Summary: Message 22 in a journey through John's gospel exploring the wonder of our Good Shepherd supplementing John 10 with the visual of Psalm 23.
Pastor David Welch
“The Lord is My Shepherd”
One of the most devastating accusations against God that the devil continually tries to promote is that God is not all that good. Satan invites us to look around at the appalling evil in the world and our own personal experience and encourages us to suspect somehow God should be blamed. Either He isn’t big enough or He isn’t good enough to do anything about it. Satan instituted this line of attack from the start by convincing Eve that the only reason God prohibited them from eating the forbidden fruit was fear of competition and jealousy. Most everyone has entertained such thoughts about God from time to time.
Why did God allow this or that to happen?
How could a loving God allow me to suffer such a devastating abuse?
If God is always present then why does He feel so distant in times of trouble?
John 10 attests to a good God. Jesus claims in contrast to the Pharisees of his day to be the Good Shepherd.
I. FALSE SHEPHERDS (Pharisees)
• They were thieves and robbers 1,8
• They were strangers to the sheep
• They had no concern for the sheep
• They were only hired hands
• They didn’t entered by the door but tried to come by other means
• They had self-centered motives
II. THE TRUE SHEPHERD (Jesus)
• He is the only door to the heavenly fold
• He lovingly names us vs 3
• He gently leads us vs 3
• He travels in front of us vs 4
• He provides us salvation and sufficient pasture vs 9
• He provides us life and super abundance vs 10
• He sacrificed his own life for us vs 11,15,17
• He knows us intimately vs 14-15
• He unites us with the sheep under his capable leadership vs 16
• He guarantees us eternal life and security vs 28,29
• He and the Father are one vs 30
Shepherd and sheep imagery runs all through the Old Testament.
The Old Testament prophets plainly pounded the phony shepherds of Israel over and over. Zechariah firmly zapped the foolish shepherds of his day.
And the LORD said to me, "Take again for yourself the equipment of a foolish shepherd. "For behold, I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not
care for the perishing,
seek the scattered,
heal the broken,
sustain the one standing,
but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hoofs.
"Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock!
A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye!
His arm will be totally withered, and his right eye will be blind." Zech. 11:15-17
Shepherding has to do with
• a deep concern for those who are perishing
• a desire to seek those who have been scattered by attacks
• a yearning to restore those who have been hurt
• a passion to encourage those who are healthy to greater health
If those who don’t have that kind of heart invite God’s wrath, you can be sure that it accurately reflects His heart as our Good Shepherd. He deeply cares about the lost He actively seeks us when we get separated from the flock. He continually restores our wounded soul. He powerfully energizes us daily to keep in the battle.
III. THE FALSE SHEEP
• Didn’t understand spiritual truth. Vs 6
• Scoffed at what they didn‘t understand vs 20
• Didn’t believe because they were not true sheep vs 22-26
• Turned Hostile 31-39
IV. THE TRUE SHEEP
• True sheep hear and follow the shepherd (trust and obey) 3,4,27
• True sheep refuse to hear and follow a stranger but flee from himvs 5
• True sheep enter through the authorized door vs9
• True sheep know the shepherd vs 14
• True sheep believe in Jesus vs 42
• True sheep enjoy eternal life and abundant pasture
• True sheep are secure in the hands of the Father and the Son
PSALM 23 – THE SHPHERD SONG
“The LORD is my shepherd”
Character and ability of the shepherd make a difference in the shepherding. There is no confidence in realizing Pee Wee Herman is my shepherd. The character of our shepherd is essential. The shepherd of the true sheep is the none other than the LORD himself – Yahweh. The God of eternal relationships is my shepherd.
The Great God
Omnipresent -- available
Omniscient -- aware
Omnipotent -- able
The Good God
The holy God
Righteous or just
Angry at evil
David recognized the unsurpassed magnificence of the one he called shepherd