The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
Topic: Salvation Passage: John 10:1–10:6
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
• A one-year old sheep is called a hogget
• A two-year old sheep is called a two-tooth.
• Sheep grow two teeth a year until they have eight.
• If you see a sheep on its back, lend it a hand because a sheep can't get up from that position. If left on its back too long, it will eventually die.
• One pound of wool can make ten miles of yarn.
• The small intestines from 11 sheep are needed to make 1 tennis racket.
• Sheep have poor eyesight but an excellent sense of hearing.
• Sheep only have lower teeth that press against an upper palette
• Sheep make a bleating sound. A baby lamb can find its mother by her bleat.
• Lamb is the lowest in cholesterol of all red meats.
• Spinning wool into thread began about 5,000 years ago.
• Ewes typically give birth to twins.
• There are About 1 billion sheep on the planet
• Sheep prefer running water when they drink
• In the country of New Zealand, there are more sheep than people (10 to 1).
• Every sheep looks different, and even though we humans sometimes can't tell them apart, the sheep can.
• A sheep can remember another sheep for up to two years. Sheep can remember people too.
• Sheep aren't very smart. If a sheep tries to go through a hole in the fence, and the hole is too small, he will just keep on trying to go forward instead of backing out.
• Sheep are followers. If one sheep moves, the others will follow even though it may not be a good decision. If the lead sheep jumps over a cliff, the others are likely to follow.
• Sheep sometimes wander. They graze without paying attention to where they are going. They may be unable to find their way home even when it's within sight. --- Isaiah said, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
• Sheep are mentioned more times in the Bible than any other animal. Sheep and lambs are mentioned about 400 times in the Bible.
1. The Context
2. 3 Marks of False Shepherds
3. 5 Marks of the Good Shepherd
Review: John 10 is simply a continuation of John 9, so I want to review John 9 and show you how it flows right into John 10.
1. Last Week Dean taught on John 9, the man born blind. Jesus is a good shepherd to this man. He heals his vision, but he also opens his spiritual eyes as well.
2. The Transformation of a life
• Vs. 1: blind from birth
• Vs. 11: The man called Jesus [healed me]
• Vs. 17: He is a prophet
• Vs. 27: Claims to be a disciple of Jesus. Asks the religious leaders (with a little sarcasm), “Do you also want to become his disciples?”
• Vs. 38: He calls Jesus Lord. He says, “Lord I believe”. And then he worships Jesus. You only worship God.
• This man gradually transforms from a man who is physically and spiritually blind to a seeing man who acknowledges Jesus as a man, a prophet, and as Lord. Finally, he worships him as God.
3. Parents vs. Kid
• Vs. 21-23: Parents are completely non-committal about who Jesus is. They say in verse 21, “Ask him, he is of age.” In verse 22 it says why, “because they feared the Jews”.
• They have come face to face with a most incredible miracle, someone who was blind from birth can now see. And not just any someone, this someone is their own son. They have years, decades of evidence that their boy could not see. They have to be completely astounded by this miracle, but for fear of the Jews they say nothing. How often have people said, “My faith is a personal thing.” Meaning I don’t want to go public. I don’t want to confess my faith. I want to hide it. I’m afraid of what people would think of me. Shall I go so far as to say that they are ashamed of their faith in Jesus Christ:
o Jesus said in Matthew 10:32-33, “32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
o Paul said in Romans 1:16: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”
• How often we too are like these parents? God has done the most incredible miracle in our lives. He has opened our blinded us so that we can understand the gospel and see the glory of Christ. And so often, like these parents, we say nothing. Why? Fear of man! We fear man more than we fear God. We care more about what men think of us than what God thinks of us.
• But oh the day when we stop caring anymore! Oh the day when we stop caring what men think start caring what God thinks. When we stop talking like these parents and start talking like their son. Where we confront the disbelief of the world with or rock solid faith in Jesus Christ…like this man confronts the religious leaders.
• Vs. 30-31 He finds it shocking that these men do not believe in Jesus. In verse 30-31 he says, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
4. John 10 is simply a continuation of the story in John 9
• Thief and the Robber: When Jesus speaks of the thief and the robber in John 10, he is referring to the religious leaders in John 9.
• Chapter Breaks: Keep in mind that these chapter breaks were added later just to help us find different sections of scripture, but in reality there is NO BREAK between John 9 and John 10. Jesus begins rebuking these religious leaders at the end of John 9 and the beginning of John 10 is the continuation of that rebuke.
• John 9:39 Jesus speaks to the blind man: 39 “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt;[d] but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains. 10 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.
o Who is the thief and the robber? It’s these religious leaders.
o Who is the true shepherd? Later in John 10:11, Jesus says, “I am the good shephere.”
Sermon Title: The Shepherd and His Sheep
Before I begin discussing the False Shepherds and the True Shepherd, I want to make a couple points about the sheep.
