”One Flock, One Shepherd.
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer! AMEN.
In the book of John we learn many very important and interesting things about Jesus. Chapter 10 is such a section and we can glean a lot that is useful to us in our Christian walk.
First we see that the death and resurrection of Jesus was a triumph which was expected by Jesus in advance!
In his teachings,Jesus refers to himself as the good shepherd-he lays down His life for the sheep. Notice carefully that He “LAYS DOWN” His life for the sheep. It is not wrenched from Him. He lays it down.
Days just before Jesus' death the Sanhedrin did not want to kill Jesus during the Passover. But, by telling Judas that He knew about the plot, Jesus forced them to – do it now; or cancel the plan; or do it later and have the public know about their ungodliness!
They were so intent on killing Jesus that they brought the plan forward. and in fulfilment of prophecy,He laid down His life on Passover!
Jesus also contrasts His attitude of love for the sheep, which His true 'under shepherds' will share, and the attitude of corrupt shepherds who work essentially for payment,and neglected the sheep most cruelly. We are to look to Jesus as our guide and protector because He is our true shepherd.
He came to tend and protect his people Israel,and to call other flocks -The Gentiles as well!We are grafted into Israel when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour – One Flock, one Shepherd.
He is the good shepherd because He has paid with His life for the sheep. We have been bought with a price, a great price, the death of God's son.
LET US NEVER FORGET THIS IMPORTANT FACT!
God's Kingdom is a theocracy, not a democracy We do not vote for the laws in his kingdom. He The king decides the laws. In a kingdom the king provides for His subjects. That is why God tells us in Philippians 4:19 that He will supply all our needs.
Phil 4:19 But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Yes,Jesus IS the good shepherd. Jew and gentile, under one shepherd, Jesus.
Jesus having agreed to lay down His life for us had the assurance that on defeating Satan He would be able to take up His life again. And we see Him stating, He lays down His life and He has the authority to take it up again.
Jesus know all his sheep(people) by name. Jesus knows that laying down his life is not just a noble thought,but was a painful reality! He laid it down in the sure hope that God, the Father wwould raise him to life again.
Let's look a little deeper at the thoughts that may have come to the disciples when Jesus spoke to them on the motif of the good shepherd.
How forcibly Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd! Comes to mind.
Here the psalmist states.... HE makes me lie down in green pastures. Then later....YOU are with me – YOU anoint my head with oil. As though God had come very close. Many Christians today, start out knowing God only at a distance. Only knowing Him from what others have said. BUT,.......later on their Christian journey get to know God and Jesus personally .What of ourselves ?Do we feel God's presence with us daily, as David sang?
Are we studying and meditating on our Manual, the Bible, God's trustworthy word. so that we get to know God better and better? I hope we are!
Do we know Jesus so well that when we hear of His death on our behalf we think of Psalm 41 and how David talked of being betrayed by a friend whom he trusted and ate with? Do we feel the hurt of knowing that Jesus' betrayal and death brought our salvation and that our sins held Him to the cross?
Jesus went through that pain and torment for you and I, never sinning Himself even though Satan threw all the temptations at Him that he could think of! Satan quoted scripture at Him! Throw yourself down and God will send His angels to lift you up.
Well Jesus overcame Satan so that we also can overcome when He lives through us. As we draw close to God we will see Him more and more as He is and see the truth about Satan and his schemes.
Jesus our elder brother loves us and died for us as the true good shepherd. He also pointed out that he who is forgiven much, loves much.
When we appreciate how much we personally have been forgiven we will start loving our great God more and more and appreciate there is no comparison between our God who died for us and other Gods who want their followers to die for them.
Lastly, in the gospel message today, Jesus says; I am the gate.(10:,9,)
He is the way in to safety and healing with God.
He protects His people just as a Shepherd sits across the door of the sheepfold at night He gives his people perfect freedom,just as a sheep may come in to find rest or go out to find pasture.
He IS the good shepherd. Not a thief coming to steal the sheep,nor a hired helper,who will run away at the first sight of danger,
What a great God we worship and love! There is no other Leader/shepherd throughout history who gave his life for the entire world of mankind .Ponder the thought....
JESUS IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD – OUR GOOD SHEPHERD!
Jesus seeks the least the lost and the last!
“May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy spirit, be with us and remain with us all, now and forever.