Welcome back, everyone. Today is Monday, March the 13th. I'm Ryan Hill.
I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com, or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text to 252-582-5028. You can also email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com. That's right, and you guys can help us keep that conversation going by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes. We're going to leave you a couple of links in the description of this podcast so you can do just that. Before we do anything else, I'm going to read the verse of the day.
Go for it. I'm going to read it. This is one of my favorites of all time. Everybody's meemaw knows this one. Psalm 23, verse one. The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. I love that. I love that reminder of, just like we've been talking about in this sufficient series, that Jesus is sufficient for us today. That's right. He is everything that we need.
He is the answer to every problem, every question, but he is sufficient for today, just like a shepherd is for a sheep. We're going to talk some more about that. I'm sorry, are we talking about that in this episode? This is the good shepherd?
Yeah, this is either the war. Okay, I'm sorry. That's my fault. Yeah, it's the good shepherd. You're good. You're good. Let me take that again from my...
I can lead you in. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. You know, we know that verse. Like you said, this is the meemaw's verse. It's cross-stitched on the wall, but there's a reason that it is, because that sense of God being our shepherd and us being the sheep, the sheep are fully reliant on the shepherd, and they don't worry about anything.
They don't stress about anything, because they know that the shepherd's going to take care of them. And they know his voice. They know his voice. That's the thing. When I'm a sheep and I don't know the shepherd's voice, I'm just a lost sheep. You know what I mean? But when I know his voice, I hear him.
I can run to him. That's where that communion with God and that's where that understanding him, reading his word, praying, seeing how he responds, that's where all that stuff comes in. Absolutely. We're going to talk more about that in today's episode. John, I think you said we had a question come in. Yes, we had a question come in from Larry K. This was a good one. I wanted to kind of bump this one up to the top of the list. If I could only read one apocryphal work, which would you recommend? Ooh, that is a good one. Larry.
That is a good question. Kind of Christian-spicy. Christian-spicy. Yeah, because Christians, sometimes they're like, oh, I don't want to get into the Apocrypha now. They're still good works. We're going to talk to Dr. Shaw about that.
Not scripture, but still beneficial for us in certain areas. Dr. Shaw is going to answer that question for us. We're going to get him in just a second, but if you guys have any questions or suggestions for new topics, text us at 252-582-5028, or visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com. We'll be right back. Well, good morning, afternoon, evening, Clear View Today listeners. My name is Jon. And I'm David.
And we just want to take a quick second and let you know about another way that you can keep in touch with Dr. Shaw's work, and that is his weekly podcast series, Sermons by Abaddon Shaw, Ph.D. As a lot of you may know, or maybe some of you don't know. If you don't know, you do now. And if you don't know, then maybe just hop off the podcast.
David. I'm just playing. Hop off the podcast.
I'm just playing. Keep listening. Dr. Shaw is actually the lead pastor of Clear View Church in North Carolina. Every single weekend, he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live God-honoring lives. Well, one of the four core values of Clear View Church is that we're a Bible-believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the Word of God spoken into your life. And God's Word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it.
Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's Word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life. You guys can check out the Sermons by Avidan Shah Ph.D. podcast. First and foremost, check it out on our church app. That's the Clear View app. You can get that in the Google Play Store. You can get that on iTunes. But you can also find the podcast on the Apple Podcast app or on our website at ClearViewBC.org. And listen, if you've got a little extra time on your hands, you just want to do some further reading, you can also read the transcripts of those sermons.
Those are available on Dr. Shah's website, AvidanShah.com. And we're going to leave you guys a little link in the description so you can follow it. But for right now, David, let's hop back in.
All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Avidan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com. If you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah, start of another week. Start of another wonderful week of episodes here on Clear View Today.
Absolutely. And I'm excited about today's episode. It's one that we got a lot of response when I preached a message on it.
So I'm excited about this one. That's right. Well, if you guys are new with us, you've never listened to the show before, we want to let you know who's talking to you today. Dr. Avidan Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show.
You can find all his work on his website. That's AvidanShah.com. That's right. And Dr. Shah mentioned that this is from a sermon not so long ago we were preaching through. Dr. Shah, you were preaching out to say we.
We weren't all up there. It was like a team project. If I may, you know, capture that and kind of talk about it, you know, nothing that I do or you do is just something I do or you do.
Okay. It's a group effort. Everything we do is a group effort.
