Summary: The hired man that Jesus is speaking of is the unfaithful minister of God’s Word that has either sought out the office or has been appointed over the ministry of the Word of God but only looks to it as a source of income or some other form of compensation

Title: Which is Which?

Scripture: John 10:11-13


Have you ever met those people that are constantly looking for shortcuts in every area of their life? Any time they do anything, Every time anything is done, or anywhere they drive, they are always looking for the shortcut. Quality doesn’t really matter rather they think more along the lines of, “let’s just get it done.”

There are things in this life that must be done, and they must be done well. Additionally, we are admonished by scripture to adhere to that in our Christian walk.

It says…

(Prov 16:3 NIV) Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

(1 Cor 10:31 NIV) So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

(Col 3:17 NIV) And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The word “whatever” pretty much would cover or describe anything that we would have before us. Yet there are still Christians that seek out those shortcuts, even in areas that are what I would call “shortcut-prohibitive.” Meaning that there are times where taking a shortcut would not benefit anyone concerned.

There are no shortcuts to salvation. There are no shortcuts to the truth. And, as a Christian, there are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. In chapter 14 of the Gospel according to John, Jesus says in verse 6

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Though ultimately it’s up to us to decide, our way should be left up to the One that is able to make that decision for us, and then we choose to follow it.

Now if He deems it appropriate for you to go a way that is shorter, when compared to other Christians, then that should be alright. Shouldn’t it? But, conversely, if He deems it appropriate for you to go a way that is longer than others, then that should be alright, too. Shouldn’t it?

Well, we should be saying yes. However, in this world today there are so many things that interfere with the clear vision of what Jesus presents to us that we get confused. We get confused by strangers and hirelings out there in the world that tell us they know what’s good for us when they are only looking to what is good for them. And, usually that is money.

Our scripture takes that into account. Today we’ll be looking at John 10:11-13:

11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

Jesus tells you and I first and foremost that He is the good shepherd. Don’t be looking around at someone else, because He’s talking right to you. And, it’s important that we understand exactly what that means when He says that He is the good shepherd.

First of all, what is a shepherd and what does he do?

I think that Dr. Andrew Bonar, a close friend and biographer of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, says it best when he had this to say to a friend of his about sheep and shepherds.

Dr. Andrew Bonar told me how, in the Highlands of Scotland, a sheep would often wander off into the rocks and get into places that they couldn’t get out of. The grass on these mountains is very sweet and the sheep like it, and they will jump down ten or twelve feet, and then they can’t jump back again, and the shepherd hears them bleating [crying] in distress. They may be there for days, until they have eaten all the grass. The shepherd will wait until they are so faint they cannot stand, and then they will put a rope around him, and he will go over and pull that sheep up out of the jaws of death. "Why don’t they go down there when the sheep first gets there?" I asked. "Ah!" He said, "they are so very foolish they would dash right over the precipice and be killed if they did!" And that is the way with men; they won’t go back to God till they have no friends and have lost everything. If you are a wanderer I tell you that the Good Shepherd will bring you back the moment you have given up trying to save yourself and are willing to let Him save you His own way.

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