The Good Shepherd — Part 3

Sermon delivered on July 24th, 2016

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: John 10:11-18; 27-30



Jesus Christ claims to be the "Good Shepherd." The word "Good Shepherd" here means "True Shepherd" as oppose to the hirelings who are false shepherds. 


The word "Good" also means "excellent," "supreme." He is the good and excellent Shepherd. He is not just "a", that is, another shepherd. Jesus is the Shepherd of the sheep. He is the Shepherd of shepherds. 

1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4: And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.


Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21: Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

There were many good shepherds who had gone before Him. All they were, were under shepherds, but Jesus Christ is the Chief and Great Shepherd. He is infinitely elevated above all shepherds who had gone before Him. 


This morning consider with me the character of the Great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. What makes the Good Shepherd good? 


1. A Good Shepherd KNOWS His Sheep

Like a good shepherd who knows his sheep, Christ intimately knows His people.

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 


The Good Shepherd knows you. The world may not know you; the so called important people in this world may not know you; the rich and famous people in this world may not know you but who cares as long as I know that the Good Shepherd knows me.


The Good Shepherd knows your name

The One who alone is able to tell the number of the stars and calls them all by their names knows your name.

Psalm 147:4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.


He knows His sheep by their names,  not as men and women only, but as Peter and James and John and Martha and Mary. 


The Good Shepherd knows where you live, your circumstances, your trials, your temptations, your pain, your sorrow, your weaknesses, your past sins, your present sins. There is nothing about you that He does not know. This is an amazing thing that Jesus knows us individually considering the multitude numbers of the redeemed. But another amazing thing is that though He knows us through and through, yet He continues to shepherd you and me. He bears patiently with our many weaknesses and infirmities, and does not cast us off because we are wayward, sick, or lame. 


2. A Good Shepherd CARES for His Sheep

Like a good shepherd who cares for his sheep, Jesus tenderly and graciously cares for His people. For that really is the main duty of a shepherd, to care for the sheep of his flock. 


He cares for us by providing for us

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.


Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.


This is one of the great concerns of Jesus Christ before He ascended back to His Father.

John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16: He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17: He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.


He cares for us by protecting us

As a good shepherd He protects us from the enemies and danger. There are many dangers and temptations in this life but for these and every spiritual danger, the Good Shepherd promises to protect us.

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15: As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 


By the way, Jesus did not take responsibility for us as His sheep just for a short time. Jesus is our full-time, all-time Shepherd. He is our Shepherd from all eternity.


3. A Good Shepherd LEADS His Sheep

Like a good shepherd who leads his sheep, Jesus patiently leads His people.

Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.


David was a great leader and a great king. He was a brave and courageous man. Even when he was a young teenager, he killed a lion, a bear and Goliath.

1 Samuel 17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.

David may be a brave leader and a valiant warrior, yet he too needed a leader and a shepherd.


When he said, "The LORD is my Shepherd", he is saying that he is a sheep who needs a shepherd. Sheep have no sense of direction. It is not up to the sheep to find water. The key or the clue to where water can be obtained lies with the shepherd. It is the shepherd who knows where the best drinking places are.


Oh, how we all need to be led and be guided. And thank God He has promised to lead us and guide us.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.


The shepherd must lead his sheep because they cannot be driven

John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2: But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3: To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4: And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.


John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:


Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Like a good shepherd leads and guides his sheep, making sure that they follow him, our LORD leads us and guides us. Not only does He lead us through life, but He goes before us through death (Psalm 23:4). Not one single sheep will be lost, they shall all be safely carried  by the Gentle Shepherd.


How does our Good Shepherd lead us?

1) Through His Words

Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

The word of God is like a lamp to a man in a dark night. The world is a dark place without the Word of God. If you make the word of God your guide, and mark its teachings, you are in the right way. You will be able to see clearly and know the road in which you ought to go, and avoid all those paths which would lead to danger or lead you astray. 


2) By His Spirit

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

The Holy Spirit is a trustworthy Guide, because He is the Spirit of truth. He will not lie to us nor mislead us. Our lives is full of decisions. There are decisions that are trivial but here are decisions that are very crucial. The Holy Spirit helps believers discern what is true and what is not, what is wise and what is foolish; what is good for us and what is bad for us. The Holy Spirit is a trustworthy Guide, follow Him!


This is how the Good Shepherd leads us - through His Word and by His Holy Spirit.


Like a good shepherd, our LORD knows His sheep, cares for His sheep and leads His sheep. But in order to be all these to His sheep, and be a good shepherd to His sheep, there is one thing He must do - He has to live among them! He has to be close to them. Jesus not only came from heaven to earth to be near His sheep, He actually became like them. The Shepherd became a lamb, took on our nature, and lived our entire life (except without sin). This is why He is the good Shepherd, perfectly qualified to know us and to care for us. He is like us in our flesh. There is no shepherd like our Lord Jesus Christ.


John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.


Jesus knows His sheep so well because He came into the world and became like them. Shepherding us came at great cost to Him. 

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.


A Solemn Warning

Along with these great declaration is a warning. There is a danger. