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I Am the Good Shepherd

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2021 3:00 am

I Am the Good Shepherd

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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February 24, 2021 3:00 am

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Shepherd, who was doing what he should never hesitated to risk, perhaps even lay down his life and it was voluntary did not engage in that to the shepherd. It was the most natural thing then to risk his life. It's what shepherds did. That's why Jesus says I am the good shepherd shepherd.

Who's the good morning ladies down his life. They you know it is possible and regrettable to overlook significant details about those you love. That's probably true, even about the person Christian should love most to the Lord Jesus. So take a look at some details about Christ that perhaps you forgotten. As John MacArthur continues his study on grace to you called rediscovering the Christ of Scripture were going to be in the Gospel of John today so if you have your Bible turn there now and here's the lesson turn in our Bibles of the 10th chapter of John in this really wonderful and rich and precious portion of Scripture, in which our Lord identifies himself as the good Shepherd who cares for his sheep. That particular metaphor that similarly that word picture is it's called in verse six, maybe needs a bit of an explanation for us as to context so that you know why it happened here, there, there is nothing sort of the isolated and the ministry of Jesus. Everything of course had a context historical context I think many people read the Bible as some kind of spiritual book as if it were detached from history and defense in people and consequences and sequences, but this is all history and all that we read in the Gospels in terms of doctrine and theology in our Lord's great discourses were in a moment in an event as strategic point where this is what spoke to that moment and what spoke to that crucial our and that's essentially true of this, our Lord had been in chapter 8 in a confrontation with the leaders of Israel, and they had rejected him and they had declared their hatred of him and they were on a course to kill him. In fact, by the time you get to chapter 10. They've tried at least three times to bring about his death.

There's no question what their view of Christ is in chapter 8, there was this conflict.

This confrontation and admittedly he escalated it by telling them the truth, he said to them, you are of your father the devil, he's a liar and a murderer, and so you are liars and murderers as well. We could say that for them of the incident in chapter 8 ended on a very severe note as a result. Chapter 8 ends with these words. Therefore they picked up stones to throw at him.

But Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple, so he escapes a stoning and on the spot kind of vigilante mob violence execution on his way out of the temple.

He sees a blind man, and by now he's absorbed in the crowd and as he goes out the gate he sees a blind man because that's what blind men did. They sat at the gate to Bay and that's where he found this man.

The man had been blind from birth, and Jesus stops and heals him by then his enemies. The Pharisees had caught up with him. They had slowed down the effort to kill them at the moment he being absorbed in the crowd and having drawn the crowd's attention by the miracle they are again deeply distressed by the fact that he is having such popularity and that he is healed this man and drawn such attention to himself. They had made a law that lies syndicated in chapter 9 verse 22 that if anyone confessed Jesus to be the Messiah. He was to be put out of the synagogue. Well, Jesus healed the blind man and then the blind man came to faith in Christ as the story ends. We know down in verse 38, he said, Lord, I believe, and he worshiped himself. The man was healed physically and he was healed spiritually and as a result of that he violated their law, he has confessed him as Messiah, Lord and Savior. They throw them out of the synagogue and they are still completely intent on killing Jesus. Chapter 9 then features an extension of chapter 8 in the hostility of the religious leaders of Judaism toward Jesus. The healing of the blind man in a sense, in the big drama of things is somewhat incidental, not incidental to the blind man, but the big picture here is that when Jesus does a monumental miracle that has no other explanation because this is a man congenitally blind and everybody knows it because he's a familiar figure. There was been begging a long time. It has no effect on how they feel about Jesus. They they make no move in the direction of affirming something other than that he satanic their hostility as past the point of any return.

They are in fact demonstrating themselves to be false leaders, who instead of acknowledging their Messiah reject their Messiah want to execute their Messiah.

They are in a word, the false shepherds of Israel. So in chapter 9.

After the healing of this man.

