Nothing for Which Jesus Cares So Much (Part 1)

Sunday’s message in John 14:8-14 is now on the web. You can listen to the audio here.

Here’s how I summarized the gist of the sermon:

Jesus’ loving care in thoroughly preparing His own for their mission points yet again to His identity as Messiah that we might believe in Him. There is nothing He cares more for in His love for them than their faith. He dogs them with this question do you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Believe, He says, for two rock-solid reasons – His words from the Father and His works for the Father, both done in the flesh and through His followers – even greater works because He goes to the Father.

I should say that I spoke prematurely about the Mark manuscript recently discovered as being actually confirmed as authentic. That is still under consideration. For more information on this significant development click here.

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 (4)

This morning’s message from John 10:11-21 in now on the web. You can listen to it here.

Here’s how I concluded things, minus the quote by Matthew Henry, which I forgot to share:

We have three more specifics regarding the sacrificial death of Christ and what makes it supremely good to come – global, voluntary, and designed. These will have to wait for next time. Jesus claims to be the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. That which makes Him definitively good is that He lay down His life in a most loving, certainly substitutionary, purposefully particular death for His sheep that makes possible their abundant life. Have you believed in Jesus the Good Shepherd? He invites you to come by faith to Him. Turn from your sins, your trust in self, good works, or any false shepherd and put your trust in Him. You will know Him and He will know you even as the Father knows the Son and the Son knows the Father. If you already belong to His flock, then give thanks in light of this theological survey from the lips of Jesus in the good shepherd discourse, this commentary on the laying down of his life, that He has gifted you with so supremely good a sacrifice.  As Matthew Henry put it: Jesus Christ is the best of shepherds, the best in the world to take the over-sight of souls, none so skilful, so faithful, so tender, as he, no such feeder and leader, no such protector and healer of souls as he.

May you walk this week in the shadow of your good shepherd as He leads you along with the rest of His sheep.