February 23, 2005
"Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd”
INTRODUCTION: We are now mid way through our Lenten Pilgrimage. What would we learn of the Savior this night? In a clear and straightforward manner the Savior would remind us, “I am the Good Shepherd.” (v.11) What makes Him such a good shepherd? By His own words He will explain why we can call Him good.
I. Jesus is our Good Shepherd because He alone lays down His life for His Sheep.
A. He is not a hireling.
1. The hired man, who is not a shepherd, does not own the sheep.
a. There is no investment on his part.
b. The sheep mean nothing to him.
2. The hired man cares nothing for the sheep.
B. Jesus is willing to die for the sheep.
1. Because He cares for them.
a. He will tend, feed and watch over them.
b. He will leave 99 in safety to seek after one who is lost.
2. Because He loves them! “Greater love that no man then this that He lay down His life for His friends.”
Transition: We can call Jesus our Good Shepherd because He lays down His life for His sheep. We call Him Shepherd because He guards and protects us.
II. Jesus is our Good Shepherd because He guards and protects us.
A. Not so with the hireling.
1. He runs when he sees the wolf coming. He’s more interested in self; in self-preservation, in self-promotion then the sheep.
2. The wolf preys upon the flock. He snatches the sheep and scatters them.
B. Jesus is our protector.
1. “No one shall snatch them out of My hand!” Says Jesus our Good Shepherd.
2. He offers His life for the flock. He’s willing to die for the sheep and will in fact offer His life for the flock.
3. He owns the flock – they are His – He is responsible.
Transition: Our Good Shepherd lays down His life for us. He guards and protects us. He knows us.
III. The Good Shepherd knows the sheep.
A. “As the Father knows Me and I know the Father, in the same way I know My sheep and they know Me.” (Vv. 14-15)
1. There is a special and close relationship between the Shepherd and His sheep.
2. He’s your closest and dearest friend.
3. For a second time Jesus will remind us, “And I am willing to die for them.” (v.15)
B. He calls them each by name. “There are other sheep that belong to Me that are not of this sheepfold. I must bring them too.” (v. 16)
1. “They will listen to My voice.” (v.16) We do not heed the voice of a different Shepherd. We know His voice only. From the mount of Transfiguration, “This is My beloved Son – listen to Him.” (Matthew 17)
2. “They will become one flock with one shepherd.” He is not one voice among many – one of several options. He demands our whole heart and our true devotion. Heed His voice and follow in His wake as He leads the flock.
CONCLUSION: Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He lays down His life for the sheep. He guards and protects His sheep. He knows them each by name! No wonder we call Him our Good Shepherd.