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Of the various ways Jesus referred to Himself – I find the extended parable in John 10 of the Good Shepherd exceedingly sweet. In vs. 11 He says plainly “I am the Good Shepherd.” And I want to take a minute to see 10 things in this parable that Jesus reveals about Himself that ought to make the heart of every Believer sing.
I’m Reid Ferguson, and this is Through the Word in 2020.
I hope you’re keeping up with our reading schedule. We don’t have much further to go in finishing out the year. And passages like those today in John 10, Revelation 3:1-6 and Daniel 1:8-2:49 are truly rich. But this parable Jesus tells about Himself in John 10 just rejoices the heart in spectacular ways.
I note 10 things.
- Jesus is the one, the only one the “gatekeeper” allows to pass. Who or what is the gatekeeper? The Law. The Law had us pent up and imprisoned. And no one can pass through it to freedom. None but Christ alone. He fulfilled the Law, so that it can be no barrier to Him. He enters, that He might become our Shepherd and bring us out.
- He calls His own by name. Jesus knows us each. Intimately. Personally. Indeed, He is the one who names us for Himself, and then calls us each individually. We are a large flock, but He never looses sight of each and every one.
- And He does indeed lead us. He never leaves His sheep to their own devices. He is always calling to us through His Word, and pricking our ears by His Spirit. He leads us out from the constraints of the Law to the joy and freedom of cleansed consciences, forgiven sins, full justification, and the unbreakable promise of the resurrection.
- He goes before us. He never sends us where He is unwilling to go Himself. Even to the cross. And He goes before us even there that we might know that in Him, our safety is assured.
- He came to grant us abundant life. Life in the reality of God’s creation, plans and purposes. Not mere existence, but plunged into the meaning of life itself – in Him.
- The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He dies in our place. He spares nothing, not even His own life to rescue us from sin and condemnation. And yet He also ever lives to make intercession for us.
- He knows His own. He is not just acquainted with us – He knows us. Every doubt, fear, foible, failing and concern. Nothing troubles our heart or mind that He is not immediately aware of, and present to meet us. If no one else in all the world really knows us – He does. Nothing is hidden from Him. And nothing He knows alters His love.
- He will bring in His sheep from all corners to make us into one flock. And what marks them all out as one is that all His sheep listen to His voice. His global work culminates in joining all His into one in Himself.
- He gives to each of His sheep – eternal life. Eternal, not temporary. They will never perish. They cannot perish. For He is their Shepherd, their guardian. He will bring them safely home to the Father. Each one will make it.
- No one can snatch His sheep out of His hand. No one. Not Satan. Not the World. Not some other person. Not even ourselves. Not only can no one snatch us out of His hand, His solemn prophetic word here is – no one WILL take us away from Him. For we are a gift to Him from the Father, the Father who is greater than all – God almighty. And none can overcome Him.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow – remember the glory of your Good Shepherd. This is His theology of His own care for us.
Rest in it.
God willing, we’ll be back next Monday.