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Faithlife

The Gift of The Good Shepherd

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The Good Shepherd—Jesus!

John 10:11–16 ESV
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
John 10:
Usually when pastors teach on Jesus as the Good Shepherd, they want to talk to you about sheep and honestly how dumb sheep are. Amen, my church folk? If you've heard about Jesus as the Good Shepherd, someone has looked up, they've researched, what sheep are like. Then they've come back and said, "Sheep are dumb." Without a shepherd, sheep get themselves in a world of hurt.
Now I'm not saying I disagree of our dumbness. What I am saying is I'd rather just stay tethered to the text because the emphasis of this text is not on the dumbness of the sheep, but on the love and sufficiency of the shepherd.
Now I'm not saying I disagree of our dumbness. What I am saying is I'd rather just stay tethered to the text because the emphasis of this text is not on the dumbness of the sheep, but on the love and sufficiency of the shepherd.

A Good Shepherd....

…lays down His life for His Sheep. (Vs. 11-13)

A good shepherd will lay down his life for his sheep, that means giving everything up. It’s not taking on inconvenience, it’s not losing a limb, giving up some time, or even trying to live better than his sheep, he is there among the sheep and he loves them and cares for them and will protect them.
Jesus laid down His life “for the sheep.” He died in our place. We should have faced God’s righteous eternal judgment because of all our sins. But Jesus intervened with His own blood to pay the debt on our behalf. Jesus is the only one who has ever lived who did not have any sins of His own to die for. So He alone was qualified to die for us who deserved to die. As Paul wrote (), “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
He laid down His life “for the sheep.” He died in our place. We should have faced God’s righteous eternal judgment because of all our sins. But Jesus intervened with His own blood to pay the debt on our behalf. Jesus is the only one who has ever lived who did not have any sins of His own to die for. So He alone was qualified to die for us who deserved to die. As Paul wrote (), “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Jesus took our sins, the punishment for them in our place.
You see here a wonderful truth, Jesus is telling us that He is not a hired hand, what does this mean? Jesus is telling us when the enemy comes, which is not difficult circumstances in this life, but the enemy is sin and death, and when that wolf attacks He will not run, on that day, He will not run, but delivers us from the enemy, that is the Good shepherd that we have!
When Jesus is calling himself the Good Shepherd and he is talking about provision and care and guidance, he is saying, "When it comes to the enemy, eternally you are secure in me. I will vanquish, I will break the teeth out of the mouth of the wolf. You are mine, and I will handle this once and for all." This isn't every little difficulty in our life, although I think Christ cares about those things. This text is not a promise you won't have difficulty but, eternally speaking, you are secure in the Good shepherd.
The fact that Jesus would lay down his life for us shows us His heart in the love that He has. I have said this many times to you guys, but don’t tell me that you are not good enough for Jesus to love you, or don’t say that God hasn’t proven to you that He loves you, Jesus is that proof.

…knows his sheep and they know him. (vs. 14-15)

We see this truth in 10:3-4, where Jesus said that He calls His own sheep by name and they follow Him because they know His voice. Each night as the sheep would re-enter the fold, the shepherd would examine each one, to see whether there were any injuries or problems that needed his care. He knew every sheep in an intimate, personal way, and the sheep knew the shepherd so well that they would not follow the voice of a stranger (10:5, 8).
Jesus knows you, He knows your name, He doesn’t have to go “Hey you”, or “Hi”, or one of my favorite Christian ones, “hey brother, hey sister” because we forgot someones name.
John Piper said it best:
“Knowing a person’s name is like crossing an ocean into his world. Knowing a name opens us to the miracle of fellowship. Nameless greetings are cordial but they are not the stuff families are made of. No one introduces his brother as “what’s-his-name.”
Jesus shows us that our relationship is reciprocal, just as His and the Father’s is. They have the same heart, as we read later in this chapter, Him and the Father are one. While we cannot have it like Jesus and the Father, because we are finite and marred by sin, this creates barriers on our end, but we do know that Jesus knows us perfectly.
The apostle Paul, who knew Christ more deeply than almost all other believers, made it clear that knowing Him is a lifelong quest (). As Hosea (6:3) exhorts, “Let us press on to know the Lord.” So each of us needs to ask, “Is that my quest? Am I seeking to know my good shepherd better each day?”
The shepherd would have to sometimes break the legs of the wondering sheep so that they would be by his side while they healed, and afterwards they wouldn’t leave his side. While i don’t want my legs broke, I would rather just stay close to the shepherd, we do see God’s grace in this.

