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February 22, 2021 3:00 am
The true Shepherd has come picture here is really stunning out of the folds of false religion, and judgment across the world. He knows who they are calls them by name, they know his voice discover as you look into God's word.
In particular, the passages about Jesus life today.
John MacArthur focuses on a portion of Scripture that reveals the richness of Christ's care for you. Perhaps clearer than any other passage stay here to see why Jesus is the great Shepherd of salvation.
That's the title of John's message today it's part of our continuing series here on grace to you called rediscovering the Christ of Scripture and out with the lesson here is John turning your Bible to John chapter 10 John chapter 10 this is a very familiar portion of Scripture.
And it's a rather extensive text running deep into the 10th chapter beyond where will go today looking at the true Shepherd the true Shepherd.
It's one of the most beautiful word pictures and all of the New Testament is called in verse six figure of speech up early meows not a parable because it doesn't start the kingdom of God is like.
It is a word picture and as I said want one of the most magnificent word pictures and all Scripture really and it is saying a word picture that is not isolated to John 10 John 10 really draws on the Shepherd imagery which covers Scripture from beginning to end. It's about the true Shepherd and its context is very important. You will note that there is no real break between chapter 9 and 10. I know it says chapter 10, but it's the same day the same scene the same people in Jesus responding to the same event. Chapter 9 was about a man born blind would become a bigger and Jesus gave him his site and then you remember the beggar and Jesus were confronted by the leaders of Israel who showed nothing but disdain for the banker and nothing but violent hatred for Jesus, they threw the beggar out and they intended to kill Jesus. In a sense the main characters in chapter 9 are the leaders of Israel, and they are false shepherds, false shepherds, who devour their people who fleece their people. In contrast to that in chapter 10 to the same disciples and the same Pharisees with the blind beggar standing there and the rest of the Jews gathered Jesus contrasts himself with them and he actually says in verse 11. I am the good shepherd lays his life down for his sheep. I want us just to look at the first 10 verses truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way. He's a thief and a robber with that verse. He describes the Pharisees and the false shepherds they are thieves and robbers who have no authority and no right and no ownership of the sheep that they seek to fleece and destroy, but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep to him.
The doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out when he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow but will flee from him because they do not know the voice of strangers. This figure of speech. Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which he had been saying to them, so Jesus said to them again, truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters through me. He will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. Leaders of Israel were thieves and robbers who came to kill came to destroy Jesus is the true Shepherd came to give life the picture of the shepherd here is simply a word picture and as I say Jesus doesn't even identify himself as the shepherd tattletale verse 11.
The story kinda stands on its own because it's so familiar to the population of Jerusalem and Judea.
They not only understood the agrarian reality of shepherding in caring for a flock but they knew enough about the Old Testament to know that God himself was presented as a shepherd, so they understood that the temporal earthly aspect of shepherding, but they also understood that that was an illustration of God's care for his own people on the human side shepherding was very common in the land of Israel. The familiar figure of Judean hills and the shepherd was known by everyone the life of a shepherd, however, was hard was arduous was outside against all the elements. The heat and the cold. There is little grass in the area. Sheep tend to wander. There is no protective wall out there on the plateau or the hillside or wherever they were there the narrow plateau was bordered by precipices and and crevices into which the sheep could fall easy for sheep to get lost and easy for predators to assault them kill them.
Shepherds task was relentless vigilance, constant attention, danger was all around danger from animals danger from thieves and robbers who came to steal the sheep for the wall and for the meat. One historical writer says that night you meet the shepherd and he is coming back to the fold, sleepless weatherbeaten leaning on his staff. Every day was a long arduous day. There were shepherds in the Old Testament the world known of the Jewish people. Abraham was a shepherd. Isaac was a shepherd. Jacob was a shepherd. Moses was a shepherd. He tended the flocks in Midian, the flocks of his father-in-law, but the most well-known shepherd in the Old Testament was God. Psalm 23 says the Lord is what my ship Psalm 7720 says you lead your people like a flock. Psalm 7913 says we hear people, the sheep of your pastors will give thanks to you. Psalm 80 verse one says give ear oh Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock Psalm 95 says he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. That is to say shepherding was very intimate but I want you to notice one portion of the Old Testament is the prophet Ezekiel and its chapter 34 and I want you to turn to it. This gives us a dramatic picture of the contrast in John nine and 10 between the false shepherds of Israel and our Lord's day, and himself as the true Shepherd.
Ezekiel 34 the word of the Lord comes to Ezekiel profit and this is what the Lord says verse two Son of Man that was the name by which God identified Ezekiel Son of Man prophesy against the shepherds of Israel prophesy and say to those shepherds thus says the Lord God will shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves should not the shepherd feed the flock you eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wall you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly, you have not strengthened the disease that you have not healed the broken you have not bound up the scattered you have not brought back nor have you sought for the lost, but with force and with severity you have dominated them. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill. My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth and there was no one to search or seek for them. Therefore, you shepherds hear the word of the Lord as I live, declares the Lord God surely because my flock has become a prey. My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd in my shepherds did not search for my flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed my flock. Therefore, you shepherds hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God, behold, I am against the shepherds and I will demand my sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep so the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore but I will deliver my flock from their mouth so that they will not be food for them than verse 11 for thus says the Lord God.
