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Jesus Is... - The Good Shepherd, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 20, 2024 6:00 am

Jesus Is... - The Good Shepherd, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 20, 2024 6:00 am

A good coach or mentor is someone who gives helpful advice, good direction, and sound correction when necessary. Maybe you’ve had a person like that in your life. In this program, Chip Ingram explains that in the Bible, that person would be called a shepherd. So, as we continue our series Jesus Is, we’ll learn how Christ is our Good Shepherd, as Chip describes what that means from John chapter 10.

Main Points

Every sheep needs a shepherd

  • Jesus is the good Shepherd. - John 10:1-6
  • The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. - John 10:11-21
  • The good Shepherd reveals His identity as Savior and God. - John 10:28-42

Jesus wants to be your good Shepherd

  1. To meet your deepest needs. - Psalm 23:1
  2. To restore your soul. - Psalm 23:2-3a
  3. To guide and direct your life. - Psalm 23:3b
  4. To protect you from evil. - Psalm 23:4
  5. To fill your life with Joy. - Psalm 23:5-6a
  6. To give you eternal life. - Psalm 23:6b 
Broadcast ResourceAdditional Resource MentionsAbout Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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Over the years, I've had some amazing coaches and mentors in my life. They've given direction. They've given counsel.

They've helped me see who I really am. Can you imagine what it would be like to have Jesus as your coach, your mentor, your director who knows everything about you? The word used in the Old Testament and New Testament is shepherd. What's it mean for Jesus to be our shepherd?

Stay with me and find out. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We are a discipleship-driven ministry on a mission to encourage Christians everywhere to live like Christians. Thanks for joining us as we pick up on our series, Jesus Is. For the past few programs, our guest teacher, Ryan Ingram, has walked through three essential attributes of Christ laid out for us in the Gospel of John. Today, Chip will continue the series by breaking down Jesus as the Good Shepherd. But before he does, we hope you've been learning a lot from this series so far. And to help others learn as you have, take a minute after this message and share it with a friend or loved one.

You can do that through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s that you'll find at And thanks for spreading the word about how this teaching is impacting you. Well, with all that said, here now is Chip with his talk. If you go ahead and pull out some notes, and at the very top it says there are two questions that how you answer them will determine the course of your life. And the question number one is how you see God, and the second question is how do you think he sees you? And as you kind of make your way to those notes and maybe pull out a pen if you have it, and if you have your Bible with you, you can open to John 10.

If you have your phone, you can open to John 10. But as you get started, I was thinking I've been wrestling with some things, you know, like we all have, like deep in your soul, and sometimes you get confused, and you think it through, you pray it through. And then this was one where I just couldn't land, and I've been wrestling with it for quite a while. And as I was praying, I thought, you know, I think I'm going to call someone that I've known for 40 years that's been a loyal friend, and what's always characterized his life is he's always had my back. And he's always been very, very gracious, but other than my wife, no one has spoken the truth, mostly in love, like Steve Clifford. And so on Monday, I just texted him and said, hey, Steve, I'm wrestling with something, and I can't get my arms around it.

I just can't figure it out. Give me a call when you have time. Thirty seconds, phone rings, we talk for about 45 minutes or an hour. And when I'm done, he listened very compassionately. He knows me very well. I ministered with him way back in Texas when I was 28 as a young pastor, and he was a football coach. And then he later worked with me and formed me at Santa Cruz Bible Church, so we have 40 years together. And what I realized was the reason that I called him was I have a view of him, that I knew that he wouldn't blow smoke, he would be very compassionate. I wasn't even shocked that within 30 seconds he responded, because he loves me. We've been through a lot. He deeply loves me. One of the most loyal people to me in the world. And then when we got done with the conversation, he paused, and he said, Chip, you know, it looks like there's one thing you need that you're not getting, and there's something that's so important that you need to do that God made you to do, that you better do that with all your heart until the day you die.

