FBCWest 577 | Jesus, The Good Shepherd
Recorded On: 10/22/2023
Hymn # 287 “Pass It On”
SCRIPTURE READING – Matthew 28:18 - 20
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
OFFERTORY MUSIC – Pru Hungate
Praise and Worship
“How Great Is Your Love”
“Only King Forever”
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“Jesus, The Good Shepherd”
Benediction “There Is Freedom”
John 10:1 – 6 Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He enters and sheep hear His voice and follow Him, but not the voie of another
John 10:7 – 10 Jesus is the door and those who came before Him are thieves and robbers
John 10:11 – 13 As the Good Shepherd He will lay down His life for the sheep, but a hired hand would not
John 10:14 & 15 He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him
John 10:16 He has other sheep, which are not in this fold
John 10:17 & 18 The father loves Him because He lays down His life for the sheep
John 10:19 – 21 There is a division over who Jesus is
Transcript of Service
As I announce each week before I begin the message, the message will come from the Gospel of John chapter 10, starting with verse 1, which I expect you to have your Bibles and open there too, because I want you to make sure what I say is the Scriptures, is actually the Scriptures, because sometimes I throw you a curve ball. Now Jesus, one of Jesus' teaching styles, especially when it came to the general public, was to teach in parables. Now parables is kind of like metaphors, except not only does it compare something, it has spiritual significance. And so Jesus is going to present two parables, parables in this accounting of the Gospel, and we're going to see the first parable they just don't get, which is not unusual, because most of the people never seem to get his parables. Even his own followers oftentimes would say, "Jesus, what did you mean by that?" And so hopefully we'll be able to understand what the parables are and to appreciate his teaching.
And so in chapter 10 of the Gospel of John, starting with verse 1, it says, "Truly, truly," and again, when Jesus says,there are times when Jesus says truly, which is the truth, and usually, well, always Jesus speaks the truth. But when he's going to say something of significance, he'll say truly. And as I, in my little shorthand, when it's on the test, he says truly, truly, which is, this is important, guys. This is important. So truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. Now, I know we who live in an urban setting have no idea about sheep to begin with, let alone sheep doors and sheep pens and whatever. So what happens is usually a shepherd would take his sheep out in the pastures and different places, and they would eat, they would drink. But then when there would be a reason for him to have to leave for some reason. So I'll give you an example. You don't think the shepherds, when the angels came and announced Jesus's birth, that they just left the sheep in the field. They made sure that they were in a sheep pen protected. And so Jesus says, it's the person who doesn't go through the sheep door. And we're going to see a little more about what a sheep door is. That person is not the shepherd. He's going to try to sneak in to steal a sheep. And so he's going to kind of sneak in, go over the fence or whatever, to take a sheep or two and calm out where a shepherd, the gatekeeper, knowing who the shepherds are, will give them access. So he says, so that person who doesn't go through the sheep door is only there to be a thief and a robber. But he who enters the door is a shepherd of the sheep. So again, Jesus said, when you the shepherds go through the sheep door, because they are the owners of the various flocks of sheep in that pen, and he'll explain this a little further. So to him, the doorkeeper opens and the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own by name and leads them out. So first off, the shepherd will go through the door and the gatekeeper, knowing that that's a shepherd, will allow him in. But something significant here is that the shepherd doesn't go, oh, well, I had to pre-paint or do something to distinguish my sheep from the other sheep. No, the sheep know the voice of the shepherd. And when he calls them, they follow him. Voices are very distinctive and they come on very early.
Babies know their mother's voice. If a child cries, parents and especially the mothers know which child it is. Voices are very distinctive, so much so that even in the various ways that we even people who try to steal your voice to go online and buy things or do whatever, they want to record your voice saying yes or whatever, because your voice has a distinctive sound. And Jesus says, the sheep understand that distinctive sound of who their shepherd is and he'll go, Mildred and Bubba and Frank and Lois and whatever names that I might offend you. And those sheep come out because they hear the shepherd's voice. And notice he leads them out. He doesn't wait for them. He leads them. They follow him.
