The Good Shepherd

  1. Message: In John 10 Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who lays his life down for his sheep. His sheep recognize his voice and follow him. He describes the thief and robber as those who hop the wall of the sheep pen, but the sheep don’t recognize the voice of a stranger and won’t follow him. He also mentions other sheep that are not yet in the fold that he must bring in. He says that they will recognize his voice and they will be one flock. I believe the sheep he was talking about here were the Jews that received him. They recognized him as the Messiah while others were questioning whether he was demonic. I believe the “other sheep” he mentioned here were the gentiles (which would be us). At that point he was only with the Jews. They were his chosen people, and the ones that were promised a Messiah, but they were also the ones who would reject him. After his resurrection he would send his disciples out to the gentiles to bring them in.
  2. Command: Obey the voice of God and reject any other voice.
  3. Promise: Jesus is a good shepherd and he cares for us and lays down his life.
  4. Warning: A stranger will sacrifice the sheep to save himself because he doesn’t really care about the sheep.
  5. Application: As I read this it occurred to me that all of the sheep in his flock knew him and recognized his authority. The flock in the pen were obedient and they followed their shepherd. The sheep outside the pen were scattered sheep without a shepherd that were vulnerable to any voice that called to them. Including the thief and the robber. The sheep outside the fold were unprotected and vulnerable to predators. What you don’t see in this example are sheep in the pen that are doing their own thing, aren’t listening, or are kind of following. They are either in the fold listening to the shepherd, or they are scattered sheep without a shepherd. There is no in between. What I see in this is that we can’t say we are sheep in his flock but choose to do our own thing, or obey only some of the time.We are either his sheep and are following him, or we are scattered sheep listening to any voice out there.

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