Just super clear. Now, the reason I share that is because we all have stuff, right? We all have confusion. We've got relationship stuff, money stuff, health stuff, future stuff, uncertainty. And then if you just, you know, pop on the news or scroll for a little while, there's an earthquake here, then another earthquake, there's economic issues, there's climate issues.

There's just all kind of things happening. And God wants you to know that if you would come to him, his response is compassion. But like another person in my life that lives across the little cul-de-sac where I live, his view of God, I've talked with him for now 12 years, and my wife has loved his wife in ways that have opened a door over time, but as I have talked with him after untold little steps of trying to love him, he just looks at me and says, if I would take a step toward God, if I would walk into a church, I think the people would be in danger because he would burn it down. If you knew me, where I've been, what I've done, what I've rejected, there is no room for God and no room for me in a relationship with him. And if you knew his background, you might understand that. But in a lesser degree, could I tell you that your view of God will radically determine whether you feel comfortable, whether you'll go to him or go to other places with your struggles. And we all have them.

The only issue is how you're going to go through them. And this isn't new. I mean, we all know in the depth of our soul that we don't measure up to even our own standards, let alone God's. And Jesus came to explain the Father, and one of the big things he came to explain is how much God loves us.

And we can get that here, but it's a very slow journey to get it here. Tozer's words that I love, he says, what comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us, and I think that's because whatever your picture of God is, you'll either be drawn to him or feel like you're completely unacceptable, and you'll move away from him. And so then the second question is how do you think God sees you? Jesus came to answer that. And you'll notice I put a passage in Matthew chapter 9, and Jesus had been doing ministry. He had opened the eyes of a blind person. He had loved people. He had fed people. And he came and he saw the multitudes.

He saw a large, large crowd of just the mass of humanity. And it said he was filled with compassion for them. And then in your notes it says, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd. Put a circle in your notes around the word compassion. The word is splachna.

It means to come from the bowels. It's like you experiencing something where you so hurt for another person. You so identify with him, you just feel compelled, I've got to help him. This isn't sympathy.

This isn't, oh, that's bad. This is something that happens down in the heart of God that he sees you and your hurt and your fear and your anxiety and your struggles and your uncertainty and your depression and all your struggles and all your issues. And what it does is it draws him to you.

When you're distressed, stressed out, uncertain, afraid, literally God's heart is drawn to you because not only does he see us as distressed but downcast. It's a shepherding term. And if a sheep rolls a little bit too much on its back, it's called cast. And a cast sheep cannot get up by itself.

If a shepherd doesn't come and roll it over, it will die right there. And Jesus saw the multitudes then and he sees us now. And he knows simply left to ourselves. There are seasons and times and hurts and pains and betrayals and struggles and addictions that will get cast and unless the shepherd, unless we get help, we're going to shrivel up and die first in our soul, then our emotions, then our relationships, and then forever. And so Jesus speaking to a group of people that live in a very different world than us, a very agrarian culture, wants to speak in their language so he could communicate with them his compassion and his concern. And the answer is he uses the sheep and the shepherd metaphor. And then you'll notice in your notes what I did. I put just a little outline because here's what he wants you to understand.

Infinitely more than a friend of 40 years that I've been through all kind of things with that has compassion on me, that picks up the phone immediately, that would do anything for me, infinitely more, God loves me and he loves you. And the moment, the Scripture says, whenever you call out to him in honesty, in a millisecond, regardless of where you've been, what you've done, the Lord will hear. And so he wants you to know that he's your good shepherd.

We pick it up in chapter 10. Verily I say to you, Pharisees, anyone who doesn't enter the sheep pen by the gate but climbs up by some other way is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he's brought them out to his own, he goes ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

But they will never follow a stranger. In fact, they will run away from him because they don't recognize the stranger's voice. Now get this, Jesus used this figure of speech or this parable, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. And so he's going to explain verses seven through 10.

Therefore, Jesus said to them, verily, verily, or truly, truly, in Hebrew, when you wanna say, you don't say good, better, best, you would say good, good, or you would say good, good, good, you repeat the word in order to get someone's attention to say this is a really important point. Verily, verily, I tell you, I am the gate or the door for the sheep. All who come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.