And when he puts forth all of his own, he goes ahead of them and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. So the sheep are confident of their shepherd because they understand the voice. Now, isn't it interesting? Other than turkeys, sheep are probably some of the dumbest animals around.
And I'm so glad Bidge and Frank and lost out, making a turkey, a United States symbol. But sheep are pretty dumb, but they're smart enough to know the voice of the shepherd. And they follow the voice of the shepherd because they know his voice.
A stranger, they simply will not follow, but will flee from him because they do not know the voice of the stranger. So when somebody else comes to say, hey, Lois, come, they'll flee because they don't want to be associated with that stranger because that stranger doesn't have that sheep's best interest. This figure of speech, Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were, which he had been saying to them.
So he gives them this parable.
He goes, a shepherd will enter where he's supposed to enter.
His sheep will know his voice and the sheep will follow.
Jesus is, in essence, saying, and he's going to be on his second parable, a little more distinct. So we'll let the second parable tell us about the first one. Jesus said to them again, truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
So Jesus is going to narrow it. Not only is he talking about gay papers, he's saying, if you want to enter or exit, I am the door. You don't gain access or egress without Jesus. Without Jesus.
Again, Jesus is telling us not all roads lead to heaven.
There's only one road that leads to heaven, and that road starts with the door of Jesus. You don't get there because you thought that Muhammad was a great prophet. You don't get there if you thought Buddha was a great prophet. You don't get there because you're a Zoroastrian. You don't get there because you're a good person. You don't get there because you're whatever.
Jesus says there's one way and one way only to have access to eternal life, and that is through Jesus. Now I'm sorry if that offends you.
I didn't make the rule, and I'm not the door.
The door gets to make the rule. If the door says I'm the only one, then he's the only one.
So yes, we're exclusive, but we open up the invitation to everyone.
You get to choose.
And all who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. He's going there, but other people who have claimed to be the Messiah.
But the sheep didn't hear his voice because they weren't the shepherd. They were there for their own gain, not for the benefit of the sheep. They were there to rob and to steal, not to protect the sheep.
He says, again, I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
Jesus saying, it's me.
It's only me.
And when you enter through him, you will be saved.
We church people love to use that word.
And a lot of non-church people, whatever, don't quite understand. Well, we use that word because Jesus used that word.
You are in peril of death and destruction. And dare I say it, hell.
But Jesus saves from all of that.
And not only that, he says, not only do I save you from destruction,
I lead you that you might find pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Jesus' offer is not merely to avoid hell and damnation. It's there for us to have an abundant life.
And Jesus is going to say something in the next verse, but I want to press the fist by this.
Psalm 23 says, for the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He leads me to green pastures. They should be catching this.
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.
He leads me in the path of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil for you, thy rod for you comfort me, your rod and your staff. They comfort me.
Jesus is saying, we're giving, I'm giving you an abundant life. And the world wants to tell you, if you become a Christian, you will lose out. Because if you're not a Christian, you can grab all the gusto there is. And Jesus is saying, that's there to only have you to be stolen from and robbed. But I've come to give you life, eternal life, and it'd be abundant, a genuine life. And then Jesus says, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
So Jesus says, not only do I lead you into pastures and the righteousness and eternal life, but I am going to lay down my life for my sheep.
Now notice it's his sheep.
It's not sheep in general.
It's his sheep.
Now there are those good people who do in fact, they risk their lives for other people. We call them heroes and rightfully so.
But if your child is in a dangerous situation, you don't wait for someone to rescue him or her. You go into the danger to save them.
And Jesus is saying, I'm going to take my sheep and I'm going to lay down my life for them. For that's how I love them. He was a hired hand and not a shepherd who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. That's right. No matter what you pay the hired hand, they're saying, it's not worth my life.
It's your sheep, not mine. I can get another job.
I can go to Bethlehem and get hired as a carpenter. I don't have to risk my life for somebody else's sheep. Jesus is saying, I risk my life. Not only do I risk my life, I lay down my life for my sheep. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. He's concerned about his own life.
