Jesus the True Shepherd

February 17 - February 20

Day 1 Wednesday

 John 10:1-6

John 10:1-2

1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

 

Political and spiritual leaders were often called shepherds in the ancient world. Jesus explained that not everyone among the sheep is a true shepherd; some are like thieves and robbers. One mark of them being a thief and a robber is how they gain entry among the sheep.

In the Old Testament God describes shepherds who have not cared for the flock but only for themselves.

 

Isaiah 56:11 NKJV

“Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot understand; They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory.”

 

Ezekiel 34:1-10 NKJV

1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.” 7 ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10 Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”

 

A) Jesus teaches that there is a door, a proper way to gain entry. Not everyone who stands among the sheep comes that way. Some climb

up some other way.

B) Many religious leaders gained their place among God’s people (the sheep spoken of here) through various methods – through personal

and political connections, through formal education, through nepotism (family connections), through ambition, manipulation, and corruption.

 

C) A true shepherd comes in the legitimate way, designed by God: through love, calling, care, and sacrificial service. God always intended that His people be led, fed, and protected by those who come in the legitimate, intended way. The door is there for a reason. Some will always climb over the barriers, but God has the barriers and the door there for a reason.

D) Jesus Christ is the doorkeeper and he is also the very door itself. Shepherds and sheep alike must enter the same door.

 

John 10:3

“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

 

E) The shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out: The shepherd calls the sheep by name, showing that the shepherd has a personal connection with the sheep. The shepherd leads them, providing direction and leadership – without driving or demanding the

sheep.

F) “In the Gospels, Jesus calls the following ‘sheep’ by name, Philip, Mary of Magdala, Thomas, and Simon Peter; and on each occasion it is a turning-point in the disciple’s life.”

G) For they know his voice: In the common sheepfolds of ancient times, the shepherd merely gave his distinctive call and his sheep came out from the others, following him out of the sheepfold. Sheep are experts at discerning their shepherd’s voice.

 

“There is a story of a Scotch traveller who changed clothes with a Jerusalem shepherd and tried to lead the sheep: but the sheep followed the shepherds voice and not his clothes.”

 

Conclusion

During this COVID-19 Pandemic followers of Christ have had their way of corporate worship altered dramatically. Social distancing has kept the faithful from gathering and assembling ourselves together the worship God and fellowship. This has made many of the  “weak” among us (1 Thessalonians 5:14) prey for every pop up ministry and false shepherds that seek to devour straying and lost sheep. Jesus cares that all who follow him would have an appointed earthly shepherd to care for his sheep.

Exercise

Is there someone you know that has a relationship with Jesus Christ but during this pandemic they are without a pastor?

 

Pray to God the Father through His son Jesus Christ and ask the Lord to give them a pastor that will feed and care for them.

Day 2 Thursday

 John 10:7-21

John 10:7

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”

 

“I am the door of the sheep”

Jesus gave a visual illustration from sheep farming in His time. Out in the pasturelands for sheep, pens were made with only one entrance. The door for those sheep pens was the shepherd himself. He laid his body across the entrance, to keep the sheep in and to keep out the wolves. The shepherd was in fact the door. Don’t be deceived by how the corruption and sinful practices within the house of God entered in the first place. If a good shepherd is at the door he will fight to keep predators out of the sheep pen (the church, the congregation) but if a thief or robber is at the door then that illegitimate shepherd will allow predators in the sheep pen.

 

“Thieves and Robbers”

8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.

 

“Thief” implies deception and trickery; “robber” implies violence and destruction.

More and more we hear of church disputes resulting in physical confrontations, pastors being forcibly removed from the pulpit,  law enforcement intervention and arrests. Preaching prosperity gospel and not the gospel of Jesus Christ for personal gain and fame. These things do not give life it takes away life.

 

“Abundant Life"

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

 

“The Greek word for ‘abundance,’ perissos, has a mathematical meaning and generally implies a surplus.

 

The abundant life is above all the contented life, in which our contentment is based upon the fact that God is equal to every emergency and is able to supply all our needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.” (James Boice)

 

  • Abundant life isn’t an especially long life

  • Abundant life isn’t an easy, comfortable life

  • Abundant life is a life of satisfaction and contentment in Jesus

 

Jesus declares that “I am come”and “I came”, not to preserve a life already possessed, but to impart a life to you has never before been known. A life that is rich and abundant in mercy, grace, joy, peace, hope, strength and God’s unfailing love.

 

“I have power”

17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of

Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” 19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

 

Jesus claims to have power over life and death even His own—as granted to Him by God. He predicts His own death and resurrection.

 

Anyone can lay down his life; only Jesus could take His life up again. Because Jesus has the power to take up His own life, it is evidence of

His unique relationship with His Father.