And then this was the climax. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, delivered, rescued. And he's speaking of eternally rescued, forgiven, becoming a part of God's family. And then he talks about those who come in and go out and find pasture, they will be the ones who are loved by me.

And then he goes on and talks about the thief comes to kill and to destroy and to rob, but I've come that they might have life and have it to the full. And so he says, I'm a good shepherd. I want to help you. I want to deliver you. I want you to have someone that you can call on any time.

I'm here for you. Just like a shepherd of sheep. And for them, that would just be so clear because they've lived in that world. And they know a shepherd doesn't drive a sheep. He leads them. A shepherd protects. A shepherd provides. And a shepherd carried a rod, and this was for protection. Often there would be a big kind of a ball around it, and some would even put some spikes in it. And when a lion or a bear, he would literally risk his life, and he would use this. And then he would have a staff, and the ones you see in pictures often have a hook, but a lot of them don't.

They would be literally about like this. And this was for guidance and comfort, and sometimes if it had a hook, he would pull them out of a ditch. And they had a picture of a shepherd who saw sheep as valuable, important, that their lifeline, whether it was wool or milk or the opportunity to make a sacrifice, those were the shepherd's tools.

And once that picture got into their mind, they understood. Now, notice he's going to say now, he's the good shepherd, and the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. In fact, we're going to see in verse 15 that he actually will give his life as a substitute for ours.

Pick it up in verse 11. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and doesn't own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.

The man runs away because he's a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and my sheep know me. Just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father, and I lay down my life, and you might circle in your Bible, I lay down my life for the sheep.

I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen, and I must bring them also, speaking of the Gentiles. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. And the reason my Father loves me is, are you getting a little repetition here? I lay down my life only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I receive from my Father. And so in your notes, I made three observations out of this passage. The first is he offers his life for us. In Greek, there's two little words for the word for, F-O-R. One means on behalf of. You know, I'm gonna do this for you.

The other means I'm going to do this in your place and for your behalf. Jesus would later say in Mark chapter 10, for the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give his life for a ransom of many. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and we'll continue our series Jesus Is in just a second. But let me ask you, do you feel bombarded by negative, depressing, or even sinful thoughts? If you want some help to overcome them, join us after the teaching as Chip talks about the importance of renewing our minds with God's word and highlights a resource that can help you take every thought captive.

So stick around to learn more. Well, with that, here again is Chip. It's really nice that I have some really, really close friends that are compassionate and caring. But God wants you to know you are so valuable that Jesus laid down his life for you. Jesus would remind you that he had to be perfectly God and perfect humanity, and that he would voluntarily go to the cross and lay down his life and die in your place and lay down his life and die in your place.

The word is atoned to cover your sin, or literally to redeem or to pay for. And Jesus is telling this group of people, there's lots of hirelings. There's lots of people that say, I'll help you get ahead, and I've got your back.

And what they do is they want to use you. And he says, not me. I'm going to show you the ultimate commitment, and my ultimate commitment is I died in your place. I laid down my life.

And then notice Rome did not kill Jesus, and the Jews did not kill Jesus. He says, it's voluntary. I lay my life down, and I voluntarily can pick it up.

And that's the picture that, to a group of people that spent their life around sheep and know all about a shepherd, he says, I get you're distressed, and I know you're downcast, and I want you to know this. I'm for you. I'm with you. I will go to any length. I have died in your place. And here's my dream. I want to be your shepherd. I want to feed you. I want to protect you. I want to provide for you. I want to guide you. I want to take care of you.

I love you. Of all the things I think that may take a lifetime to grasp and understand is just how much God loves us. I think we get that intellectually, but I think in terms of your soul, I think in terms of actually believing God is for you rather than my neighbor would describe God as God's arms are crossed, his finger's pointing, he's mad at me.

He would view God as harsh, judgmental, I never measure up, he's angry with me. And so let me pause just before we talk about how God wants to be your shepherd and what it looks like. Just lean back in your chair just for a second.