They surface again with the same hatred in the same hostility. The chapter closes chapter 9 does with Jesus pronouncing a judgment on them because of their blindness because they are willfully blind to the truth. The conversation specifically with them ends with these words, your sin remains. You are anything but righteous. You are in your sin now. He said that back earlier when he said to them, you will die in your sin, and where I go you will never come here. He says couple of chapters later you remain in your sin, your sin remains so here are the blind leaders of Israel, the blind leaders of the blind. Here are the false shepherds of Israel. As we come into chapter 10. He is still talking to them still talking to them. They're still there. The blind man is still there. The disciples are there. The crowd of Jews is there by the location where the healing took place in the Pharisees and scribes are still there. Jesus then launches into a description of how a good Shepherd conducts his life.

Verses 1 to 10 is according to verse six of figure of speech and analogy of metaphor, and we looked at some of the details about that that help us to understand shepherding the shepherd has his own sheep as his own sheep, he knows his own sheep, he not only has the right to feed and lead his own sheep, but he has the responsibility to feed and lead his own sheep at night. You remember the sheep would come into the village. Fold in every Shepherd would bring his sheep and they would all be in the same folder and then in the morning, the shepherd would come and call out his own sheep and call them by name. He knows his sheep he calls them by name. The sheep know their masters voice and they follow him.

The sheep will not follow a stranger. We also learned that while they are in the fold at night. Thieves and robbers may try to climb over the wall and lease the sheep or even slaughter the sheep and so there has to be a guard set at the door to protect the sheep because there always thieves and robbers. The shepherd is committed to protecting them at night in the fold, and then in the morning coming and leaving them out by name one by one to green pastures and still waters and the shepherd is even the door because they have to pass by him to be identified as his own beautiful picture of the animal husbandry but but that's not its intent. That's the figure, the reality becomes clear when you look at the language in verse nine I am the door. If anyone comes through me. He will be saved. Oh I see what were talking about.

This is a picture of the salvation provided by the true shepherd salvation. These are all pictures of salvation doctrine, the divine shepherd has his own sheep.

They been given to him by the father. They been chosen before the foundation of the world. He knows them all by name. He has the right to call them because them by name, they know his voice. They follow him. They will not follow a stranger, that salvation the elect are in the fold of the world. But the time comes to call them out in the voice of the shepherd calls and they hear that voice and they follow that voice. This is irresistible grace. This is the effectual call the divine call to salvation. They will not follow a stranger, they they will not follow a voice that's unfamiliar. Yes, there are thieves and robbers, false teachers who try to climb into the fold and fleece and destroy the sheep come to destroy and kill. The shepherd provides protection for them from the false teachers and the shepherd leads them goes before them and they follow him.

He takes them in a safe way to green pastures, meaning spiritual blessing still waters meeting spiritual blessings throughout time and all into eternity's lesson on salvation. That's the figure who is the shepherd. Jesus is starting to give us a pretty good idea when in verse nine as we saw last week. He says I am the door. Shepherds were the door that night she would go in and the shepherd would drop his rod and stop every sheep, every sheep, every sheep check them over for any kind of wound or any kind of problem and then lift the staff and let them go in in the morning he called them all by name and they had to pass by him into his care.

Shepherd was the door Jesus is saying that this shepherd this faithful shepherd. This is how shepherding should be done.

This is how I do it I am the door that gives a pretty good hint we know is speaking metaphorically because it is a figure of speech, and because in the same verse he says he talk about salvation, but then in verse 11, he says, specifically, I am the good shepherd that good Shepherd that I just described that good Shepherd that I just identified by the way he behaves himself and conducts his life with the sheep.

I am the good shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He was a hired hand and not a shepherd who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he's a hired hand or a hireling and is not concerned about the sheep.

I am the good shepherd and I know my own and my own know me, even as the father knows me and I know the father and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason, the father loves me because I lay down my life so that I may take it again. No one is taken it away from me, but I lay it down on my own initiative.

I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from my father.

The division occurred again among the Jews because of these words, many of them were saying he has a demon and is insane.

Why do you listen to him.

Others were saying these are not the sayings of one demon possessed demon cannot open the eyes of the blind can he so here in verses 11 to 21. Our Lord explains how he fulfills the identity of the good Shepherd, and as I told you last time and I reiterate again he launches into this particular figure of speech because the religious leaders of Israel were known as the shepherds of Israel, but they were false. Shepherd and so he distinguishes the false leaders from himself. He is the true shepherd of the sheep. They were blind that's that's have a conversation with them ended in chapter 9 verses 39 to 41.

