11. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives-up HIS life for the sheep.
12. The HIRED man is not the shepherd, and the sheep are not his.
When he sees the wolf coming, the HIRED man leaves the sheep and
runs-away. And the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them all.
13. The HIRED man runs-away because he works only for himself,
and that man doesn't-care about the sheep.
14. But I am the Good Shepherd. I know MY sheep, and MY sheep know ME.
15. The same-as the Father knows ME, and I know the Father, and I give-up MY life for the sheep.
16. And I have other sheep. They are not in this sheep group, but I
must lead them also. And they will hear MY voice. Then all the sheep
will join one FLOCK [sheep group] and have one Shepherd.
17. The Father loves ME because I give-up MY life so-that I can receive MY life again.
18. None takes MY life from ME. No, I MYSELF freely give-up MY life.
I have the power to give-up MY life and I have the power to take that
again. This is the thing MY Father commanded ME to do.
Good Shepherd sermons often focus on the sheep
weak, helpless, and stupid.
One time a pastor who served a small church in the country,
tried to have a small flock of sheep on the church's land. Sheep
are not like cats that can take care of themselves.
In 2 years all their sheep died.
But this lesson is not about sheep.
This lesson is about the Shepherd.
Especially this one point:
Jesus said: "I am the Good Shepherd.
The Good Shepherd gives-up HIS life for the sheep.
Wild animals like to attack sheep -- kill and eat them.
Sheep can't defend themselves.
When wolves attack sheep,
what does the shepherd do?
Become scared and run away?
Or fight against the wolves.
Remember a story about a shepherd boy named DAVID,
and his battle against the giant named GOLIATH.
Saul said to David, "You can't go fight against this PHILISTINE. You
are only a boy. GOLIATH has been a soldier since he was a young man."
David answered, "I take-care-of my father’s sheep. When a lion or bear
came and took a sheep, I chased-it, caught-it, and I I save the sheep
from its mouth. When the lion or bear attacked me, I grabbed its fur
and hit-it and killed-it.1 (Samuel 17:33-35)
David didn't brag about his strength and courage.
No, David said that God helped him:
"The LORD saved me from a lion and a bear. He will save me from this PHILISTINE."
Do you think that David was wise?
He risked his life for a few stupid sheep.
But David didn't have that attitude.
And Jesus doesn't have that attitude about us.
The Bible says that the Devil walks around like a lion, roaring, looking for someone to eat. (1 Peter 5:8)
When the Devil snatched us, Jesus met the Devil in battle.
Jesus knew that battle will cost His life.
And Jesus knew that in that battle against the Devil,
Jesus will suffer more anyone can know.
But He decided that He will do that for us, anyway.
That is how important you are to Him.
David wrote in Psalm 23:
If I walk through a very dark valley named "death," no-matter.
I will not fear, because You are with me.
Jesus entered that valley ahead of us.
He accepted that hit for us.
He went into death first, so that when it is our turn, we won't enter it alone.
"You, Jesus, are with me."
Now, we need to analyze this story:
The Good Shepherd = ?
Sheep = ?
This parable begins easy.
Jesus said, "I am the Good Shepherd."
|Good Shepherd = Jesus|
Sheep = people who trust Him (us)
This is a picture that we see often in the Bible.
And people who lived long ago in the Middle East understood that picture.
Sheep are not smart animals.
They are not strong.
They cannot live independently in the wild.
And they don't really understand how stupid and weak they really are.
They need a lot of care and protection.
When God compares US to SHEEP, He is not praising us,
but that picture tells us how much He loves us and He cares for us.
HIRED man is not the shepherd, and the sheep are not his. When he
sees the wolf coming, the HIRED man leaves the sheep and
runs-away. And the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them all.
The HIRED man runs-away because he works only for himself, and that man doesn't-care about the sheep.
Paid Worker = ?
The Wolf = ?
|Paid Worker = pastor/priest just doing his job to get paid|
These are religious leaders who use religion as a business.
Maybe they start serving with a good heart for the right reasons.
But then they become distracted with the world's things, personal comfort and pleasure.
Their focus becomes what benefits them,
not what helps the people
or what serves Christ.
Obviously, that is how Jesus saw the religious leaders in His day.
He told them,
"You hypocrites! You steal from poor widow women,
and then you show how religious you are
with your long prayers!
You are like fancy graves.
The outside is pretty,
but inside you are dead."
When trouble hits, a paid worker is gone!
But a true shepherd will fight to the death to save his sheep.
And that is exactly what Jesus did for us.
I am the Good Shepherd.
I know My sheep, and My sheep know Me...
and I give-up My life for the sheep.
Notice that Jesus did not say: "I know about My sheep, and My sheep know about Me."
No, He knows each one of us, and He wants us to know Him,
not just know about Him.
We can know Him only when we have a relationship with Him.
|Wolf = The devil and his agents|
Remember that the devil is not all-powerful.
He does his dirty work through people,
sometimes through church people!
...because we are still sinners.
The wolf and the Devil share the same goal --
separating sheep from the shepherd
and destroying the sheep.
How does the Devil do that? ...the same way the wolf does it.
(1) When a sheep wanders away from the Shepherd's protection,
the wolf and the Devil will catch that sheep.
(2) He will attack the shepherd in order to scatter the flock.
The devil already attacked Jesus, and Jesus won.
Now the devil's goal is to attack pastors, church leaders, and strong Christian organizations.
We see what happens to Christian ministry when a pastor or leader has a falls into sin.
Note that a shepherd never negotiates with a wolf.
Jesus never negotiated with the Devil,
and we must not play around with the Devil's ways.
Other Sheep = ?
The Shepherd's Voice = ?
The Flock = ?
I have other sheep. They are not in this sheep group, but I must
lead them also. And they will hear My voice. Then all the
sheep will join one FLOCK [sheep group] and have one Shepherd.
|Other Sheep = people who don't know Jesus yet|
The Shepherd's Voice = The Bible
The Flock = the Church -- all true believers, not an organization
In that day when Jesus spoke these words,
the "other sheep" where non-Jews, Gentiles.
That's most of us.
WE were those "other sheep" that He has called to join His flock.
But His flock is not yet full.
He is still calling people to know Him.