How To Tell the True Shepherd from the False (6)

The last in the series of messages from the Good Shepherd discourse in John 10:11-18 is now on the web.

You can listen to the message here.

I summarized the sermon this way:

How then should we respond to such sovereign goodness that lays down its life for the sheep in a loving, substitutionary, particular, global, voluntary, and designed sacrifice? Don’t take your cue from Captain Miller in that scene on the bridge where, mortally wounded, he grabs hold of Private Ryan and gasps his final words. Do you remember what he said? Earn this. In other words, show yourself worthy of this by making something good out of the rest of your life. Don’t let these soldiers have died in vain. Indeed the movie ends with the aged Ryan along with his family visiting the Miller’s grave in the allied cemetery and France. It’s a gripping scene. The man is torn up with angst over whether or not he has indeed earned it. He pleads with his wife, Tell me I’m a good man.

Jesus never once said from the cross, Earn this. He did say, Father, forgive them. So what are we to do with so herculean a sacrifice by so very good a shepherd. Receive it for the priceless gift it is. You CAN’T earn it. You must believe it and trust in it as your only hope for deliverance from sin and death. Believe in Jesus as the Messiah, if you have yet to do so. Receive the gift of abundant life that only Jesus the good shepherd can give because of His death on the cross for you and His resurrection from the dead.

How To Tell the True Shepherd from the False (Part 2)

This morning’s sermon on John 10:7-10 is now on the web. You can listen to it here.

Here is the story from the Bible scholar Sir George Adam Smith that so well illustrates what Jesus meant by His astonishing statement, I am the door of the sheep (v. 7 & 9).

He was one day traveling in Palestine with a guide, and came across a shepherd and his sheep. He fell into conversation with him. The man showed him the fold into which the sheep were led at night. It consisted of four walls, with a way in. Sir George said to him, “That is where they go at night?” “Yes,” said the shepherd, “and when they are in there they are perfectly safe.” “But there is no door,” said Sir George. “I am the door,” said the shepherd. He was not a Christian so he was not speaking the language of the New Testament. Rather, he was speaking from a Mid-Eastern shepherd’s point-of-view. Sir George looked at him and said, “What do you mean you are the door?” Said the shepherd, “When the light has gone, and all the sheep are inside, I lie in that open place, and no sheep ever goes out but across my body, and no wolf comes in unless he crosses my body; I am the door.”

Because Jesus is the door of the sheep, we should believe in Him as the Messiah and follow Him as opposed to false and harmful impostors. There are two implications that result. As the door Jesus alone dictates legitimate access to the sheep (7-8) and Jesus alone enables maximum benefit for the sheep (9-10) – salvation, security, sustenance, and satisfaction. This is the abundant life Jesus came to give!