The Good Shepherd


 

Good Shepherd

Good Shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I am the door of the sheep— Joh_10:7

 

The Man Born Blind and the Good Shepherd

 

Chapter nine of John’s Gospel tells about the man born blind. Then in the following one is the lesson of the Good Shepherd. And I dare say it seems at first as if there were no link between the two. But if it is hard for us to find a link, it was all plain as daylight to the man born blind. He hid in the crowd and drank in every word that Jesus said; and as he heard that wonderful talk about the shepherd, he said to himself, “Every syllable of that is meant for me.” Had not the Pharisees excommunicated him? Had they not slammed the door of blessing in his face? “I am the door,” says the Lord Jesus. Had not the Pharisees been mad with rage that he, a poor lost sheep, should dare to teach them, the shepherds of the people? “I am the good shepherd,” said Jesus. Christ knew what had happened. He knew the treatment His beggar-friend had gotten. It stirred His heart into this noble eloquence. And as the sunflower springs from its seed, so all the wealth and beauty of our chapter spring from the healing of the man born blind.

 

Many Were Called the Shepherd of the People

 

Of course, when Jesus calls Himself a shepherd, He is far from being first to use that figure. The originality of Jesus does not lie in saying things that were never said before. Old Homer (whom I hope many of my readers love) is fond of calling his heroes shepherds of men. It had been used of Cyrus in Isaiah; of rulers and prophets in Jeremiah and Ezekiel. It is the name given to the teacher of wisdom in Ecclesiastes. It comes to full bloom in the twenty-third Psalm. I wonder, too, if you have ever thought how many of God’s great leaders had been shepherds. Abraham and Jacob both had to do with sheep. Moses was keeping Jethro’s flock when God spake in the burning bush. When Samuel came to seek a king, the king, a ruddy lad, was shepherding. Amos the prophet was a simple herdsman. And Jeremiah, the prophet most similar to the Lord, would seem to have been a shepherd too. Did not Christ know all that? Had He not brooded deep upon these shepherds, as He wandered among the hills of Nazareth? Now, at the touch of need and under the impulse of a great compassion, He glorifies and crowns that ancient image by making it the express image of Himself.

 

As a Shepherd, Christ Knows His Sheep

 

Now you will note that Jesus knows His sheep. That thought was clearly before the mind of Christ. There was not a Pharisee who knew the blind beggar although they had passed his begging-place for years. But beggar or prince, it is all one to Jesus; as the Father knows Him, He knows His own. Mr. Moody used to tell about a girl who was very ill, and her mother sang to her and spoke to her and shifted her, but the little patient still tossed and fretted. And then her mother stooped down and took her in her arms, and the child whispered, “Ah, mother, that’s what I want!” You see that even a mother, for all her love, can never be sure what her little one is wanting. But every want and every need, and every trial and every hope, of every separate boy or girl who trusts Him—it is all known to Jesus. The day is coming when Christ shall say to some people, “Depart from Me, I never knew you! “But that same Jesus is saying today, “I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep.”

 

The Sheep Know Their Shepherd

 

Note once again that the sheep know their shepherd. There is a story of a Scottish traveler in Palestine who thought he would try an experiment upon the sheep. He had been reading this chapter of St. John, and he was eager to put it to the test. So he got a shepherd to change clothes with him; and the tourist wrapped himself in the shepherd’s mantle, and the shepherd donned the tourist’s garb, and then both called to the flock of sheep to follow (in the East the shepherd goes before his flock). And the sheep followed the voice and not the dress. It was the voice and not the dress they knew. So you see that every sheep in the flock has got an earmark—it can tell the voice of the shepherd from a stranger’s. And every sheep in the flock has got a foot mark—they follow the shepherd because they know his voice. Have you been branded on the ear and foot? Are these two marks of ownership on you? Samuel was but a child when he cried out, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth!” The Shepherd called him and he heard the voice.

 

The Good Shepherd Lays His Life Down for the Sheep

 

We never think of a shepherd as a hero. But in the East there is never a day that dawns but may reveal the hero or the hireling in the shepherd. Tonight there may spring a lion on the flock. Or who can tell but that yon swirling dust betokens the galloping of Bedouin sheep-stealers? If that be so—come, trusty blade! It must be battle now! For all my watching and my watering shall be vain unless I am ready to combat to the death! So is the Eastern shepherd faced with death. Serving amid fierce beasts and fiercer bandits, he may be called to die for his sheep tonight. And I am the Good Shepherd, says Jesus, and the Good Shepherd gives

 

Church of the Good Shepherd - explore front pa...

