Summary: A Study of the most famous of all the "I am" statements of Jesus.
The Great I Am – The Good Shepherd
June 6, 2004
Review: We’ve been studying the self descriptive statements of Jesus from John known as the “I am” discourses. These 7 statements help us to realize that Jesus was the great “I am” of the O.T., who has become flesh in the N.T. to seek and to save each of us who are lost.
Trans: This AM we are going to look at the most famous of the “I am” statements – The Good Shepherd. (Read John 10:11-18) Before we go any further in this text, I want to consider first not the shepherd, but his sheep.
• Dirty Their wool gets dirty and they can’t do anything about it.
• Defenseless Sheep have no means to protect themselves.
• Dependent Keller says sheep require more attention than any animal.
• Dumb Sheep if left to themselves will destroy themselves.
Joke: A typical blonde had gotten sick of all the blond jokes so one day she decided to get a makeover – cutting and dying hair. After buying a new convertible, she set out for a drive in the country where she came across a herd of sheep. She decided to stop and talk w/ the shepherd. After a few minutes of chit-chat, she said I have a proposition – if she could guess the total number of sheep can I have one. The shepherd agreed but was absolutely shocked when she guessed correctly – 382. He kept his promise and allowed her to pick one out to take home. After the woman picked out her sheep and put it in her car, the shepherd said he had a proposition for her – If I can guess your real hair color, can I have my dog back?
Trans: Throughout the Bible the Lord calls us sheep b/c we too are dirty, defenseless, dependent and dumb, yet He calls himself the Good Shepherd.
Verse: I am the Good Shepherd… (Let’s break it down)
Note: As we have been discussing throughout this series, when Jesus says, “I am,” He is depicting Himself as one w/ Yahweh – “I, even I, and only I am…”
Ordinarily, the Israelites considered this name too holy to be spoken by human lips. In fact, it was so revered that it was only pronounced one day a year on the Day of Atonement. If the name had to be written, the scribe would take a bath before writing it and then destroy the pen afterward.
Note: Good (kalos) means beautiful and valuable – Jesus is beyond being morally good but is also excellent and pre-imminent in every feature – incapable of doing anything bad. He is good in every attribute as God is good.
Note: To the listeners that day, this would have been shocking and scandalous. In their minds only God is good and King David was their shepherd. And yet Jesus was declaring Himself to be their shepherd and their God.
Insert: MacArthur points out that Jesus is saying to them that He is greater than David. In John 6, in claiming to be the Bread of Life, Jesus claimed to be greater than Moses. In John 8, after declaring Himself to be the Light of the World, Jesus says that “Before Abraham was born, I am!
It is as if throughout the book of John, that Jesus lined up the heroes of the Jewish faith – the trifecta of Moses, Abraham, and David, and said, “I am infinitely elevated above everyone and everything b/c I am God.”
Point: Of course this would send the Pharisees into an uproar. First b/c they would consider this heresy and second b/c they considered them selves to be the shepherds of Israel – but now that Jesus has stepped onto the scene, He has exposed them as self-serving, self-centered frauds.
Trans: In verses 12-13, Jesus contrasts Himself w/ the religious leaders. He says that I am the shepherd and the Pharisees are nothing more than hirelings. And He says let me prove it!
I REDEMPTION The Good Shepherd Lays Down His Life
Text: "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep (puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary). A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs from it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him
Note: gives His life (huper) willing gives his life on behalf of to benefit another.
for – in the place of – (see Romans 5:8 – but God demonstrated His love…)
Insert: And as we know, Jesus died in our place – not as a martyr or b/c he was murdered – but b/c He willingly took our place as our substitute as the required payment for the penalty of our sins.