And I think the sooner people understand that, whether it's in your church leadership or work leadership, business, community, family, the sooner you realize that it's not just you doing it, but it's other people coming alongside and helping you, you know, it's going to be very lonely at the top. That somebody said, you know, I think it's Maxwell. John Maxwell said that somebody said to him, man, you know, I did it all by myself. Nobody, you know, nobody was helped me. I did all my by myself.
The man expected a compliment in return. And instead John Maxwell said, I'm so sorry that you have to do this all by yourself. I hate that for you. Yeah. So sad that you had to do it all by yourself.
That's right. Cause the man was really trying to boost himself up. Like I did it all by myself. He said, I'm so sorry. That's like the perfect comeback. That's like the perfect cause you can't, how are you even going to be mad at it? Yeah.
I mean, that's a great point. I'm so sorry. I'm truly so sorry.
You had to deal with that. I appreciate you saying that so much, Dr. Sean. We're thankful for you and for your leadership and for, you know, the team that we have here. It's such a blessing to be a part of what God is doing here. It's just, I'm grateful.
Yeah. Well, it's like you said, you know, you are, you've taken that role as our shepherd and you know, there's, that's a position that God has given to you. You know, it's something that he's, I know he's laid on your heart and that kind of ties into what we're talking about today where, you know, Jesus is that good shepherd. And so you as this under shepherd have this calling on your life to, you know, just like Paul said, to imitate Jesus Christ.
And that's one of the ways that you do that. And by looking deeper into how he's the good shepherd. Well, for those of you who are just joining us or haven't heard the previous shows on the I Am series, right? We did this series several weeks ago, started this series several weeks ago about how Jesus is sufficient for us. Kind of focusing on you know, how he meets our everyday need. Every day he is sufficient for us. And we walked through those seven I Am statements by Jesus. I am the bread of life. I'm the light of the world. I'm the door of the sheep. And now we come to, I am the good shepherd. Okay. There's three more beyond that.
We're going to look at in the next few weeks or few, few shows, really. But this is the one that like most people would say, this is Jesus, like the shepherd. This is the one that most Christians have. That's right. It's like the quintessential, you know, descriptor of Jesus. He is the good shepherd.
That's right. And if you guys are interested, we mentioned Dr. Shah's blog, you can find all of these sermon manuscripts on his blog. This is the series titled Sufficient. It's on the I Am statements of Jesus through the Gospel of John. Or you can watch those sermon videos on our website for our church, ClearviewBC.org. You can find all of those messages there. Go check out those sermons.
If you're enjoying these episodes, you can find more of that content in both of those places, Dr. Shah's blog and our church website. The thing about that made these sermons or these messages different is that we didn't just take the route of, okay, so what does a shepherd do? What does a shepherd do?
You know, how does he work? And, and immediately you see some, some Irish Scottish hillside with the shepherd with his sheep, right? No. To understand this, we have to go back to the original context, right? We had to go back to the time of Jesus and think about not just what shepherds did back then, because that would be back again to the same thing of trying to superimpose the idea of shepherd. But what came to the mind of the first listeners? So let's do some literary historical study and then bring the theology with it, okay? So literary, historical, theological interpretation of scripture is what we're really doing. Right. I'm like geeking out right now.
Yeah, we're geeking out right now. So the question is what was happening at the time? So if you remember from the, I am the door of the sheep, cause right behind it is I'm the good shepherd. The feast of dedication was taking place. What do we call it today? Hanukkah. Hanukkah.
You know what's funny is I always, and this is not related, but I always thought because of that Rugrats episode that happened way back in the nineties, that Hanukkah was the celebration of Moses leading the, the slaves out of Egypt. That was always stuck with me. I don't remember that. The Rugrats episode.
Yeah. And they told the story on, I was like a Hanukkah episode. And they told the story of how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. And all these years because of the Rugrats, I thought it was about that. That's got nothing to do with it.
Nope. Passover has to do with the people leaving Egypt. Feast of the unleavened bread, matzot has to do with that. But Hanukkah, really? I'll find it after this and I'll post it. There was a Rugrats episode where they told the story of Hanukkah and it was Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
I'm drafting it later. Literally all these years until very, very, very recently. That's what I thought, Hanukkah. I'm clear if you've hardly learned that? Like last episode, like the episode we talked about it. Like I'm learning it as we speak. Like the episode we talked about it.
Yeah. So what is the feast of dedication? Well, if you go back and look at Jewish history, right? Antiochus Epiphanes had come into Jerusalem somewhere about 167 BC and had destroyed the temple. Sort of not destroyed, like tore down, but he like desecrated the temple, really. Sacrificed a pig on the altar, just horrible things.