Church of the Good Shepherd – explore front page 🙂 (Photo credit: Adam Foster | Codefor)

 

His life for the sheep. Learn, then, that the cross is Jesus’ noblest deed. It is not an accident; it is an act. It is the crowning service of the Shepherd to the sheep, whom He loves too deeply ever to let them go.

 

There Is Only One Fold

 

Then, lastly, mark that the shepherd has sheep outside our fold. In the early Church there was a fiery saint, some of whose books our students study yet. And this “fierce Tertullian,” as one of our poets calls him, said, “The sheep He saves, the goats He doth not save.” But in the very days when Tertullian was writing, there were humble Christians hiding in the catacombs. And they loved to draw the figure of the Good Shepherd, and many of their rude drawings are there still—and often the Good Shepherd is carrying on His shoulders, not a lamb, but a kid of the goats. To the Jew there was but one fold—it was Israel. Jesus had other sheep outside that fold. And whenever we send a missionary to China, whenever we pray for the savage tribes of Africa, we do it because the Good Shepherd has said this: “Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.”

 

 

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Celebrated Christ – The New Man


The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is a proof that He is not an ordinary person.

I tell you, not only was He born into this world but there is something special about Him. His birth was the coming of someone who delivered us from sin and reconciled us back to God so that we can be who God purposed us to be.

God said that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. This is the demonstration of God’s love towards us (mankind). The birth of Jesus Christ was the birth of the only Saviour sent by God Himself to deliver us from sin and eternal destruction. It was also the birth of the Him who alone can deliver us from the present problems of this present world.

The terrible state of this world is caused by the sinful nature of man and this sinful nature is a nature inherited from the first created man called Adam. If you sin it is because of your nature, and you can only stop sinning by changing your nature. But nature cannot be changed, it can only be stopped through death. This is why Jesus Christ died in your place. Every man dies because of disobedience to God but Jesus died because of obedience to God who sent Him to save us and because of His love for us.

Do you know that nobody learns your nature ? NO. Your nature is WHO YOU ARE. For example, Dogs bark because it is their nature. Also man sins and is corrupt because it is his nature but not because God created him like that but because the first man called Adam sinned thereby corrupting the good nature God gave him and since then, man has been reproducing and populating the world with men according to himself through birth.

Sinful man can only reproduce sinful children. Just as a child born into a family looks like a member of that family.

To solve this problem, God sent Jesus Christ, the Son of God, a Man who cannot sin because He was born of a virgin woman by the supernatural power of the Almighty God so that the sinful nature of man would not be transferred into Him. Therefore we know that He was born of a righteous and Holy nature without sin.

This was why He lived in this same world and did not sin. He became qualified to represent us all. His death was your death, I mean the death of your sinful nature and His resurrection was your resurrection, I mean being raised up as a new kind of man which is righteous before God. This is the only way out of this world’s problems. Sickness, Poverty, Nightmares, Diseases, Famine, Earthquakes, Natural disasters, Wars, Killings, Murder etc are all consequences of having the sinful nature.

But once the sin nature is dealt with, all the above stated problems in this world and others not mention will have no ground to stand any more. And I am telling you now that Jesus Christ has already dealt with the sin nature. But to enjoy what He has done, you have to believe in Him and invite Him into your life. This is called PERSONAL DECISION. You know God is Love. And love is not forceful, and is not controlling neither is it intimidating. But love gives chances to personal decision but with personal decisions comes responsibilities for decisions made.

This is only a plead to you from a fellow man who has the same weaknesses and sinful nature as you but I have experienced the grace of God and what Jesus Christ did has totally transformed my life and many others all over the world. I can tell you, this message of Jesus Christ is true and it works.

If sin was inherited through one man, then righteousness and holiness which is the nature of God can also be inherited if there is a man who has it. That Man is Jesus Christ , the Son of God.

When He was crucified on the cross and died, it was because of all our sins. Please dear friends, all your sins has already being paid for through the suffering of Jesus Christ and His resurrection is also your resurrection into a new kind of life of peace, righteousness, and complete reconciliation to God.

Remember through the first man, you became a sinner by nature and now another Man Jesus Christ the righteous has paid the price for your sins and through Him you can also inherit the righteous nature of God and become a new person in Christ, if you will only believe in Him and give Him your life by acknowledging before God that you are a sinner and ask Jesus Christ the only Saviour to be your Lord.

Shalom

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