They were spiritually blind to the truth of God. They couldn't lead anybody anywhere because they couldn't see where they were going themselves. They are false leaders. They are in fact strangers not shepherds they are hirelings hired hands to do what they do for money and have no concern for the sheep. They are thieves they are robbers who want to fleece and kill Jesus was talking about them. In contrast to himself the false leaders, thieves, robbers, strangers hired hands have nothing in mind by protecting themselves they are not about to risk their lives for the sheep. As we read they want the money and if need be, they will become thieves and robbers to get it. They are strangers not shepherds true shepherd, however, is described here is one who loves and cares for and nourishes and lives for and dies for the sheep and that of course is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. So let's look again at these verses 11 through 21.

With this kind of work our way through this is the by the way the fourth. I am in the Gospel of John there a whole series of iambs will that our Lord gives us, and I am is the tetra graviton in Hebrew the goal at a meeting Greek the IM meaning the name of God so they are claims to deity as well. In the context of each one.

I am the way the truth and the life I am the resurrection and the life I am the door. I am the good shepherd all affirmations of his deity bound up in the IM statement of it, but here he is the good Shepherd. Let's look at that little bit. I am the good shepherd.

Then he repeats it immediately. The good Shepherd again.

Now that this is an important construction for us to understand the emphasis here is this I am the shepherd the good one very important order. There I am the shepherd the good one, as if to say, in contrast to all the bad ones.

I am the shepherd the good one, but it's not there's two words in the Greek for good one as I get thoughts from which you get the word Agatha are the name Agatha August us will name on the thoughts means sort of morally good good in the NAS are confined to the moral goodness. It's a wonderful word a magnificent word familiar in the New Testament, but the other word is called loss, less the opposite of Cost which is to be bad colossus to be good not only in the sense of moral quality, but it's a more encompassing word it means to be beautiful to be magnificent to be winsome to be attractive to be lovely to be excellent on all levels not not just the not just in that which is unseen in terms of character, but but in all aspects. I am the shepherd the excellent one. I am the shepherd the that the lovely one, the beautiful one, as contrasted to the ugly ones the dangerous ones is not just another shepherd he's the shepherd the good one, the one who is preeminently excellent above all shepherds. The good one now. The Jews had an idea about who was the best shepherd for them historically was David. It was David.

David the shepherd boy who cared for his father's flocks and defeated Goliath and became the king of Israel.

David was there great shepherd. Historically, but you do remember in chapter 5 Jesus claimed to be greater than Moses in chapter 8, he claimed to be greater than Abraham before Abraham was, IM, and here he is so shepherd far greater than any other shepherd including David including David. He is the shepherd who is the good one the premier one that is quite a claim to make the say you are better than Moses better than Abraham better than David and to say you are God. No wonder he had to back it up with miracles right he was telling those Jews that he was God because they knew Psalm 23 the Lord is my shepherd. They knew Psalm 80 the shepherd of Israel. They knew what Isaiah the prophet said about God shepherding his people.

He is saying I am the shepherd the good one again another claim to deity.

Now his true goodness is a shepherd is seen in three ways. Here in this passage is not and I can tell you anything you don't know, but I meditate was here you can be grateful. You do know this because looking at this again is is so rich and wonderful for us this shepherd, this shepherd the good one is marked by three particular ministries to his sheep.

One he dies for the two loves them three unites them. He dies for them. He loves them, unites them back to verse 11 the shepherd the good one lays down his life for the sheep shepherds were absolutely responsible for sheep.

