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February 25, 2021 3:00 am
So here, our Lord explains how he fulfills the identity of the good Shepherd. He is the true shepherd of the sheep and he will bring them all together as one flock with one Shepherd. And that's why commonplace increases in prices either generate night brings the whatever the reason, you're always going to be more concerned about your family car than one you rent the reason ownership and in the same way Jesus not only cares for his sheep. He owns them.
So what does that mean for his relationship with you and what are the implications for those who lead local churches consider that today on grace to you as John MacArthur looks at the person of Christ from some angles that you may have missed you have your Bible turn to John chapter 10 as John MacArthur continues his series called rediscovering the Christ of Scripture. 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. This shepherd, this shepherd the good one is marked by three particular ministries to his sheep. One he dies for them to loves them three unites them. He dies for them.
He loves them, unites them back in 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 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 him 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 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 didn't have to engage in that. That's why Jesus says I am the good shepherd. The shepherd who's the good one lays down his life. He lays down his life, but on verse 18 no one has taken it away from me, but I lay it down on my own initiative. I have authority to lay it down and to take it again freely, voluntarily, Jesus gave up his life for the sheep. Some would say well that's no big thing. He's God, so he may had a body and he gave up the body and no big deal this morning that it's strange that the commentators would even say something like that.
There was a lot more than that, and it's bound up in the word life lays down his life. It's not the word BIOS or so away the those of the two words for life in Greek, BIOS, biological life, so way that's gets transferred liberated zoology the study of life. It was neither of those sort of scientific words that the word's okay so K which is the word for soul, which speaks of the whole person, not the outside, but the inside the suitcase is the inside. He gave up his soul is whole person. You didn't just feel the pain of the nails in his body and the pain of the thorns in his body and the. The pain of the scourging in his body. His whole soul was tortured with sin, bearing anguish, suffering, in Matthew 2028 Jesus said the Son of Man gives his soul a ransom for many. It translates like but it's okay again he gives his soul is whole person and he felt it in every every part of his being. Why did he do that. Why did he voluntarily laid down his soul recess for the sheep who pair on behalf of for the benefit of, that's exactly what it says is that Corinthian's the 521 were Paul explains he who knew no sin became sin for us, for us, for us, for us who pair appears in a lot of passages that speak about the substitutionary atonement of Christ that he took our place that he died for us. Actual atonement folks. He gave lay down his soul for the sheep.
That's pretty narrow for the sheep. It was an actual atonement complete atonement for the sheep, whom he knew and who when called, would know him.
Ditto for the benefit of the sheep from a natural standpoint it. If this happened to the shepherd. That's the end of the sheep that if if sums come in after the sheep and and kills the shepherd the the sheep are going to be vulnerable that their level to be killed or level to be scattered. Whether it's an animal or a robber or thief. The death of the shepherd could really spell the end of the sheep, but this shepherd know because he lay down his life. Verse 18 says he had the power to do what take it up again and on the third day came out of the grave and re-gathered his scattered sheep where they scattered yet they were smite the shepherd and what sheep are scattered, Zachariah promise, and they were but he came back from the grave and regathered them and he said this all that the father gives we will come to me and I have lost none of them so the death of the shepherd usually meant the death of the sheep. In some cases but not in this case, why did he die.
Isaiah 50 3/8 for the transgression of my people. Matthew 121 you shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins. His sheep's in actual atonement is not a potential one that you can sort of turn into a real one by believing he actually paid in full. The penalty for his sheep, whom he knew and throughout human history is calling to himself very unlike a hired hand verse 12. He was a hired hand and not a shepherd who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming leaves the sheep and flees in the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he's a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. The true shepherd or the owner, and sometimes there were the same. He cares about the sheep, not a job for him. It's his very life and he is develop relationships with those sheep they they are known to him their love by that's not true. Hired hands like the old translation, hirelings, hirelings, characteristic of a hireling. According to Zachariah 11 is that he makes no attempt to gather the scattered sheep when the world is always been full of hirelings. This is another word for the leaders of Israel, strangers, thieves and robbers now hired hands hireling. I suppose it's better to be a hireling who runs than a thief or a robber, but the end is the same.
Near the end is the same.
The sheep become victims of any of these in the world is always been full of this in the flock of God is always attacked in the world is always attacked by these false leaders who please send destroy the sheep and to flee when real trouble comes in who is the wolf. The wolf. The wolf is anything, it attacks the sheep anything anything satanic anything is satanically orchestrated through the world anything anything that comes against the sheep. There are many false pastors, false teachers, as there have been throughout history. They may say, Lord, Lord, we did this we did that. He's gonna say depart for me.
I never knew you. There are a perverse man asked 20 rise up within the church and lead people astray as well as wolf from the outside but Jesus is the one who will risk his life and give it up for the sheep.