2 Points About the Sheep
1. There are sheep that belong to Jesus.
o I chose you. You did not choose me.
o Before the foundation of the world.
2. There are those who are not Jesus’ sheep.
o John 10: 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me,[a] is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
What do we know about these false shepherds? --- sheep stealing, false shepherds
• Sheep Stealing: You may have heard someone accuse a church of “sheep stealing”, meaning they were taking Christians from another church. But that’s not what Jesus is referring to here. Here we have legalistic Jews seeking to steal sheep from Jesus. Seeking to trap the young and naive in bonds of legalism…that they might not find the freedom and rest that come to the those sheep who follow the good shepherd.
3 Marks of the False Shepherds
1. They acquire their position illegitimately.
a. They don’t enter the sheepfold by the door. They climb in another way.
b. The gatekeeper doesn’t open to them.
c. Matthew 23:2 “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses.” --- They have said we are the voice of Moses.
2. They don’t intimately know the sheep.
o They don’t call the sheep by name.
o The sheep don’t know their voice.
o They are strangers to the sheep.
o The sheep won’t follow them.
o SO WHY THE THREAT? If the sheep won’t follow them what is there to worry about. Just ask Luis…a man set free from sin by the power of the gospel…only months later to end up at a church that questioned his faith because he hadn’t been baptized in their church. They sought to bind his conscience with their legalistic and false doctrine. They confused this young sheep and sent him into a spiritual tale spin…until the Good Shepherd went out and rescued this lost little sheep.
o False Shepherds are a Great Threat:
ï‚§ Confuse you and mix you up with false doctrine
ï‚§ Can drive you away from the Good Shepherd
ï‚§ Mix you up so bad you lose the joy of your salvation
ï‚§ Weigh you down under the burden of legalism: Where you get to the point where you think Christianity is nothing more than trying hard to be a good person.
3. They don’t lead by example.
• Rather than leading, they drive the sheep.
• Matthew 23: 2 ““The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses,3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[a] and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
• What do the sheep do? The sheep flee from them.
5 Marks of the Good Shepherd
1. He is legitimately the shepherd of the sheep.
• Enters by the door. (verse 2)
• Gatekeeper opens to him. (verse 3) – I think that’s God. God has opened the door to Jesus. God has given these sheep to Jesus. And Jesus says in John 6:39, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.”
• God has made Christ the head of the church.
ï‚§ Heb. 13: 20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us[a] that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
ï‚§ Acts 2: 22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
ï‚§ Acts 2: 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
2. The sheep belong to him.
ï‚§ They are HIS sheep.
ï‚§ Vs. 3: He calls his own sheep.
ï‚§ Know that You Belong to Him: He has called you out of the world, not because you’re a super smart good little sheep, but simply because he loved you, simply because you were his. You belong to Him! He looks after his sheep. And once he has claimed you for his own, NOTHING and NO-ONE can take you out of His hand.
ï‚§ We all want an easier life with less challenges: We try so hard to make enough money, to keep our families strong, and sometimes it seems to no avail. Oh flock of Jesus Christ, you are not called to pursue and easier life. You are called to pursue Jesus Christ. Follow your good shepherd. And trust that he will give you life. It may not be an easier life, but as he promised it will be an abundant life. See in verse 10 he says, “I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.”
3. His sheep recognize his voice and come.
ï‚§ He speaks to the sheep.
ï‚§ The sheep know his voice.
ï‚§ They come to him and they follow him.
ï‚§ Do you know the voice of your shepherd? Do you hear him speaking to you in that still small voice giving you wisdom and direction in this life? He leads you through his spirit and through His Word.
ï‚§ Have you noticed how you feel when you hear the voice of the false shepherds? You get nervous. Something is not right. I don’t recognize that voice. Something in my spirit is agitated. That’s not the voice of my Shepherd. I don’t want to follow that voice.
4. He has a warm relationship with his sheep.
ï‚§ Lots of quality time out on the hillside with the shepherd
ï‚§ Trust: I know he won’t lead me off a cliff.
ï‚§ Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of doubt, I will fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
Image of Rod & Staff
A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23
By Phillip Keller
In the Middle East the shepherd carries only a rod and staff. The shepherd boy spends hours practicing with this [rod], learning how to throw it with amazing speed and accuracy. It becomes his main weapon of defense for both himself and his sheep. ...the rod, in fact, was an extension of the owner's own right arm. It stood as a symbol of his strength, his power, [and] his authority in any serious situation.
The rod was used to discipline and correct any wayward sheep that insisted on wandering away. The rod is used for this purpose perhaps more than any other. If the shepherd saw a sheep wandering away from its own, or approaching poisonous weeds, or getting too close to danger of one sort or another, the rod would go whistling through the air to send the wayward animal scurrying back to the bunch.
