Monday, June 29, 2015

I AM the Gate, I AM the Good Shepherd

Sheep/Shepherds were common to Israel ... and common to Scripture.  Sheep are the most commonly mentioned animal in the Bible.  Very often used as a metaphor because of spiritual parallels.
Example:  dividing flocks from common sheep fold - each flock goes to its own shepherd - the multitude of sheep divide themselves.

Jesus speaking:  John 10:1-30 - vs. 3 - calls sheep by name
                                              - vs. 16 - almost universally agreed that this refers to the Gentiles
                                              - vs. 19 - are you for Jesus or against Jesus - only two possibilities - can't be on the fence between.
Then - gap between vs. 21 and vs. 22 - first 21 verses take place at Feast of Dedication in the fall.  From vs. 22 on, takes place near Christmas time - called Hanukkah

Two more "I Ams"
#1.  The Gate - John 10:7 - If you want the safety of the sheepfold, must enter THROUGH HIM!!  - only one door = Jesus.

#2.  The Good Shepherd - John 10:11
are many shepherds out there (ie:  movements, individuals, philosophies, etc.)
BUT if you want HIS guidance, direction, protection, is found in ... Hearing - Responding - following HIM.

As with the other I Ams - these are:
     A.  Personal - I am!!!
     B.  Exclusive - THE Good Shepherd, THE One, The Door!!!
     C.  Offensive to some - then and now!
But, these are the words of the One who has done all these miracles, made these claims, changed the world the last 2000 years.

John 10 = 'go to' passage concerning:
      1)  salvation
      2)  ownership
      3)  security
      4)  choice

I.  Salvation - John 10:9-10

II.  Ownership - "My Sheep ... a) hear Me, b) know Me, c)follow Me...."
This is easier to understand than to explain!
       A.  "hear" = recognition of His calling (nagging, tugging, wooing)
             1.  is the work of the Holy Spirit - John 16:8 - "convince"
             2.  heard in the heart
      B.  "know" - more than head knowledge - Psalm 23:1
includes the head - Romans 10:9-10
Therefore, must conform to the Word (written Voice - 1 John 4:1
Measure the calling against the Word - there are false teachers, false prophets, false messengers!
    C.  "follow" = lifestyle - practical, continual, visible
Example:  sheep following their shepherd - no question of ownership.  If people can't see any evidence of you following Christ, don't be surprised if they don't know who your shepherd is.

III.  Security - John 10:28-29 - You are absolutely, totally secure in Christ, IF you are IN Christ.

IV.  Choice - John 10:25-26
You won't believe my   A.  words (answer)
                                   B.  works  (miracles)
                                  C.  witnesses (prophets/John the Baptist)
Problem is not CAN'T  believe, Problem is WON'T believe!!!  (admit, allow)

1)  If are a person who has never responded, or one who has done this but never proclaimed it, "come out of the closet" and make your profession known.

2)  For the rest - continue to surrender - the shepherd does not hurt the sheep, only wants what's best for them.

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