So the first characteristic then of the shepherd's relationship to the sheep as he gives his life. Secondly, he loves the sheep and this is, of course, what's behind the giving of his life. Verse 14. I am the shepherd the good one 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. This explains why he lays down his life voluntarily for the sheep because he knows them say what were to get love. There's no love there. It's all know four times the verb Gounod's code to know. Let me show you something just a little bit of a hint. My father knows me verse 15.
My father knows me verse 15 verse 17.
The father loves me.
The father loves me.
That's the interpretive key.
The word no. Here has the idea of a loving relationship, and this goes all the way back to Genesis 41 where Adam knew his wife and she had a child. Cain knew his wife. She had a child.
Adam knows Steve again in another child, Seth. God actually says in Amos, Israel only have I known doesn't mean the Jews are the only people he is acquainted with what was done about it says about Joseph that he was so disturbed because Mary was pregnant and he had never known her. What is a tongue that's a euphemism for intimacy is not about information, not about information it's about love and that four times that were no here. It implies this this intimate relationship. This intimate, sweet, loving fellowship.
This sort of consummated relationship in the 14th chapter of John in verse 21 he who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me and he loves me will be loved by my father and I will love them and disclose myself to him. So there. The languages love rather than knowing verse 23. If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My father will love him, we will come to him and make our abode with him. So when you see the word no. In this context, it's the idea of loving, intimate relationship… Sheep he knows them more than knowing their name more than knowing who they are. He has an intimate relationship with them. He knows them intimately in their sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, depart for me.
I never what I never knew you. But I know who you are is not about information. I know you are.
I don't have any intimate relationship with you in a love relationship. He wanted he wanted to give his life for his sheep because he knew them. He loved them. That is John 316 God so loved the world that he what gave his only begotten son. That's why the father give the son that's why the son gives life.
He loves his sheep love sushi. This too is in stark contrast to the false shepherds who have no love for the sheep. No affection for the sheep that they claim to shepherd. He loves his own that love leads to 1/3 aspect of the relationship he unites the sheet first with himself and then with each other. Verse 16. 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. The fold in verse one is Israel right that the shepherd comes the fold calls out a sheep.
The Lord is the shepherd. He comes to Israel, to the Jew first, and calls out his sheep by name and they follow him, but he also has sheep, which are not of the fold of Israel.
I have to bring them also. Who are they non-Jews anybody outside Israel, the Gentiles, the nation's that this is stunning.
This is unacceptable to the Jews. This is more fuel for their animosity because they resent Gentiles they believe Gentiles are permanently outside salvation the covenant and the promises of God and yet in Isaiah 42. The messianic chapter messianic prophecy.
We read verse six I am the Lord.
I have called you in righteousness as is God speaking to the Messiah. I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you. I will appoint you as a covenant to the people as a light to the nations to open blind eyes and bring prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison is a messianic promise that the Messiah would take salvation to the nations shocking them by saying look I have sheep not in your fold sweaters a great commission go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature go make disciples of all nations, then he will bring them all together as one flock with one shepherd. And that's why Paul in Galatians 3 says in Christ is neither junior Greek Jew or Gentile. That's why in Ephesians 2 Paul says the middle wall of partition is torn down and were all one in Christ, Jew, Gentile was always his intent unites his sheep. He brings them together to himself to each other so that is the relation of the good Shepherd to the sheep gives his life because he loves them and he brings them into intimate unity with himself and with one another. He that is joy. The Lord is one spirit, one with him and one with all others in the one body of Christ.
Secondly, just briefly, the relationship of the good Shepherd to the father is in verses 17 and 18. For this reason, the father loves me because I lay down my life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from me, but I lay it down on my own initiative. I have authority to lay it down have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from my father let me give you a simple understanding about the father give a command. The command to Jesus was. Lay your life down and take it up. You have the authority to do that I'm commanding you to do it.
It was a command, but no one has taken it from me. I lay it down on my own initiative. That's why the father loves me because of my obedience. This is pretty profound.
Yes, the father chose Jesus to be the Lamb that acceptable sacrifice. Yes, the father is the one who killed the son by the predetermined counsel and foreknowledge of God, he was the sacrifice, but this is not fatalism.
This is not something about which Jesus had no choice. I lay my life down know one takes it from me including God. Jesus is telling us this was a perfect act of willing obedience. These are mysteries. He couldn't sin had no capacity to sin. And yet there is a real struggle because in the garden. He says father if it's possible, do what stop this.