The whole I myself will search for my sheep and seek them out as a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep. So I will care for my sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day God says I will bring them out from the peoples, the nations gather them from the countries bring them to their own land and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel by the streams and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed them in a good pasture and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in the rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock. I will lead them to rest, declares the Lord God's attorney talking about the millennial kingdom.
The kingdom yet to come. How is the Lord going to do this. Who is going to take this responsibility go down to verse 23. I will set over them. One shepherd my servant David and he will feed them. He will feed them himself and be there shepherd and I the Lord will be there God and my servant David will be a prince among them. I the Lord have spoken, waiting. David lived long before this. Who is he talking about is talking about the son of David, none other than Messiah Messiah will become the one shepherd who will gather his people not only from Israel but from all the countries in all the nations and lead them into the glory of the final kingdom magnificent picture magnificent picture.
I'll make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods and I'll make them in the places around my hill of blessing and all cause showers to come down in their season the showers of blessing.
That's the kingdom.
When the Lord through the one shepherd the great Shepherd Lord Jesus Christ gathers all his people. This is a prophecy.
Ezekiel 34 fulfilled by Jesus. He is that one shepherd. Let's go from there to John 10 again when you come into the New Testament, there are a number of places where Jesus is referred to as that one shepherd.
Matthew 18 Jesus is the shepherd who will risk his life to seek and save the straying sheep. In Matthew nine Jesus is the shepherd who has pity on the people because they are like sheep without a shepherd. In Luke 12 he calls his true disciples his own little flock I love what Peter calls in for spear to 25 because the Lord Jesus, the shepherd of our souls and the writer of Hebrews chapter 13 verse 20 and that great closing benediction says he is the great shepherd of the sheep God the shepherd in the Old Testament of his people. God the one who brings judgment on the false shepherds and gathers his own sheep. Ultimately, in the place of ultimate final blessing, but all that comes through the one shepherd who is Jesus Christ. That's the background to this amazing portion of Scripture. Now with that is a bit of a background let's look at the historian and watch it unfold. It starts with familiar words that are repeated often in the Gospel of John. Truly, truly nuts because it's serious and Solomon and sober, but it's also new it's it's new it's it's fresh, it's something you haven't heard before in the picture here is of a fold.
You will notice the fold in verse one. What what is a fold. Each village would have in the village or right adjacent to the village a sheepfold simply a pin in each village that Penn would be a place where the sheep were brought at night to be safe. They would be out on the fields out grazing during the day and then at night the shepherd would lead them. Sheep follow the shepherd would lead them and he would lead them into the fold and there's a lot of history about this, the shepherd would bring them each shepherd in the village would bring his sheep and all the village shepherds would put their sheep in one fold. That was the place of protection so there were sheep in the folder belong to different shepherds, but they would enter one at a time and the shepherd would stop being cheap with his rod and check each one out for wounds. Perhaps, or some other thing that might be of disturbance or concern to him. He would check them over from front to back, in particular the back because they have so much lanolin in their will, that there easily plugged up and they can die. It was a messy and sometimes very dirty job, but that was the shepherds role and he would let them through. One by one he would drop his rod over the next one and then when he had examined let him in. That's why Ezekiel 20 tells us someday. God will cause his people to pass under his rod.
Ezekiel 2037 and 38 you let them in. One by one, so the simple enclosure was surrounded by a wall and when I came all the sheep would come in that enclosure and they would be let in one at a time so each shepherd could examine his sheep villages that many shepherds and shepherds had some sheep they they weren't wealthy. Generally speaking, they did have massive amounts of sheep. They knew their sheep.
They knew their sheep. They would then hire a porter shepherds would go to rest and sleep after a day in the fields in a hired hand you noticed on in verse 12, it refers to a hired hand and not a shepherd. That's the same as the doorkeeper in verse three. In this job. I was to close the door at night when all the sheep ran in the shepherds went to their place of rest and he was the guard for the night. He had the night shift to guard the sheep that was his job in the morning as the sun came up. The shepherds reappear and they would call their sheep call their sheep out the fold and lead them back out to pasture. Only the shepherds were allowed to get by the porter by the gatekeeper. These and robbers if they came in the night had to climb over the wall and that's what you have here you have the. The robbers who climb up some other way. In verse one.
It's a really vivid picture. But what what is the imagery saying here what what are we looking at Jesus doesn't actually say he's the good Shepherd until verse 11 but but what is the picture. It is simply this, the sheepfold, some of suggested that's the church it's not because the shepherd leads people out of the fold shepherd is lead people out of his church.
Some people have even suggested it's heaven know he doesn't take people out of heaven either. Pretty simple to say what is this sheepfold in this case it is Israel is Israel is Judaism sheepfold is Judaism the sheep for the Jewish people, the great shepherd the good Shepherd, the true shepherd comes to the fold of Israel as the true Messiah and calls his own sheep out of Judaism and not only that, go down to verse 16 and this is consistent with overridden Ezekiel. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold was that another fold. I must bring them also and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd. There's the one shepherd. What's the other full Gentiles nations, countries of the world.
