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I AM The Good Shepherd
John 10:1-21, 22-33

Scripture readings: Psalm 80, Ezekiel 34

One of the most endearing and enduring images of Christ is of Jesus as The Good Shepherd.

Over the centuries Jesus has been continually depicted as a shepherd with a sheep over his shoulder. When the catacombs of Rome, wherein the Christians hid during the Roman persecutions and where many were buried, were rediscovered in 1578, many depictions of Christ as a shepherd were found.

The image of Jesus as The Good Shepherd comes from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, wherein Jesus says "I AM The Good shepherd".

Let's read this text together and then ponder its significance as it relates to Easter and our celebration of the Lord's Supper

READ TEXT

Lessons of the text as it relates to Jesus The Good Shepherd

1. The job of literal shepherds serves as a guide for what a pastor is to do

Tend the flock, guard the flock, care for the sheep, feed the sheep, bind up the wounded, direct the flock, protect it, go after the wandering, love the flock, etc

Further: See Ezekiel 34

2. There are false shepherds to watch out for. v.1-5

Note how in v.1-5 Jesus, in essence calls the Jewish religious leaders false shepherds. This ties into John 9 and their hostility towards him over his healing of the man born blind.

3. When Jesus said "I AM The good shepherd" he made a double claim to be God v.11,14

a. I AM

In Exodus 3, wherein God calls Moses to be the one to lead His people out of Egypt, God says to Moses, "If they ask you who sent you, tell them "I AM" has sent you.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus dozens of times makes "I AM" statements in regards to himself. Jesus does so very purposefully, because He wants us to conclude that He is God in the flesh. Hence, when Jesus says "I am the good shepherd", we need to understand that he is making a claim to be God.

b. The Good shepherd

The second way in which Jesus claims to be God is by way of his claiming to be "The Good Shepherd". In Psalm 23 David says "The Lord is my Shepherd". In Psalm 80, and other texts, God is referred to as the shepherd of Israel.

Hence, when Jesus says, "I am The Good Shepherd", he's claiming to be God the Shepherd who cared for Israel and led her to the Promised Land.

4. Jesus as The Good Shepherd fulfills the prophecy of Ezekiel 34:23-24 and the hope of Psalm 80

Ezekiel 34:23-24 says; "I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken."

Psalm 80:1-3 says; "Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken your might; come and save us. Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we might be saved."

5. Jesus is more than The Good Shepherd, He's also the gate for the sheep v.7-9

This big claim of Christ- having to do with him being the only Savior- directly relates to John 14:6; wherein he says "I and the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

6. As The Good Shepherd Jesus protects us from our enemy the Devil. Read v.10, 27-29

What a great comfort to know that we have one who looks after, preserves, and guards our very souls

7. Jesus' flock includes people of every tongue, tribe, and nation v.16

In Romans 1:16-17 the Apostle Paul writes "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

8. The most amazing news of all is this: Jesus, The Good Shepherd laid down his life for us. Read v.14-18

Jesus did so while we were yet sinners, by the plan of the Father, for the salvation of all who would humble themselves, confess their sin, and put their faith in Christ as Savior and Lord.

9. Jesus' claim to be The Good Shepherd demands a response v.19-21

Jesus is and was a controversial person. He doesn't make small claims. He makes life changing and demanding claims.

What's interesting is that some of the crowd rejected and reviled Christ, though they knew that he had done something no one had ever done before (heal a man born blind). To add "insult to injury, they even went so far as to attribute the miracle that Jesus had performed to his being demon possessed." This doesn't make sense.

If you are not a follower of Jesus, don't be too quick to write Jesus off. Read the Scriptures, study the Bible with a Christian, have a open mind, ponder the miracles and claims of Christ. Pursue truth.


THE LORD'S SUPPER

This morning as we come to the Table, we come with the image of Jesus as The Good Shepherd in mind.

This Table is open to all who call Jesus their Lord and Savior. This Table also comes with an open invitation to those of who are not yet his followers to come to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins

As we partake of the bread- which is a symbol of the body of Christ- I want you to dwell on the wonder that Jesus, The Good Shepherd, laid down his life for us. Read v.11

As we partake of the juice- which is a symbol reminding us that Jesus shed his blood for the forgiveness of our sins- I want you to thank the Lord that in Jesus The Good Shepherd we have one who looks after, preserves, and guards our very souls. Read v.10, 27-30

Praise the Lord.