Take this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done. He voluntarily did what the father commanded him to do and dad's how he demonstrated his love to the father and that's why the father loves him. The father loves me because I lay my life down, that I may take it again. That's what the father wanted him to do that was critical to the plan of salvation to gather the redeemed into eternal glory. He did it involuntarily. This was not fatalistic. This wasn't something he had no choice about. He couldn't make a wrong choice, but he voluntarily made the right choice. I had a command given to me. I voluntarily willfully obey the command and thus secured the father's love. If you love me, Jesus and do what keep my commandments. That's how you affirm your love his relationship to the father was one of love and obedience, love and obedience to size the same thing sets a model for us have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, the father, eternally loves the son of course the sun eternally loves the father, but in some unique way in the incarnation, the sun voluntarily willfully obeyed the command of the father to give up his life out of love for the father and in so doing sustained the father's love forever love and obedience but his final relationship here. The relationship of the good Shepherd to the world the relationship of the good Shepherd to the world. What is it, well it's in verses 19 to 21, a division occurred again among the Jews because of these words and by the way to go back to chapter 7 verse 43 back to chapter 9 I think it's verse 16. There are divisions. Jesus divided the crowd the divisions though are not between necessarily believers and nonbelievers there divisions among nonbelievers and that's what you have here a division occurred among the Jews because of what Jesus had said many of them. Many of them.
Maybe the majority of them were saying he has a demon and is insane.
Why do you listen to him. That would've been the mantra of course, of the leaders and the people are bought into it and I does what he does by the power of Beelzebub, Satan, as we read in Matthew 12 so at one hole in the division were the people who said Jesus is a maniac, he's a madman he's a demon possessed a lunatic where people like that people don't mind cursing Jesus saying blasphemous things about him. But then there were the others. Verse 21 saying these are not the sayings of one demon possessed. That's pretty rationalism is pretty rational demon can't open the eyes of the blind County did demon possessed people don't talk like that but not coherent and they don't do that. They don't do those miracles.
So whatever counterfeit things demons do, they don't look like this. So these are the more rational people like us to to the first of the irrational blasphemers.
The second are the more rational people in the both end up in the same hell forever is really doesn't matter with you cursing Jesus or whether you think good, you need to treat them more reasonably that kind of hesitation gets you nothing. You either confess Jesus is Lord, to die in your sins and occupy the same hell with the extreme blasphemers so we meet the good Shepherd relation to his sheep. He gives his life for his sheep.
He loves the sheep unites the sheep's relation to the father he loves and obeys the father's relation to the world is rejected either by those who blaspheme him in a kind of irrational way or by those who rationally tolerate him but for us will place ourselves among the disciples there that day and will say with them. You are the Christ, the son of the living God. When we I will say this for our benediction Hebrews 1320 now the God of peace who brought up from the dead, the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. We declare him to be the great Shepherd of the sheep came out of the great is our ship and this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is pastor, author and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary's current study is titled rediscovering the Christ of Scripture John. I love this series and it's obvious you've done some deep study on this because you keep bringing out points that aren't really obvious from a casual reading of Scripture. You've got background on shepherding you tell us the meaning of key Greek words and that's always important, so do we have to know Greek or ancient history in order to benefit from God's word.
Yeah, the answer is we do beat because it was written international language and when you go back to the original autographs. The original inspired autographs inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit inspired the words in Hebrew and Greek. So we we need to be able to go back and understand them at their very very primary point also. History fills in the context for Scripture often think about that with Jesus when he said I am the light of the world and that seems like a statement out of nowhere unless you understand that he was standing in the temple, and that the candelabra of the menorah. The massive menorah was it was in the courtyard. There in the feasted ended and that candle had been extinguished and Jesus is standing by that massive candelabra in the temple, and saying I'm the light that never goes out well. How significant is that little bit of information about the context. So yes, that all of that helps us understand the Bible because we have to understand it in its original language and its original context. That leads me to remind all of you about the MacArthur study Bible.
This is a one volume library to help you understand the Bible over 25,000 footnotes explaining context sometimes explaining original words it gives you the text of the Bible and then explanations on every page of virtually every passage. It helps you navigate and dig into and and grasp the truth that do gives you cross references all kinds of historical explanations. It's the single most important thing that we offered grace to you. We have it in everything from hard bound in leather and premium goatskin and new American Standard new King James the ESV if you don't have a MacArthur study Bible, you need to get one and you can certainly order it from Grace to you with detailed introductions to each book of the Bible, and about 25,000 footnotes from Genesis to Revelation. The MacArthur study Bible makes virtually every passage of the Bible clear. It's an ideal gift for a new believer or for someone who's been a Christian for years to get your copy of the MacArthur study Bible. Contact us today. Call our toll-free number 855 grace or visit our website TTY.org again, the MacArthur study Bible comes in several different bindings in several different translations you can choose from the English standard new King James or new American Standard versions to see all the different binding options and the many non-English traditions that are available.
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