same way for a very long time. And I think He did this to show people that the power He displayed had nothing to do with the way He did the miracle. In other words, it wasn’t how He did what He did that made the difference. It was Him.
We see an excellent example of this in the book of Acts 19 where unbelievers try to copy the actions of Jesus and those of His disciples. It’s in Acts 19:13-16, and it says, “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them who had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, we adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was, leaped on them and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” So, you see this shows us that the results had nothing to do with the method. And I believe that’s why Jesus constantly changed the way He did the various miracles.
Now, another thing, you remember how I said that the Jews had taken the law and defined it to the point where it no longer meant what it was supposed to mean. For instance, they had all kinds of little rules, like a man couldn’t carry a handkerchief from upstairs to down because that was considered to be carrying a burden or you weren’t allowed to light a lamp or blow one out. You couldn’t cut your fingernails or pull a hair out of your beard and you certainly couldn’t do any manual labor like making clay or healing someone.