You don't have to close your eyes, but it would be nice. And just try and ask yourself a personal question. How do I actually see God? Not an actual picture, but how do I conceptualize him? What is he like? Is he for me? Is he kind? Is he compassionate?

Does he see where I mess up and where I struggle and where I get so frustrated? Is he patient? Is he fair? Is he dependable? Is he holy? Is he really just? See, the picture that you have unconsciously or consciously, all of us, you know, sometimes think he's a lot like our parents or like the person that bailed out on you, the person who really loved you and then... And God wants you to know, I'm not like anyone else.

I love you and I'm for you. And then notice the good shepherd reveals his identity not only as Savior but as God. The Jews who heard these things were divided.

So it's just like today, right? People hear this story of Jesus and his amazing love, and yet some people think he's a teacher, a liar, a philosopher. And others would believe he's the Savior of the world. Jews who heard these words were again divided. Many of them said, He's demon-possessed. He's raving mad.

Why listen to him? Others said, These aren't the sayings of a demon-possessed man. Can a demon-possessed man open the eyes of the blind? That had recently happened. And then there was a festival context here of dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter, and Jesus was in the temple, and he was in the courts of Solomon in the colonnade, and the Jews who were gathered around him were saying, How long are you gonna keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly. You know, all this stuff about the gates and doors and shepherds.

Come on, man. Are you him or are you not? Are you really God incarnate? Are you the Savior of the world? And notice Jesus' response. He said, I did tell you, but you wouldn't believe me. And then notice his testimony. The works that I do in my Father's name testify about me.

I fed 5,000, I fed 4,000. I raised a little girl from the dead. Remember when I walked by and the young man was in the coffin and I touched the coffin? You see how I treat people? You see how I treated a woman who no one gave the time of day and I restored her life and I actually used this despised woman to reach a whole city? What more proof do you need?

And so he goes on. He says, but you don't believe me because you're not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and this shall never perish and no one can snatch them out of my hand.

My Father who has given them to me is greater than I and no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. And then in verse 30, I and the Father are one. Now, they ask, are you the Messiah?

And I want you to notice because I put the outline in your notes. He basically is going to say, first of all, I have the power and I came to give eternal life. And for those that might be new, don't think of eternal life as something that happens after you die that goes on forever. It's a phrase that means a quality of life where the life of Jesus, the moment we turn from our sin and in the empty hands of faith, ask for forgiveness solely based on what Jesus did on the cross when he died and rose from the dead. And we say, forgive me, I fall short, I desperately need you, and we turn from our sin and invite him into our life. He says, my actual life comes to take residence inside of you and you're born afresh, you're born spiritually. And then he goes on to say, the Father and I are one. When he says, the Father and I are one, he doesn't say we're one person, he's saying we're one essence.

This is, he's saying that if you've seen me, you've seen the Father. If you really want to know what God is like, just look at the life of Jesus. What does he say? What does he do?

How does he act? And as it continues, his opponents, they pick up stones. Well, why? Jesus says, because of one of the good works that I did, is that where you're going to try to kill me? And they say, no, we're stoning you not for the good work, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God. And Jesus then explains it, and then skip down to verse 39. Again, they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp. And then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days, and there he stayed. Now notice, and many people came to him and they said, though John never performed a sign or a miracle, all that John said about this man was true, and in that place, many believed in Jesus.

And so you have two very vivid responses. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message, The Good Shepherd, from our series, Jesus Is. Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. It's been said that one of the wonderful things about knowing God is that there's always more to know. So even though God is infinite, it can still be a joy for us to learn more and more about who he is. And that's what Chip and his son Ryan Ingram are doing in this series based in the Gospel of John. Join us as they highlight seven phrases Jesus used to describe himself that gave us a more spectacular glimpse into his character, authority, and love for us.