Built a statue to the foreign God and all that stuff. And we don't know for sure what possessed Antiochus Epiphanes to do that. Some people think that he did it just out of spite, just because he was a hateful guy. But then when you look at some other things he did, he did not hate the Jewish people.
I mean, he sort of kind of got along with them. So why would he do something so terrible? Some scholars suggest that it was probably because he was trying to initiate what is known as Hellenization. So instead of these monotheists or these people worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, holy is the Lord and all that stuff, why don't we Greconized, right?
Hellenize the people. And one way to do that is to make their altar more common. Does that make sense?
So by sacrificing pig on the altar, it's like, okay, now if nothing happened, no fire fell from heaven, hey guys, it's okay. So in his mind, is this more helpful? I guess, is he trying to be helpful to people even if it's forceful? In a sense, it's happening in America today, right?
So one reason why these forces, these anti-Christian forces attack Christian values, they attack them really strongly. And what happens when that takes place? Like if I were to come and push against you real hard, what would happen? You will push back, right? Like you will fall back, not push back, fall back. You may get up and come against me, but here's what's going to happen. I've already gained some ground on you. So yes, you're going to come back and push back against me, but I've gained some ground on you.
Yeah, you're automatically at a disadvantage if you do that, right? So maybe he was doing that by doing something so obscene that he was sort of trying to dilute the faith and the conviction of the Jewish people. And he was doing that to sort of get some kind of a support to fight against the Ptolemies of Egypt, because all this politics is the same. So anyways, this feast known as the Festival of Lights, where they would celebrate by lighting a candle one day every day for seven days, it's a seven-candle menorah. And they did that because in 164 BC, that's three years after Antiochus Epiphanes did what he did, a man by the name of Judas Maccabeus, and y'all know it from last show, known as the... The hammer. The hammer.
Put a hammer on Antiochus Epiphanes and regained the temple, restored the worship, rededicated the altar to the Lord, and that's what the feast of dedication was all about. Imagine him walking in with this, not tracksuit, but long robes with a hood, and it's got the hammer across the back, like he's a boxer and he's coming in like this. No. A boxer with hammers? Yeah, he's got... You know how they had their moniker on the back? That would be a really disqualified... No, never mind. No, I didn't think of it side to side like a crab. Yeah.
I was thinking like more like Mario Brothers with like the hammer, just like, boom. You know what I mean? Yeah. Okay. All right.
Wow. This was bad, Ryan. You shouldn't have done this.
I like my imagery better. So this is what he did. And so this feast was a time when they would read from Ezekiel 34 about all the bad shepherds of Israel, all the ones who had failed Israel and failed to protect them from the Antiochus Epiphanes, from those Jasons, from the Menelaus, the corrupt priests who were even ruling the temple at the time. They would read from Ezekiel 34 to sort of remind themselves that God's going to send the good shepherd one day. And guess what? Jesus stands up and says in John 10, 10, the thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy.
But I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly. He's not only talking about the Antiochus Epiphanes and the corrupt priests, but he's also referring to... The Pharisees and them? That's right. Do you think they caught what he was doing? Oh yeah. They knew. Oh yeah.
Like he's calling us out. Oh yeah. That's why they hated him.
Yeah. Because their job, of course they were helping the people follow the law, but they would help them by finding loopholes. But now you are indebted to them. Now you have to sort of hold them at a high esteem, put them on a pedestal, do what they tell you to do. And many times they would also add a list of do's and don'ts that you had to follow, but not them. Why should I follow?
Well, we helped you, so you have to trust us. You need to do this. Now along comes this Jesus character who doesn't bow to the rules, who isn't... Doesn't do that. Yeah. Yeah.
That makes sense. So Jesus says these words and they know who he's referring to. And then he says in verse 11, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for... The sheep. The sheep.
That's right. So he's making a general statement, not only about himself, but also by shepherds in the life of God's people. Who were the shepherds?
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Shepherds, right? David was a shepherd.
Let's back up a second. Moses was a shepherd. So he's talking about how these leaders gave their lives for the sheep and now he also will do the same. I mean, think about David. David went and fought against a lion and a bear to protect the sheep.
That's what Jesus is saying there. And I love that you brought that up in messages and in the way that you talk about shepherds, because a lot of times we kind of, in our minds, relegate them to like the lower tier of society. Like, oh, they're the shepherds. They live outside. They live with the sheep.
They were the dirty ones. But you see that imagery of the shepherd over and over and over again, very intentionally in God's word. That's right. And all the messianic prophecies are about the Messiah will be like a shepherd.