It was serious business. There was a man's man's job and it was really, lowly and humble job as well because it was unskilled and it was high risk and it was messy and dirty but a shepherd was absolutely responsible for the sheep. If anything happened to the sheep yet to produce proof that it was not his fault due to dereliction of duty or rustling the sheep away for his own keeping or letting a friend take one. Whatever Amos the prophet speaks about the shepherd rescuing two legs or a piece of an era out of a lion's mouth. Amos 312 so that they were in battle with beasts. There were wolves there were mountain lions that there were even bearers. David tells Saul how when he was keeping his father sheep back in for December 17. David fought off a lion and he fought off a bear. By the way, that's what made David such a heroic shepherd to the shepherd. It was the most natural thing then to risk his life. It's what shepherds did what they did. You could just take them to the grass and leave them there. I suppose, but why did the shepherd stay why those long, long, long hours of staying there because he had to be a protector. There's an old book called the land of the book and the author of that historical look at Israel said, I have listened with intense interest to their graphic descriptions of downright desperate fights with savage beast and when the thief and the robber come the faithful shepherd is often to put his life in his hand to defend the flock. I've known more than one case where he literally had to lay it down in the contest. Well, I mean if you're fighting a wild beast, you could lose so that there was a risk and you couldn't just all of a sudden stop the risk could come to death.

He goes on to say, the poor fellow last spring between Tiberias and Tabor. Instead of fleeing actually fought three Arab robbers until he was hacked to pieces with their con jars and died among the sheep he was defending it happen, but that's what a shepherd did talk about her man's man. Talk about a tough job. Low-paying low skill shepherd who was doing what he should never hesitated to risk, perhaps even lay down his life and it was voluntary because he couldn't have to did not engage in that. That's why Jesus says I am the good shepherd. The shepherd who is the good one lays down his life. He lays down his life. That's John MacArthur he's pastor of Grace Community Church and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary rediscovering the Christ of Scripture. That's the title of John's current study here on Grace to you John, you had a great line in your lesson today. You said that Christ as the good Shepherd means that he loves and cares for and nourishes and lives and dies for the sheep and that brought to mind. The Bible verse that says the Lord understands us and can sympathize with our weaknesses, that's a great encouragement and I think there may be no better remedy for the problems of this life than faith in the truth of who Christ is and what he has done yes it's such an important issue fill, there has developed over the years.

In Christianity, a kind of simplistic pragmatism. You know, if you want to live the Christian life. Do these three things do these four things and on and people will sometimes give you sort of mechanisms to help you make good decisions or whatever whatever what really allows you to live the Christian life is to be consumed with the person of Christ to be Christ conscious all the time you you are as a believer united to Christ, you are joined to Christ.

Paul says I am crucified with Christ.

Nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ lives in me and the life which I live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. My life is Christ. Whether I live or die. I am Christ's. Christ is in me, so I think it is our union with Christ that is the controlling reality in spiritual strength and spiritual sanctification. The more you know about Christ, the more sanctified you become when Christ is your all in all when you set your affections on him when you looking at when you're looking at the book of Hebrews says unto the author and finisher of your faith when you're looking to the living Lord Jesus Christ and your lost in wonder love and praise for Christ and you understand all the details of the revelation of God about him. This is the sanctifying.

This is what the used to be called sort of the beatific vision the vision of God.

You see, God most clearly when you see Christ and when you see God in Christ. As Paul says you see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. This is the path of sanctification. I want to remind you about the book that we are offering the deity of Christ free to anyone who has not been in contact with us before the book titled the deity of Christ, compelling look at who Christ is and how you can know the fullness of his glory, which has such an impact on your life free to anyone contacting us for the first time. Just as for the book the deity of Christ. That's right, friend. This book is our gift to you. If you've never contacted us before.

Just call us or go to our website and request your copy of the deity of Christ, getting touch today.

Our toll-free number here 855 Grace and the website Jide the deity of Christ is a book that covers topics like Christ's preeminence. His authority over creation is equality with the father. This book can help you or someone you love better understand the person and work of Christ.

How best to serve him, to his glory into your blessing to get a copy of John's book titled the deity of Christ and remember it's our gift to you for contacting us for the first time just call us at 855 Grace or go to the website is also where you need to go to download John's current series rediscovering the Christ of Scripture. There you'll find all of the studies that we've aired on radio plus hundreds more that have yet to air. In fact, all of John's sermons from 52 years of pulpit ministry are free to download in audio or transcript

Spend some time there now for John MacArthur and the entire Grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to watch Grace to you television this Sunday. Check your local listings for channel and times and be here Thursday for another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace

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