6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: Exploring the Relationship between Jesus as shepherd and humanity as sheep

The Good Shepherd

CCCAG August 12th, 2018

Gospel of John Series

Scripture- John 10:1-21

Intro:

Back when I first went into the reserves, I went out looking for a job. Unfortunately, my military job being an infantryman did not translate well into civilian culture.

The only jobs I could find or fast food or work at gas stations, so I tried both but ended up doing the gas station. The gas station I found to work at was a 711 on 52nd St in Kenosha. This was one of the 2 gas stations that had the dubious distinction of being robbed the most. I worked the overnight which was the time they always got held up.

One night, I'm going through the inventory and I'm watching some guy walk back and forth across the parking lot looking around. Now people acting strangely in a city in the middle of the night is not very uncommon, but something I still want to keep an eye on. He looks like he is talking to himself, and he is just acting weird. I’m assuming he is on drugs or has some sort of mental illness.

Eventually he makes his way to the store and walks up to the counter.

I ask him “Can I help you?”

He says, “I need some money.” I said, “are you asking for a job application?”

He says no “I just need some money” I said, “Well, it sounds like you need a job”

He said, “I don't want a job I just need you to give me some money.”

I said, “I can't give you any money or I'll lose my job”

He said, “just give me the money out of the register”

I said, “Are you robbing me?” as I slowly reach under the counter for the silent alarm.

He said, “No, but I just want you to give me the money”

I said, “Well, I can’t just give you the money unless you are robbing me.”

He said, “Ok, what if I said I was robbing you?” I said, “Are you robbing me? I don’t see a gun or a knife”

He said, “Yeah, I’m robbing you” and reached inside his coat but didn’t take his hand out.

Now, I hit the silent alarm, and I have a decision to make.

I am about 99% sure this guy doesn’t have anything to hurt me with. If he was actually trying to rob me, the gun or knife would have been out as he walked in the door. My natural defensive instinct was to grab this guy and beat him into submission.

But, I stopped and thought about it for a second- do I really want to take that 1% chance to defend the slushy machines? I’m just a minimum wage paid clerk who has never even met the franchise owner, and I know he couldn’t care less that I was there working for him in the middle of the night.

I had made a snap decision there- I’m a hired hand, I’m not dying for the glory of 7-11.

Fortunately, the police were right there 30 seconds after I tripped the alarm and took care of the situation for me. He didn’t have a weapon and was well known to the officers as mental health patient who had gotten away from his group home.

In John Chapter 10, Jesus shows us the difference between a good shepherd and a hired hand. It has everything to do with the heart focus of the person who carry’s the title of shepherd.

Today we call our spiritual shepherds pastors. Pastor is a Anglo-Saxon word that was translated from the Latin word for “one who tends sheep in a grassland.” The bible has a lot to say about how these spiritual Shepherds are supposed to care for God’s sheep.

Jesus tell us HE is the good shepherd. He is the example.

That leads us to our first point of studying John 10:1-21, and we ask the question-

I. What is the Good Shepherd

A Christian ministry did a poll last year of the top ten things people want to see in their pastor

1. Love of Congregation

2. Effective Preaching

3. Strong Character

4. Good Work Ethic

5. Casts vision

6. Demonstrates Healthy Relationships

7. Joyous

8. Does not yield to critics

9. Transparent

10. Models Evangelism

Not a bad list, and for the most part they are biblical ideals one should seek in a spiritual leader.

The bible also tells us the other side of the story in what a hired hand looks like.

Ezekiel 34- The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds (or pastors) of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 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. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill.

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