Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.
Sermons

Summary:

  Study Tools

1. This has been a good weekend of celebration. 50 years to look back over and to thank God for. 50 years of being a church.

2. As I looked through the year of the bible readings and sought to choose a passage for this evening, I wanted to find a passage that would be appropriate for this weekend. The passage before us reminds us of who we really are. And to whom we belong. And how He has watched over us these 50 years as our shepherd.

3.Jesus is talking about the entire true church, but what He teaches us has to do with how He has watched over FRC and over each one of us as individuals.

4. Jesus says to us "I am the good shepherd." We are His sheep.

5. This teaching was not new. In Psalm 23 we are told "the Lord is my shepherd." Jeremiah speaks of gathering the nation as a flock of sheep that has been scattered. And in Ezekiel, God says:

Ezek 34:12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep.

Ezek 34:15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.

6. The idea of God, of Jesus being our shepherd is one that gives us a picture of how much God cares for us and how He deals with us.

7. Jesus first tells us "I am the gate for the sheep." At night the sheep would be gathered in a pen for protection. And in the morning they would go out to the pasture for the day. When Jesus says He is the gate He says that He is the only one with authority, the only way, to enter the sheepfold. The only way to be a sheep of Godís sheepfold, to belong to His flock, to be saved.

8. For as Jesus says later in John, no one come to the Father but through me.

9. But the picture I also have is that of the shepherd standing in the doorway of the pen as they came in from the pasture. He would inspect each sheep as it entered. If the sheep were scratched or wounded by thorns, the shepherd anointed it with oil to provide healing. If the sheep were thirsty he would give them water. And he would count them to make sure they were all there. If one was missing, he would go out to find the lost sheep, as we read in the parable of the lost sheep. We get the picture of Jesus caring for His church and each one of us in a very personal way.

10. Jesus says that He has come so that we may have life, and have it to the full. To know Him as our shepherd, changes everything in our life. A young man or woman develops a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. They fall in love. All of a sudden their lives are filled with purpose and meaning and a future. Their lives become full. Everything is now different. So it is when we develop an intimate relationship with Jesus. We now want to live for Him. We seek to serve Him and honour Him. And we feel loved and cared for. We do not need to fear anything for He will be with us.

11. And we recognize His voice. We hear Him and His words of instruction. At night various flocks may be gathered together in the pen. Just as there are various flocks in the world - those who follow Jesus and those who follow others. In the morning the shepherds come to take their sheep out to the rich pasture for food. The sheep will only follow their own shepherd. We will not follow false teachers but only Jesus.


Talk about it...

Michael Pope

commented on May 2, 2017

This is a great sermon starter. The thoughts, while conveyed by the preacher with his own flock in mind, are easily transferred to my own flock. I think more could have been developed on listening for the voice of the shepherd as a necessity for not only following the right shepherd but listening to the voice of the shepherd as we travel through various pastures (a metaphor for the phases of our life, individually and collectively), which helps us through providing for our needs, including feeding, watering, shelter, and protecting us from danger. Obviously, everything begins and ends with our intimate relationship with The Good Shepherd and our willingness to follow and trust Him. I also think more could be said about the nature of sheep and why they need a shepherd, although comparing humans to sheep may be offensive, particularly to some who like to think they are more enlightened and the masters of their own destiny. Nevertheless, we humans need to understand that we are absolutely dependent upon God, The Good Shepherd, for everything, just as sheep are totally dependent upon a shepherd. For example, sheep are inherently defenseless (no fangs, no claws, no horns, unless you're talking about big horn sheep), and they are innately directionless, aimlessly wondering without guidance, which often leads to dangerous situations like falling off cliffs or drowning in water due to the sheep's heavy wool, which, when wet, becomes even heavier and can lead to drowning. Finally, comparing what Jesus says here about Himself and what King David said about the LORD being his shepherd, would add even more depth to the sermon as we learn not only about our own needs, based upon our created nature, but also the nature of The Lord who is our Good Shepherd. Finally, as a shepherd of a flock, we as pastors need to follow The Good Shepherd, Jesus, and realize that the shepherds crook is still a viable symbol for our own work with our congregation, reaching down with the crook to rescue those sheep who have stayed away into danger and fallen and can't help themselves, and then using the other end of our staff as a weapon to fight for our sheep against Satan, his false prophets, and all the spiritual forces of evil in this world. I see the necessity of learning from The Good Shepherd as our example in order to develop the characteristics and qualities that we need as pastors to properly lead, care for and protect our flock. Thanks for the good thoughts and for the clear exposition and progression of the ideas presented in this sermon.

Join the discussion