If you missed any part of this series, catch up through the Chip Ingram app or at Well, Chip's with me in studio now, and Chip, you know, we're all vulnerable to believing the lies from the enemy about ourselves or God. And I think the characteristics of Jesus we're learning about in this series expose those false ideas and point us to who God truly is and how he cares for us. But, you know, we need constant reminders of that. So take a minute if you wouldn't talk about a tool we've developed to help people focus on God's Word daily and how it pairs with a study we're doing in John.

I'd be glad to, Dave. I mean, Jesus has come to explain the Father, and yet the culture, the world, my flesh, the enemy is constantly bombarding my mind and my heart with lies. And so I went back through, and I take the key truth out of each chapter. And so we call these truth cards.

Let me give you an example. Here's a lie. In private moments, I sometimes have thoughts that make me question my faith. Do these doubts or thoughts mean that I don't really believe in Jesus? And then at the bottom of that card, it says stop.

In fact, there's a stop sign there. And then we flip the card over, and it says everyone has doubts from time to time. We're bombarded by lies from the enemy, but the historical fact of Jesus' resurrection, not my feelings on any given day, is the basis of my faith. And then right under that, I have the core passage out of John chapter 20.

And so what we would love to do is put these in your hands so you can just review them. I find doing it at night before I go to bed, not trying even to memorize, just pondering and thinking and doing three or four or five cards, you do a few of those before you go to bed. It goes into your subconscious mind. It's amazing how your mind is renewed, because what do we all know? What did Jesus promise in John chapter 8? You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free. I hope you order a set of these cards for you, and then maybe someone you love as well.

Thanks, Chip. You can do that by going to or calling 888-333-6003. We pray this tool will fill your mind with the truth of God's Word and help defend against the lies that come at us. Again, to order your set of Gospel of John truth cards, visit or call 888-333-6003.

App listeners tap special offers. Well, Chip, as we wrap up, I want to return to your opening point from John 10. Every sheep needs a shepherd. How are we all like sheep, and why do we need to be shepherded?

Well, Dave, it's interesting to me that God would use that metaphor, especially when you do some research about sheep. They wander. They can't find food on their own. They're unaware of danger. Left to themselves, they get ticks and parasites and bugs.

They constantly need direction and protection. And the fact of the matter is that they're pretty stubborn, and they always want to go off on their own way. In fact, Isaiah would say, We all are like sheep. We've all gone astray. We've all turned our own way.

And, you know, there's just something independent in us human beings that just think we know better, and we don't want to submit to anyone telling us what to do. And I don't think we get and understand how desperately dependent we are and how God longs. He wants to be our shepherd.

And what I would say as we wrap up today's broadcast is are you listening to him? And he speaks through his word. The shepherd wants to give you direction for your life, your work, your marriage, your personal thinking, your identity, your struggles and your hurts. He wants to restore you. He wants to give you emotional peace and help you work through difficult issues and protect you from evil. And the only way you can do that is you say, Lord, I want you to be my shepherd, and I want to allow you to give me that direction. And that means meeting with him regularly, and he's going to shepherd you through other people.

I think the day of thinking I can listen online to a bunch of great teachers and do my Christian life on my own is an absolute lie, and it never works. I need people, you need people, and you need to be connected and open and vulnerable. And then finally, Jesus wants you to experience his joy, and he is where you find it. What do you need to do today, very specifically, to let him lead, protect, and guide you? What would it look like for you right now to say, Lord, I want you to be my shepherd. I want to listen to you. I want to follow you. You pray that sincerely.

You might be really surprised at what happens. Great word, Chip. Thanks. As we close, I want to thank each of you who makes this program possible through your generous giving. 100% of your gifts go directly to the ministry to help Christians live like Christians. Now, if you found this teaching helpful but aren't yet on the team, consider doing that today.

Sending a gift is easy. Go to, or call us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003, or visit App listeners, tap donate. And let me thank you in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Next time, Chip will continue our series, Jesus Is. I'm Dave Druey, and I hope you'll join us then.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-20 05:46:45 / 2024-03-20 05:59:02 / 12

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