Yeah. Well, you were saying that David likened himself. I mean, Jesus likened himself to David, but I mean, David, even in Psalm 23 is saying, the Lord is my shepherd. He puts that imagery, that shepherd imagery on the most high figure that he possibly can, which is God himself. And then in Isaiah 40, 11, let me give you a couple of prophecies here. Isaiah 40, 11, he meaning the shepherd, the Messiah will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will gather the lambs with his arm and carry them in his bosom and gently lead those who are with young. Gently lead those who are with young.
Think about that. There's a mama over there, right? A sheep and her babies are trying to nurse and they're hanging onto her and she cannot move.
A hired hand, a hireling would just take a stick and just hit the mom or hit the kids. It's time to go. But not a good shepherd. He's like, well, I got to wait until they're finished drinking their milk.
I'm waiting for them. It's odd because I would assume when you're looking forward to this Messiah, this deliverer who's going to come years down the road, you would paint him as this conqueror, this king who's going to come out and slay all your enemies. But you constantly see this very caring, nurturing, tender figure. And then when Jesus comes on the scene and says that, people, even then they were like, but I thought we were going to get a king. I thought we were going to get a conqueror to defeat the Romans and stuff.
It's like they were almost looking for a reason to reject him. But see, if you think about it for a moment, some of those statements have been made by our theologians and Bible scholars of yesteryears. Where do you find that the crowd said you will defeat the Romans? I think they knew sort of that he was going to be a different kind of shepherd. I think the problem they had was with Jesus.
They didn't like the fact that this Jesus guy who comes from Galilee, of all places, Galilee. This place, I would call that almost like a mini Chicago. I hate to say that.
Sorry, people from Chicago. It's this place that is like rough and you're the one. You're the one that we have completely been waiting for several millennia. You're the one that Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees for. You're the one that Moses saw and gave up all the passing pleasures of sin. You're the one that David saw hanging on the cross. You're the one that Isaiah and Jeremiah talked about. I don't think so. You're not it. We can't have a Galilean Messiah.
That's not going to work. What is his pedigree? We're not quite sure who his dad is. What does he do when he comes? He joins up with this John the Baptist who calls us brutal vipers. The cards ain't fallen in Jesus' favor as far as the men are concerned.
They conveniently stacked the deck against him, too. When Jesus comes, he's not like, Hey, guys, you know, I'm here. You guys have been holding the floor for so long. I'm here.
I'm happy to help you out. Come on. Let's come together and have a little time of just a holy huddle. Let's have a kumbaya circle.
Can somebody get a guitar? That's right. We have to help these masses, these ignorant masses that you've been helping out and taking care of for so long.
We're here. No, Jesus doesn't do that. He comes and says, You also need to be saved. You say, huh?
Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, you cannot see the kingdom of heaven. So it's like he didn't come to take sides. He came to take over. Yeah.
Yes. That's a great way to put it. That's a good way to put it.
I like that. And that's what ticked them off. And they're like, we have to kill you.
You must die now. We don't like any anything that you're doing. Well, and I mean, any time that you start feeling that finger poking around your sinfulness, it doesn't feel good.
It doesn't feel like, I don't like that feeling. And I mean, the Pharisees had that in spades. Yeah. But see, Jesus fit the bill. Everything that the scripture said about him, he checked it off.
He met the requirements. For example, Micah 2.12, he says, I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob. I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like the sheep of the fall, like a flock in the midst of their pasture. They shall make a loud noise because of so many people. The one who breaks open will come before them.
They will break out, pass through the gate and go by it. The King will pass before them with the Lord at their head. I mean, everything Jesus fulfills in those three and a half years, or you can say 33 and a half years. Ezekiel 34, 23, I will establish one shepherd over them and he shall feed them. I mean, isn't that what Jesus did when he took five loaves, two fish and fed, not just 5,000, but 35,000. Isn't that what Jesus did when he sat on the Mount of Beatitudes and spoke to the people and fed them the bread of life? Yeah.
Right. You know, I think we tend to think of Jesus in these caricatures, you know, the King or the warrior or the shepherd or the healer or the feeder or the guy who walks on water, like the miracle worker. We tend to have these different character, these caricatures, and I think they're all true, but I'm really digging this right now, just thinking of him as the shepherd because the shepherd sort of does all that stuff. The shepherd does whatever his sheep need. The shepherd is also a protector. The shepherd can be a fighter. And it's not that the shepherd just totally capitulates to the sheep either. He's not just, he's not led around by the sheep. He is leading the sheep and the sheep trust in him and follow after him, but the shepherd makes himself whatever the sheep need to meet their needs.