Jew and Gentile justice. Ezekiel promise that God would gather his flock from all the nations and all the countries the fold.
Then, is whatever holds temporarily the sheep that belong to God.
Judaism or the world. What is the door, the shepherd enters verse two says by the door, the shepherd of the sheep is allowed to come in the door. What is that that's privilege right, authority, ownership, the guard is not going to let anybody but the shepherd in this is to indicate to us that Christ is the rightful shepherd of his sheep. He has the privilege to come in and call his sheep and take them out. He has fulfilled all messianic prophecy. He has demonstrated by words and works that he is the Messiah, the son of God Jesus conform to every messianic promise. He is the rightful shepherd is the one sent from the father to be the one shepherd to lead the elect of Israel out of the fold of Judaism into the green pastures and still waters of salvation.
Who are the thieves and robbers who climb up another way any fall, shepherds in this case, the Pharisees and scribes, the self-appointed self glorified false shepherds who want to fleece and slaughter the sheep scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites who make twofold sons of hell out of there converts the victims, stealing, slaughtering with their false doctrine.
False shepherds are everywhere there everywhere all the time, not just then.
Not just in Ezekiel's time, but all through human history since the fall of man. There is even yet to come. A very unique false shepherd prophesied in Zechariah chapter 11 verse 15 the Lord said to me, take again for yourself the equipment of a foolish shepherd for behold, I'm going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing seek the scattered heal the broken or sustained. The one standing, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hooves will owe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock. A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye's arm will be totally withered and his right eye blind in what shepherd that is antichrist final false shepherd. So Jesus, in contrast to the fall shepherds of the past in the fall, shepherd shepherds in the future, and the ultimate false shepherd is the true and good Shepherd who doesn't take life, but gives it there he stands looking at those fall shepherds on that day, with that blind beggar there disciples. There others there. He has come to lead his own whom he knows by name out of Judaism into the green pastures of the new covenant and the blessing that God provides through salvation. There he stands in stark contrast to the false shepherds and to him verse three.
The doorkeeper opens, because he has the authority and the right it opens to the true shepherd to come and take his sheep and the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own by name and leads them out like that shepherd in Israel, the great Shepherd knows his sheep to knows their name because their names have been written in the Lamb's book of life from before the foundation of the world. He knows who they are.
Picture here is really stunning. The true shepherd has come to call Jewish people out of Judaism to call Gentile people out of the folds of false religion, and judgment across the world.
He knows who they are. He calls them by name, they know his voice and delete this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and pastor of Grace Community Church.
He's titled our current series rediscovering the Christ of Scripture John. Through this study.
You have stressed that people in the world have many misconceptions about Christ. But I know you'd also say and and maybe your greater concern is that un-biblical views about Jesus have actually crept into the church so order of the subtle notion some of them and maybe some of the not-so-subtle ones that our listeners need to be wary of wrong ideas about Christ that are creeping up even in the church.
Why think the first one is that there's a pervasive idea that Christ is a created being that was revealed in a recent survey, and more than half of Christians will identify Christ as a created being.
Yeah, that's a shocking statistic yeah he was given human flesh, but he is the eternal second person of the Trinity.
So I think the eat turn reality of Christ, the divine nature of Christ, that he is one with the father and and has been always and always will be is essential.
So were talking about the deity of Christ. Beyond that, there is every possible confusion about Christ how his two natures work together. The human and the divine. There's confusion about that there's confusion even about the work of atonement on the cross.
What did he actually do. What do we mean when we talk about in the doctrine of imputation arsons imputed to him what we mean.
We talk about his righteousness imputed to us. I just read an article the other day by theologian who denied that any of the righteousness of Christ expressed in his life is imputed to a believer so there there's every possible point of truth that speaks to the issue of the full understanding of Christ. Every one of those points can be basically countered by some error some heresy and that is why here we are long into the history of the church and still battling confusion about the person of Jesus Christ.
So I want to let you know that there's a book that I have looking at me right now on the desk titled the deity of Christ, a compelling look at the second person of the Trinity, Christ, the tonality preeminence authority over Satan disease and sin even over creation his equality with God. Many more things. The deity of Christ is the foundation truth of the gospel and if you've never contacted us before will send you one free of charge. That's right 200+ page book on the deity of Christ, the most important subject. The most important truth in the gospel is who Christ is request yours today if you haven't requested from us anything in the past first contact we sent it to you free of charge.
That's right again. We will send you a free copy of John's book titled the deity of Christ.
If you have never contacted us before, and friend maturing as a Christian means knowing the person and the work of Christ. More and more and that's the goal of this book. So get in touch today call our toll-free number 855 grace or make your email@example.com the deity of Christ has chapters on the glory of Christ to his authority and the many times Christ himself claimed to be God. This book will give you a more biblical understanding of Jesus power and why he deserves your worship and remember the deity of Christ is our gift to you. If it's your first time contacting us to pick up your copy, call 805 five grace or go to our website Jide TY.org.
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I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to join us. When John continues his series rediscovering the Christ of Scripture with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Tuesdays. Grace team