I am the good shepherd and I know my own and my own know me.
You see, that's where the first parable was so important.
You see the sheep know his voice.
And when they know his voice, they follow him. We who are believers, heard and have heard the word of Jesus and follow him because we know it's his voice.
One way to explain that, there is a gospel that some people will talk about who aren't believers, and many believers don't know of this gospel. It's called the Gospel of Thomas.
I've read the Gospel of Thomas and I know and no one has to tell me it's not sacred scripture.
Actually, it more sounds like a Twilight Zone movie about the one about the little kid who everybody had to please because if they didn't, they did all kinds of terrible things too. That's what that Jesus sounds like. The first paragraph told me that is not inspired scripture.
That's phony scripture because his voice is not in it. As a matter of fact, I get really perturbed to use a nice word.
When I hear on generally Christian radio stations and you'll hear it something like that, and they don't mean anything wrong by it, but they'll talk about the power of prayer.
And when I hear about the power of prayer, it just drives me crazy.
And I'll tell you two reasons why it drives me crazy. I've given you one example.
If I were, my car broke down and I needed you to come get me, or I needed to go to the airport and my car didn't work or whatever. And I called you on the cell phone and said, "Hey, would you come and take me to the airport?" And then you came and took me to the airport. And in the entire way, I'm going, "My cell phone is so awesome. It got me to the airport." No, it didn't. You, my friend, or my relative who I called got me to the airport. So it disturbs me that we take a mechanism that we are told to do to pray without ceasing or whatever, but we give it glory rather than the glory to God who answered the call.
So it diminishes the glory of God by saying the power of prayer.
The second reason I'll tell you, I don't like the power of prayer.
If there was power in prayer, then you could pray to Zeus. Then you could pray to Zeus, or you could pray to Jupiter, or you could pray to Aphrodite, or you could pray to whatever God you wanted to pray as the people when Elijah presented the choice of Israel between the gods and God. And they prayed and they yelled and they screamed and they cut themselves and did all sorts of stuff. And then Elijah started mocking them.
And the God of heaven answered Elijah's prayer.
"It matters who you pray to." It's not the power of prayer. Because if it were the power of prayer, what I would do is I would put a prayer down and do it in an endless loop.
Kind of like the Buddhists do who put a prayer on a card and it whirls around and every time it whirls around, it's supposed to be a new prayer.
And so the voice of God tells me, "Give God glory." Don't give the mechanism glory.
So that's my rabbit I chased in, whatever. So the next time you hear about the power of prayer, I hope you go, "No, it's God's power and it's God's glory."
"Even as the father knows me and I know the father and I lay down my life for the sheep." You see, we should know Jesus's voice so well that there is simply no doubt. You'll hear people say, "Well, I don't know. You know, I pray for this and I'm not sure," and whatever.
Jesus is saying, "We should know his voice just like God the father and God the son are well acquainted with each other."
I have been married to my wife for 51 years. It did not take me 51 years to figure out her voice. It didn't even take me through our wedding to know her voice.
When she called me on the phone, I didn't go, "Who's this?"
Because I knew her voice.
We as Christians should know his voice and how do we know his voice? In my instance of my wife, because I heard it a lot. We went on dates. She would call me on the phone. She would get me out of the shower. I would hear her voice and I'm thank God and I still hear her voice.
Even at six o'clock in the morning when I want to sleep and she wants to talk. It's okay because at least I'm hearing her voice. Now, if you call me on the phone at six o'clock, I'm probably going to be rude.
Call me back at some reasonable time, like two in the afternoon. But we know and God's saying, "I'm not going to be here. Okay.
But we know and God's saying, "Is the father saying no?" So how do we know his voice? Read the scriptures.
Seek his voice.
Then he says something amazing because the people of God, in this case, the Jews think it's just the Jews.
He goes, "I have other sheep which are not of this fold."
That's us, boy.