That's right. And unlike Jesus, the good shepherd, it says in verse 12, but a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming. When was the wolf? The wolf came, by the way, it's kind of a prophecy here.
It came in AD 70 when the Romans came against Jerusalem to destroy the temple. What happened to the Pharisees and the scribes? What happened to the chief priests and the Sadducees? They saw the wolf coming and they fled. They fled. Turned tail and ran.
They ran away. Doesn't sound like a shepherd to me. No. And so Jesus said, I am the good shepherd. This is verse 14, John 10, 14. I'm the good shepherd. I know my sheep and I'm known by my own as the father knows me, even so I know the father and I lay down my life for the sheep. And he did that.
He did that by giving his life on the cross. Well, I like that because it's not just him protecting us just in the here and now. It's also, he knows what's coming, right? You know, he forewarned that the wolf is coming. Like you can, you can be sure of that. It's not just, Hey, I'm here in case the wolf ever comes.
Oh, he's coming, but I'll always be here. And if you're in my fold, you're going to have protection. Yeah. And it's a different kind of protection. That's right.
Yeah. Jesus, Jesus talks about being with the sheep no matter what. Jesus is always with the sheep. Whereas we just talked about the Pharisees and the Sadducees were like, peace out as soon as the wolf came. That points to the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep. That's right.
There's a closeness and an intimacy there. And then finally, Jesus said in John 10 16, and other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring and they will hear my voice. And there will be one flock and one shepherd. You know, previously Israel was supposed to be a light unto the Gentiles and those who responded to the light were saved, but now there's a shift. It was always through Jesus Christ that people could be saved.
Okay. So we, I'm going to hit that hard again, one more time before the coming of Jesus, they were waiting for his coming, not just Israel, but all those who came in contact with Israel and sought the living true God, they were given the gospel in some form that there is some coming someone who's going to be your savior. Who's going to give his life for you. Once Jesus came, it was no longer that Israel was shining and you need to come to the light to be saved. Come to the light and find the Messiah. Come to the light and find the man of promise.
Come to the light and find the, the skull crusher, right? But now it is, you have to go out there and seek those who are lost. After the coming of Jesus Christ, the evangelism process became more active. That's a very good point. Now, why did it become more active?
I don't know. Maybe it's because prior to that, people knew where the light was and didn't want it to come. After Jesus came, either the darkness became too dark or wickedness became too wicked. I don't know what happened, but now the command to us is to go and the shepherd, the good shepherd leaves in 99 and he goes after the one that is lost. So also we must do. That idea is beautiful. That almost paints the picture of us as sort of like extensions of the shepherd, bringing other people into, into the fold, into the flock.
Well, that's kind of what we said at the top of the episode. You know, as a pastor, part of being a pastor is being an under shepherd is that you go out and you, you in your own way have a flock, a flock of sheep who are dependent on you, who are looking to you. And then you ultimately guide them to the true good shepherd.
Yeah. Unlike Abraham and Sarah, who just meandered their way through Ur of the Chaldees between the Tigris and Euphrates and came down here and then, and, and came down into the promised land and went into the Egypt, came back and people who saw the light came to the light and everybody saw the light. Many rejected. Now you have to become like a Paul where you get on a ship and go to all these places and go get beat up and persecuted and, and almost left for dead, but you still keep planting churches. You see that it's still the same gospel.
It's still through Jesus Christ, but the mode has shifted after the coming of Christ. And that's what the good shepherd does. Amen.
That's beautiful. If you guys enjoyed today's topic, or you have questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text by 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com and you can partner with us financially on that same website. We're grateful to all of you who give, who support what we're doing through Clear View Today, who are an extension of us and of this radio ministry. And we want you to know that we're thankful for you and we look forward to partnering with you in the days and weeks ahead. That's right.
You guys hung around until the very end of the episode. So now we're going to answer that question that we posed up top. Larry K wrote in and he asked Dr. Shah, if I could only read one apocryphal work, which would you recommend? Oh, wow. I do like The Shepherd of Hermas. Some people say Hermas, but it's a powerful work. And again, it's not scripture. It's not on the same level. I can show you that through Canon lists that it's not on the same level as the 27 books, but it has some great devotional value.
It did show up on certain lists as a secondary work for believers. Good one. Good one to read. Very cool. We'll check that out. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clear Read Today.
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