Another interesting use of the rod in the shepherd's hand was to examine and count the sheep. In the terminology of the Old Testament this was referred to as passing "under the rod": And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: (Ezek. 20:37). This meant not only coming under the owner's control and authority, but also to be subject to his most careful, intimate and firsthand examination. A sheep that passed "under the rod" was one which had been counted and looked over with great care to make sure all was well with it.
The skilled shepherd uses his rod to drive off predators like coyotes, wolves, cougars or stray dogs. Often it is used to beat the brush discouraging snakes and other creatures from disturbing the flock. In extreme cases, such as David recounted to Saul, the psalmist no doubt used his rod to attack the lion and the bear that came to raid his flocks.
Once in Kenya photographing elephants, I was being accompanied by a young Masai herder who carried a club in his hand. We came to the crest of a hill from which we could see a herd of elephants in the thick bush below us. To drive them out into the open we decided to dislodge a boulder and roll it down the slope. As we heaved and pushed against the great rock, a cobra, coiled beneath it, suddenly came into view ready to strike. In a split second the alert shepherd boy lashed out with his club killing the snake on the spot. The weapon had never left his hand, even while we worked on the rock. "Thy rod ... comfort(s) me." It was the rod ever ready in the shepherd's hand that had saved the day for us.
The staff, more than any other item of his personal equipment, identifies the shepherd as a shepherd. No one in any other profession carries a shepherd's staff. It is uniquely an instrument used for the care and management of sheep -- and only sheep. It will not do for cattle, horses or hogs. It is designed, shaped and adapted especially to the needs of sheep.
The staff is essentially a symbol of the concern, the compassion that a shepherd has for his charges. No other single word can better describe its function on behalf of the flock than that it is for their "comfort."
Whereas the rod conveys the concept of authority, of power, of discipline, of defense against danger, the word "staff" speaks of all that is longsuffering and kind.
The shepherd's staff is normally a long, slender stick, often with a crook or hook on one end. It is selected with care by the owner; it is shaped, smoothed, and cut to best suit his own personal use.
Somehow the staff is of special comfort to the shepherd himself. In the tough tramps and during the long weary watches with his sheep, he leans on it for support and strength. It becomes to him a most precious comfort and help in his duties.
There are three areas of sheep management in which the staff plays a most significant role. The first of these lies in drawing sheep together into an intimate relationship. The shepherd will use his staff to gently lift a newborn lamb and bring it to its mother if they become parted. He does this because he does not wish to have the ewe reject her offspring if it bears the odor of his hands upon it.
...the staff is used by the shepherd to reach out and catch individual sheep, young or old, and draw them close to himself for intimate examination. The staff is very useful this way for the shy and timid sheep normally tend to keep at a distance from the shepherd.
The staff is also used for guiding sheep. Again and again I have seen a shepherd use his staff to guide his sheep gently into a new path or through some gate or along dangerous, difficult routes. He does not use it actually to beat the beast. Rather, the tip of the long slender stick is laid gently against the animal's side and the pressure applied guides the sheep in the way the owner wants it to go. Thus the sheep is reassured of its proper path.
Being stubborn creatures sheep often get into the most ridiculous and preposterous dilemmas. I have seen my own sheep, greedy for one more mouthful of green grass, climb down steep cliffs where they slipped and fell into the sea. Only my long shepherd's staff could lift them out of the water back onto solid ground.
Another common occurrence was to find sheep stuck fast in labyrinths of wild roses or brambles where they had pushed in to find a few stray mouthfuls of green grass. Soon the thorns were so hooked in their wool they could not possibly pull free, tug as they might. Only the use of the staff could free them from their entanglement.
5. He goes before his sheep and he leads them. (verse 3)
a. He leads by example.
b. Not like the false shepherds: Matthew 23:3-4: For they preach, but do not practice.4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
c. When Jesus wanted to teach his disciples servant hood, he showed them by being a servant himself. In John 13, Jesus grabbed the basin and the towel and washed his disciples feet. After washing their feet he says to them (John 13:14-15): 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you..
d. He doesn’t just say, “Take up your cross and go be crucified.” In Matthew 16:34, he says, ““If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Yes, you’re going to the cross, but not alone. I’m leading the way!
Shepherds and Under-shepherds
The word pastor simply means shepherd. Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” Pastor my flock. Look after my lambs. The scripture refers to Jesus as the Good Shepherd, The Chief Shepherd, or the Great Shepherd. He is the Senior Pastor. I am loath to call any man “senior pastor”. The elders of a church, Dean, Karl and myself, we are merely under-shepherds. We say in the words of Paul, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” If we aren’t walking in the footsteps of Christ, I want to encourage you…keep following Christ. A few points about pastors:
ï‚§ They aren’t the chief shepherd of your souls. ïƒ Only Jesus is the chief shepherd!
ï‚§ They are fallible sinners and they will fail you.
ï‚§ They are only effective in their ability to shepherd your soul to the extent that they are following the Good Shepherd.
With that said, Under-shepherds have a role in your life
ï‚§ Look out for your souls: Hebrews 13:17 says, “17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”