 

Jesus is still debating with religious critics who are angry over His recent miracle in John 9. There, Jesus gave sight to a man born blind, which sparked debates that did not end well for the local religious leaders.

 

Jesus made such radical claims about Himself that people divided over Him. Some believe He was who He said He was. Others believed that

anyone who claimed to be God as Jesus claimed must either have a demon or be mad. This leads to controversy.

 

Conclusion:

Jesus is saying the same thing he will say in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I am the door. If you believe in me, you will be saved; and you will go in and out and find pasture. You are saved from wolves and thieves that come to kill and destroy. Enter by me and you will be forever safe. Saved.

Exercise:

Write down the things that through Christ have become abundant in your life.

Day 3 Friday

 John 10: 22-30

22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

 

Surrounded

Verse 24 “Then the Jews surrounded Him”

It isn’t said that Jesus was at the temple teaching, it clearly states that He walked in the temple (John 10:23). The sense is that this was a hostile ambush as Jesus simply walked. The religious leaders (once again described as the Jews) refused to listen to or believe in Jesus. They hoped to blame Jesus for their unbelief (How long do You keep us in doubt?).

 

Many times those who profess to know God or say that they follow Christ are the ones who “surround” those who have truly given their

heart to Christ.

 

Question : Have you ever been surrounded for your faith in Christ?

 

Verse 25 “I told you, and you do not believe”

The Jews asked this question with traitorous and false motives. They wished to get him to declare himself king of the Jews, that they might accuse him to the Roman governor; and by it they insolently insinuated that all the proofs he had hitherto given them of his Divine mission were good for nothing.” (Clarke)

 

Jesus did not often specifically refer to Himself among the Jews as the Christ, the Messiah. The reason is because messiah was a word with political and even military implications that Jesus wished to avoid because of His mission to die on the cross.

 

Proof of what Jesus had told them:

  • I told you, I am the one who came from heaven (John 3:13, 6:38).

  • I told you, whoever believes on Me has eternal life (John 3:15).

  • I told you, I am the unique Son of God (John 5:19-23).

  • I told you, I will judge all humanity (John 5:19-23).

  • I told you, all should honor Me just as the honor God the Father (John 5:19-23).

  • I told you, the Hebrew Scriptures all speak of Me (John 5:39).

  • I told you, I perfectly reveal God the Father (John 7:28-29).

  • I told you, I always please God and never sin (John 8:29, 8:46).

  • I told you, I am uniquely sent from God (John 8:42).

  • I told you, before Abraham was, I Am (John 8:58).

  • I told you, I am the Son of Man, prophesied by Daniel (John 9:37).

  • I told you, I will raise Myself from the dead (John 10:17-18).

  • I told you, I am the Bread of Life (John 6:48).

  • I told you, I am the Light of the World (John 8:12).

  • I told you, I am the Door (John 10:9).

  • I told you, I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11).

 

The problem wasn’t that Jesus was unclear about who He was and where He came from. The problem was that the religious leaders, false teachers, illegitimate shepherds, thieves and robbers had hearts of unbelief and they wanted to blame their lack of faith on Jesus.

 

The Shepherd Truly Knows His Sheep Jesus previously told them they were not true shepherds (John 10:5, 10:8, 10:10, 10:12-13). Here Jesus told them they were not even true sheep, because the Messiah’s sheep believe and hear His voice.

 

They are not only untrustworthy shepherds of God’s people, but they are are showing that they ought no longer to be classed among the sheep that pay attention to His voice. Their unbelief is just an evidence that they were not chosen, that these religious leaders have not been called by the Spirit of God, and that they are still in their sins.”

 

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

 

It is to be expected that the Good Shepherd would take good care of His sheep. The sheep are safe and secure in hand of the Good Shepherd. No one is able to snatch them out of our Father’s hand:

 

Despite the problem of religious leaders who false teachers, illegitimate shepherds, thieves and robbers God’s sheep find safety in the both

the hand of the Good Shepherd and God the Father. We are safe in the hands of God.

 

Discussion

1) What was your historical view of religious leaders prior to understanding God’s word?

2) What is your view now after studying John10?

Day 4 Saturday

 John 10: 31-42

“Jesus Answered Them”

The religious leaders surrounded Jesus (John 10:24) and now held rocks to stone Him to death (John 10:31). Jesus didn’t panic and didn’t run; He stopped them with the power of His word. He answered them as an educated rabbi would speak to other educated rabbis.

 

Today I will provide three questions and you are to answer each question without looking in the bible for how to answer each question. First answer each question with what’s already in your heart. If you don’t have an answer then you should search the scriptures for the answer and pray that the Holy Spirit will help you.

1) Are you born again, are you saved?

2) How did you get saved and what proof do you have that you are born again?

3) Explain to me how Jesus could die and come back to life?

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