He’s the Good Shepherd

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

In John 10:11-18 Jesus states that He is the Good Shepherd and He knows His own sheep and they know Him and that He lays down His life for His sheep. In the Gospel of Matthew we see the perspective of how Jesus views the Israelite people of the day. “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36) When we consider this figure of speech that Jesus is the shepherd of His own in the view of other scriptures in that context we come to a better understanding of what Jesus is teaching us.

In the model of Jesus as our Good Shepherd there are three members in that relationship. The Father is the owner of the sheep by right of His creation and by the sacrifices He has made for His sheep. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and tends to His Father’s Sheep, the ones that the Father has given to Him. Mankind who are the sheep, those that recognize the Good Shepherd and those who follow the false shepherds of the world. To the Apostle Peter Jesus said if you love me then tend my sheep. (John 21:15-17) The Apostles were the founding fathers of the Church of Jesus Christ and they are the pastors of His sheep.

In this passage Jesus says “all that the Father gives me.” If the Father is the owner of the sheep, then He is the one who gives the sheep unto the care of His Son Jesus the Good Shepherd. Let us look to the Scriptures to see what they say as to the ownership of the sheep.

Children belong to the Father as He created them before the foundations of the world, as all mankind was known before the foundations of the world. “My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” (Psalm 139:15-16) There comes and time in the life of a young child when he passes from the hands of good into the hands of the enemy. It comes about when they learn good from evil, when they chose to do good or choose to do what is evil. It is when they reach the age of accountability. “I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died” (Romans 7:9) It is then when they are born of the flesh have need to be born of the Spirit. (John 3:5) They were once innocent and a child of God and now they must be born again to become once again a child of God.

There are two camps in this world, the children of God and the children of the Devil. It is the choice that we all have to make, which camp are we to be in. one leads to the heavenly home with the Creator and the other leads to the eternal lake of fire. It would seem to be an easy choice but few commit to the correct and obvious one. Jesus addressed this in the Parable of the wheat and the tares. The Lord has sown the seed of truth into the field of mankind and though the good seeds grows and produces fruit so the seed sown by the Devil grows as well. The workers of the field asked if they should remove the tares of the bad seed but the husbandman says no it will harm the good seed as well. (Matthew 13:24-30) Jesus explained this Parable to His disciples. The field is the world and the good seed are the children of God and the bad seed are the children of the Devil. (Matthew 13:37-43) At the proper time the bad seed will be removed from the field of the world and the children of God will live in righteousness and peace.

We are all born of the flesh and before the fall of man in the Garden of Eden we were also in spiritual harmony with God. God and man were in fellowship with each other but at the temptation of the Devil man rebelled against the Word of God and broke that fellowship through his sin. Because sin had now entered into the world man, woman, and creation fell under the curse as a result. Since that day man had been a slave to his sin and the wages of his sin, which is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Evil cannot defeat the love of God and God in a demonstration of His love for man clothed Himself as a man, His Son Jesus, to pay the wage of man’s sin. Once sin is removed between God and man the relationship is restored.

In the Gospel of John we see how a sinner can be restored to a child of God. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13) We are born of the flesh but God is Spirit and we must submit our spirit to the Spirit of God. We must deny our fleshly desires and surrender our will to God’s will and walk with Jesus through faith in His Word. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

We have all heard about the mark of the beast that all mankind must have to buy and sell. To have this mark is the death nail, as it requires one to pledge allegiance to Satan himself. (Revelation 14:9-10) Which is not much different than now as most have already except it is a public commitment like walking to the altar and surrendering your life to Jesus. Better for the Christian that he will have a spiritual mark than a physical mark. The Apostle Paul explains this in his letter to the Corinthian Church. “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) This seal of His Spirit in the heart of the Christian is a guarantee of the glory to be revealed in the Kingdom of Heaven. His Spirit within the heart of the Christian empowers them to live the godly life and accomplish their God given mission according to His plan and purpose for their life. It is the Spirit of God that empowers the Christian stand firm in Christ.

God’s gift of salvation is free to all who would accept it, but it did not come free, it came with a price. God sacrificed His Son of the cross, He shed His Holy blood, He gave His life to pay the sin debt that we all owe, that wage of death. “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19) All who accept the truth of what Jesus has done for them individually will receive the seal of His Spirit and have eternal life. The Christian will never face death, as Jesus had died for them.

Though salvation for the Christian is a free gift through the grace of God the Christian is not a gift to the Son, Jesus the Good Shepard. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8) The Christian, as the sheep pf His pasture, are placed in His care. The Father has entrusted His Son the care of His children that He will lead them safely home to the Kingdom of the Father. Once there in the Kingdom Jesus will hand the saints over to the Father. “But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.” (1 Corinthians 15:23-24)

This is the plan of God that he sent His Son to come amongst men to do His will. Jesus came and lived a righteous life in the flesh of man. He was the perfect sacrifice for the remission of sin. John the Baptist recognized His mission and declared, “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Jesus is crucified, buried, and rose from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Father. He has sent His Holy Spirt to indwell His followers to empower them to continue the mission of God to restore man’s fellowship. Then on the last day Jesus will raise up His own and present them to the Father. “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.” (John 6:39)

This is the God that we serve, this is the Lord that we follow, this is the measure of love that we strive to have, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13) Are you a child of God? Is Jesus your friend, your Good Shepherd? The destination of your eternal life depends upon your answer. If He is not, then now is the hour of decision, now is the hour of your salvation. “At the acceptable time I listened to you, And on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

We see the power of the God-head working in unity for the salvation of the soul of man. The Father redeemed us with the purchase of His Son’s blood. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit that none other can make claim upon our life. We are placed in the care of His Son, our Good Shepherd and He will not lose one. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, June 25, 2015

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