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Summary: Jesus said, "I am the Good Shepherd." But will He find us to be His worthy sheep?

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Worthy Sheep

John 10: 7-15 April 21, 2002

Today, from the Gospel of John, we have the words of Jesus explaining His role to the Pharisees… Once again, they question Jesus as to “who He is,” and He answers them – “I am the Good Shepherd…”

That’s who Jesus is – but He goes on to describe you and me – we are the sheep… This morning I want us to look deep inside into the darkest corners of our heart, because that’s who we really are…

The Shepherd knows His sheep (you have nothing to hide from the Shepherd) & we have a worthy Shepherd – but does the Shepherd have worthy sheep?

Frequently, the Bible compares us to sheep… Now that sounds nice, but surely you realize that is not necessarily a compliment, because sheep are among the dumbest & dirtiest animals in the world… So when the Bible says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray,” it’s not saying “That’s good…” It’s saying, “That’s Bad, because we’re just about on a level with sheep…”

When Jesus looked out on the people with compassion, the Gospel writers say that He saw them “as sheep without a shepherd…” That’s not a compliment, either, but a concern, because sheep are so helpless…

ILLUS: Phillip Keller was a sheep rancher & in his book, “A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm,” he says that sheep require more attention than any other livestock… They just can’t take care of themselves…

For example, unless their shepherd makes them move on, sheep will actually ruin a pasture… they’ll eat every blade of grass, until a fertile pasture is nothing but barren soil…

Sheep are near-sighted & very stubborn, but easily frightened… They have little means of defense… They’re timid, feeble creatures… They’re only defense is to run from their predator…

Sheep have no homing instincts… a dog, horse, cat, or a bird can find its way home, but a lost sheep is a lost sheep…

I think when Jesus compared us to sheep, He described us pretty good… For most people don’t like change, they’d rather stay in comfortable surroundings… I don’t know about you, but Lori & I have what we call our “usual place to eat…” At the dinner table, I have a favorite chair & she has a favorite chair & we sit in our favorite chairs… Several times I’ve come home when the grandbaby is staying with us, and she will say, “Pops, somebody has been sitting in your chair…” Even Breelan knows that we have favorite chairs…

Like sheep, people are stubborn, some of us are near-sighted, we can’t see things beyond our nose, we are feeble creatures – and sometimes our only defense is to try to run away from our problems… And of course, there are only two kinds of people in this world – those who are lost & those who are saved…

So, I think Jesus described us pretty good… we are like sheep… and like sheep, we are helpless without a shepherd…

ILLUS: Two men were called on, in a large classroom, to recite the Twenty-Third Psalm… One was an orator trained in speech & drama… He repeated the psalm in a powerful way… When he finished, the audience cheered & asked for an encore…

Then the other man repeated the same words – “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want…” but when he finished, no cheers or sounds came from the class… Instead, people sat in a mood of deep devotion & prayer…


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