Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Who Wants to Be a Shepherd?

“I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me … and I lay down my life for the sheep." – John 10:14-15

Who in his right mind would ever want to be a shepherd? Well, it turns out that Jesus does. And you know what? He’s REALLY good at it.

In John 10, as Jesus was speaking to His critics, He drew their attention to the shepherds and their flocks scattered across the Judean countryside and declared, “I am the good shepherd.” You see, everyone in Judea was very familiar with the sight of shepherds leading their flocks along the hillsides. So, Jesus latched on to that imagery to reveal some powerful insights.

In these verses, Jesus reveals four vital ministries that He carries out that prove He is a REALLY Good Shepherd.

Ministry #1: Jesus dies for His sheep (vs. 11-13). Think about how truly radical Jesus’ statement is. Jesus is God in human flesh, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If anyone should be laying down his life for someone else, one of us should be laying down our life for Him. That’s how things work in the real world. Privates lay down their lives for their lieutenants. Lieutenants lay down their lives for their colonels. Colonels lay down their lives for their generals. And EVERYONE lays down their lives for their Commander-in-Chief. But Jesus says that He, just like a good shepherd, lays down His life for His followers. Warren Wiersbe says it so well: “[Jesus] did not die as a martyr, killed by men; He died as a substitute, willingly laying down His life for us.”

Ministry #2: Jesus knows His sheep (vs. 14-15). Heaven, in a nutshell, is knowing God the Father and Jesus Christ personally—not just knowing about them, but really KNOWING them. And Jesus tells us He knows each of His followers personally. So, if you’re a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, Jesus knows your name. He knows your character (the good, the bad and the ugly). And He knows your needs better than anyone else in the world.

Ministry #3: Jesus brings other sheep into His flock (v. 16). If you aren’t Jewish, you should be REALLY glad that the Good Shepherd carries out this third ministry. The New Testament makes it clear that the “other sheep” are Gentiles … non-Jews. Jesus’ first ministry priority was to be the gate of salvation and the Good Shepherd for Jews. Once that priority was being carried out, He turned His focus to reaching Gentiles so that all men, women and children on earth could have the opportunity to be saved & be shepherded by Christ.

Ministry #4: Jesus takes up His life again (vs. 17-21). Aren’t you glad that Jesus didn’t stay dead? Jesus’ voluntary death was followed by His victorious resurrection. Jesus is alive and well … and is such a Good Shepherd! 

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for the Christmas season, on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc.

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