That's us Gentiles. We're not the fold of Israel, but we are of his fold. And I must bring them also and they will hear my voice and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
We don't have Jews who are believers and Gentiles who are believers. We're one. Now, they may continue to celebrate in the sense of their faith through following the law, continually not eating certain things in certain days and worshiping on Saturday and we worship on Sunday, but we are one body and we have one shepherd and one Lord and that's Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Christ.
And we are one flock.
It's not them and us. It's us.
For this reason, the father loves me because I lay down my life so that I may take it up again.
Now, this is an important verse that we can dash by.
"When it came to Jesus' crucifixion, they did not take his life.
He laid it down."
He was not the subject to the wheel of history crushing him.
He laid down his life as his choice because he loved the father and he loved us.
And then the father said, "When you lay down your life,
you have the power to raise it up again."
You have the power to lay it down and you have the power to wise it up, to take it up again.
No one has taken away from me and this is before it ever happens, but I lay it down on my own initiative and I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it up again. This is a commandment I received from my father.
This commandment is as sure as the one that says, "Thou shall not take any other God before me, that thou shall honor your mother and father, that thou shall not commit murder." God gave Jesus a commandment which says, "You have the authority as your initiative to lay down your life and take it up again. It's yours. You can do it as you see fit."
Now, as with most things that Jesus teaches and does, no one understands.
And there becomes a division. One side saying one thing and another side saying another.
A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words.
They're going, "What's he talking about?"
And so here's the division.
Many of them were saying, "He has a demon and is insane." They're flat wrong,
but at least they're going to do what they think.
Whereas you'll hear in today's culture occasionally, "Well, Jesus was a good teacher."
Well, they're not saying he's insane or has a demon. Well, if he's a good teacher, do what you want. If he's a good teacher, do what he teaches. And what did he teach? "I am the door."
You don't get access to the Father except through me.
If you're my sheep, you hear my voice. Are you hearing my voice? If you don't hear my voice, you're not my sheep.
Oh, that's exclusionary.
The last past number of Saturdays.
I go watch my two grandsons play football.
When they're in the game, I watch them because they're mine.
I hope the team wins, but when my grandsons are in, I want them to do well and I want them to help the team win. And so, number whatever may sack the quarterback on Luke's team.
I will never seen it because I'm watching Luke play free safety.
He's over there, not there.
When Joe's playing, I'm watching a bunch of guys crash in together and him trying to sack the quarterback. I have no idea what the free safety is doing on Joe's team. Because I'm watching Joe.
Now, if they're out of the game, I watch it like I watch on TV because they're not mine and I hope they win because my grandsons are on that team and I hope their team wins. But I'm not nearly as interested in the team when they're not in.
So when people say, "Well, he's a good teacher." Well, he's a good teacher.
Are you hearing his voice?
Because apparently you're not because you're saying things, but then you're not living your life according to what you say.
If someone says, "This is a great diet. You ought to follow it." And I see people following it and losing weight, then maybe I should say, "That's a good diet. I should follow it as opposed to, "That's a good diet, but I'm going to continue to eat all kinds of food I shouldn't eat."
Kind of crazy.
Others were saying, "These are not the sayings of one demon possessed."
But then they follow up by saying, "A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?"
So they're not looking at what Jesus says. They're looking at what Jesus has done.
So they're saying, "Well, the demon possessed person couldn't open a blind man's eyes. So therefore, he can't be demon possessed." Well, that's wonderful.
But the call is not that Jesus isn't crazy. The call is he's Messiah.
So you can have the correct answer here. No, he's not demon possessed,
but you can still not hear his voice and follow him.
For those of us who have heard his voice, I pray for us to hear it more clearly and clearly and clearly.
And for those who haven't heard his voice, my prayer is that you may hear it. And after hearing it, respond to it.
Not as these who had no idea what he was doing by saying,
"Oh, I understand you are the good shepherd.
I don't buy the lies that I can have a great life and not follow you. I can only have an abundant life if I do follow you. And I can only have an eternal life if I follow you. And I refuse to accept the lies of this culture and others, but hear the voice of Jesus, because he is the one and the only one who gives us living hope."