Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13)
John 10:11-18 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. 17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
Psalm 23:1-2A – The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.
Micah 2:12-13 – I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob; I will gather the remnant of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men. He who opens the breach goes up before them; they break through and pass the gate, going out by it.Their king passes on before them, the LORD at their head.
Ezekiel 34:13-15 – And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD.
“I will be your shepherd…”
Jesus is the fulfillment of these shepherd texts. He is God in the flesh, coming to gather his people and shepherd them for all eternity.
OUR GOOD SHEPHERD
What makes Jesus the good shepherd, or what marks him as the good shepherd?
THE GOOD SHEPHERD KNOWS HIS SHEEP (v14)
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…”
The Shepherd knows His sheep. He knows their condition: He knows which sheep are sluggish, or sick. He knows which sheep is weak. He knows the sheep who are old, and the ones who are young. He knows everything about them…
The better a Shepherd knows his flock, the better he can care for it!
JESUS CHRIST KNOWS YOU!!
Jesus, as the GOOD SHEPhERD, knows His sheep thoroughly! There is nothing about you that He does not know!
Psalm 139:1-4 – 1 Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. 2 You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. 3-4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know my every step I will take before my journey even begins.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD PROTECTS HIS SHEEP! (V11-13)
THIS IS WHAT MAKES HIM THE GOOD SHEPHERD ABOVE ALL ELSE: HE WILLINGLY DIES FOR HIS SHEEP, TO PROTECT THEM.
He knew that our life required his death and our death required his life. That’s a good shepherd!
Deuteronomy 20:4 For the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, TO SAVE YOU.
Psalm 34:17-18 – The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalm 138:7 – Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me; you will stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand will save me.
Nahum 1:7 – The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.
Hebrews 13:6 – …so we boldly say: ‘the Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
THE GOOD SHEPHERD PROVIDES FOR HIS SHEEP!
Psalm 23:1, 6 – The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want... Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
He provides goodness, continually…! (Psalm 52:1) He provides the blessing of forgiveness and mercy to us! His abundant provision, supply and blessings shall be the possession of His sheep all the days of their lives!
Luke 11:9-13 – “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Matthew 6:25-34 … Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?… If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you…
Luke 12:24 – Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
Genesis 9:3 – Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Psalm 84:11 – For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Philippians 4:19 – …my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
(another translation) I am convinced that my God will fully satisfy every need you have, for I have seen the abundant riches of glory revealed to me through Jesus Christ!
Special note: God promises over and over again to provide for & protect us. Cling to your faith. Rest in His peace. Blessings are on the way.
The Lord knows what you need more than you do. Goodness and mercy follows you all the days of your life: it’s a promise that’s evidenced in His great provision made when He sacrificed himself for us. He provides for us now and forevermore...
He desires His sheep to lay down and rest in green pastures. It’s good to remind ourselves of that. Do you allow yourself to rest at his feet? Do you know Him as the good shepherd, who knows you through and through, and yet still loves, protects, and provides for you?
OTHER SCRIPTURES ABOUT OUR SHEPHERD
Psalm 78:72 – So He shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
Psalm 80:1 – Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!
Isaiah 40:11 – He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.
Matthew 2:6 – …you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”
Matthew 9:36 – when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Matthew 25:32 – All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
Hebrews 13:20-21 – Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
He’s our good, great shepherd!
He knows you. He’s provided for you. He protects you. His voice is worthy of listening to, and following...
Special acknowledgement: Thanks to Evelyn Asuncion for helping prepare and deliver this message at our online service.