Friday, December 10, 2010

The Good Shepherd - John 10

John 10
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
Point:  Anyone who tries to tell you there are other ways to make it into heaven is robbing you of your salvation and relationship with the Lord.  Jesus is the only way you can make it into heaven.  You have to surrender your life over to Him and make Him the Lord of your life.  This means having trust/faith in Him, even when you can't see Him.   Believing His word and doing what He commands.  Only Jesus can let you in and only He can lead you.  NOBODY ELSE. 

I've heard crazy things over the year from different people.  One person I met in my childhood believe she could get into her heaven (she was Indian) by having lots of gold and riches to pay her way in.  Good deeds alone wont get you in.   It's following Jesus and His commands.  He does tell us to have mercy on the less fortunate, so I am not saying good deeds are evil.  Here is another lie.  Your family can pray you out of pergatory.  Point blank, when you die, you either go to heaven or hell.  There is no area in between.  Nobody else can make the decision of following Jesus for you.  YOU ALONE DECIDE IF YOU ARE GOING TO HEAVEN OR HELL.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
Point:   Jesus leads us on the right path, of salvation.  He has our best interest in mind and keeps us in safe places.  Those who pretend to be Jesus are like false prophets, they try to control you, make you believe what they say is the truth.   The fact is, if you never study the word of God, you will be the victim of these people.  It is your responsibility to study and understand what that word of God is saying.  If not it's your own fault for becoming a victim and you have NO RIGHT to blame God (yet you probably will anyways). 

If you have had experience with these people, then you know to avoid them.  Unfortunately there are so many it isn't hard to find one.  I wonder if the Pharisees even realized Jesus was probably talking about them when he mentioned these strangers.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Point:  Even before Jesus came to the Earth, His followers knew His voice and did not listen to false prophets.  He makes another good point, all those who enter through Him, will be saved.  "Will" is a word that is a promise for something. 

You will also find people in your church communities who come and go, but it's ok, it is their choice. 

Then Jesus makes the statement of His purpose, to give life and have a GOOD life.   The opposite being death and destruction.   Why would you take this path?
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not 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. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
Point:  Jesus gave His life for us.  Here we have the hired hand who tries to handle the sheep but at the first sign of a real honest battle, abandons the flock.  It's sad, but there are pastors out there who will do this to their flock.   It isn't their flock, but they take care of it as if they are Jesus themselves. 

When you realize your not Jesus Christ, alot of burderns just lift right off of you.  It says alot about their relationship with Jesus when they give up and leave.  I can say 100% that I have a pastor who dosn't give up and is a man of God I see as a wonderful example.   He didn't give up when people left the church or when something as horrible as one of his church members being murdered.  He kept going and that says alot to me.  He cares for us but at the same time he realizes He can't do what Jesus does and I think that is what makes the difference with him.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 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 received from my Father.”
Point:  Jesus is good, not evil.  He knows us and we know Him.  That says RELATIONSHIP.  Jesus knows us in an intimate mannor and we should give Him the same pleasure.  As for verse 16 I really feel as if Jesus is talking about Jews and Gentiles being the sheep in the different pens.  One day He will bring them all together in one place.  WOW.
19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Last Point:  Many will claim your crazy, but you follow the only God who can manifest Himself in the physical world.  Point and check. 

Amen.

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