The Gift of Our Good Shepherd. (Vs. 16-18)

While Jesus set His sights on the joy set before Him as He faced the cross (), at the same time His giving Himself for us as sinners was the greatest act of selfless love in the history of the world. As Paul says (), “For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He wants us to know and to feel His deep, selfless care for us. The word translated “good” has the nuance of excellence or beauty. The beauty of Jesus, the shepherd who gave Himself to rescue us from God’s judgment, should draw our hearts in love to Him.
I want you to remember this as well...
John 10:16 ESV
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
Jesus is speaking to 100% ethnic jews at this point, what is He telling them? He is saying that the Gospel is global, it is not limited to a single ethnicity, but that his flock will include some from every race, tribe, tongue, and they will be surrendered to Him completely.
So this gift is from God, but what defines a gift in how it effects you?
1.) Cost
Not just talking about money here, but how much time did a person spend on the gift, how much effort did it cost to make, get, or give a present.
We see the cost of His love for us in , “Christ loved us and gave himself for us.” Jesus’ love was so strong for his people that He willingly gave himself, this is much more than just giving time, He gave His life, everything He had He gave for us.
2.) What you get.
Obviously, the gift itself that you receive can have an effect on you one way or the other. I just had a friend of mine for their 25th wedding anniversary, he saved up and took himself, and his wife to Hawaii. She had no clue what he was doing, he had work lined up for her to be off, the kids were in on it, but she had no clue.
This gift is probably received a little differently than if your husband came home with a ring out of a quarter machine at Kroger and tried to pass it off as a real one. When it comes down to it, the benefits of a gift are a key thing in how much the gift affects us.
3.) The Heart behind the gift. (Vs. 17-18)
Would you rather receive a gift from someone who is giving joyfully, or because they had to? This is technically not a gift, but the best example from my life is when Josiah and Jonah fight…Someone started the fight, someone is at fault at one point or another, so I talk with both boys, they are pretty good at fessing up...and one will indicate if he is the guilty party.
The one who is guilty, has to go to his brother, give him a hug and tell his brother he is sorry. This happens one of two ways, one, one of the boys begrudgingly goes up to the other, throws a lazy arm around the other one and says sorry as quickly as possible. No heart in it whatsoever. The joy that we get in parenting moments are found in the other way this situation could potentially break down..and trust me…this one is wayyy less frequent. The guilty brother knows that he did wrong, and feels guilty for doing said thing, goes to his brother, hugs him says that he is sorry, kiss the booboo, and they continue playing without Demetria and I ever being involved.
Tell me which one is better?
Jesus gives us the manner in which He is giving this gift of His life...J
John 10:17–18 ESV
For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
Why does Jesus say this? Why does he stress it? Because if it weren't true—if his death were forced on him, if it weren't free, if his heart weren't really in it—then a big question mark would be put over his love for us. The depth of his love is in its freedom. If he didn't die for us willingly—if he didn't choose the suffering and embrace it—then how deep is his love really? So he stresses it. He makes it explicit. "No one takes my life from me.
Why does Jesus say this? Why does he stress it? Because if it weren't true—if his death were forced on him, if it weren't free, if his heart weren't really in it—then a big question mark would be put over his love for us. The depth of his love is in its freedom. If he didn't die for us willingly—if he didn't choose the suffering and embrace it—then how deep is his love really? So he stresses it. He makes it explicit. "No one takes my life from me.
I lay it down on my own initiative" [literally: "from myself"]. It comes out of me, not out of circumstances, not out of pressure, but out of what I really long to do. Yes, verse 18 ends with "this commandment I have from my Father." But that is simply to show that the Father's heart and Jesus' heart are in perfect harmony. The Father loves, the Son loves. And what the Son loves the Father loves. The command was no burdensome constraint.
Why does Jesus say this? Why does he stress it? Because if it weren't true—if his death were forced on him, if it weren't free, if his heart weren't really in it—then a big question mark would be put over his love for us. The depth of his love is in its freedom. If he didn't die for us willingly—if he didn't choose the suffering and embrace it—then how deep is his love really? So he stresses it. He makes it explicit. "No one takes my life from me. I lay it down on my own initiative" [literally: "from myself"]. It comes out of me, not out of circumstances, not out of pressure, but out of what I really long to do. Yes, verse 18 ends with "this commandment I have from my Father." But that is simply to show that the Father's heart and Jesus' heart are in perfect harmony. The Father loves, the Son loves. And what the Son loves the Father loves. The command was no burdensome constraint.
Jesus stresses this point in order for us to know when we are attacked by satan saying…Jesus really doesn’t love you, or Jesus loves everyone else but you. Jesus anticipated this, and so He stresses that His heart really is in it, it wasn’t forced upon Him.
You may be hearing this today, but what Jesus is telling you is that He freely suffered and died for you. This gift of himself is for you.
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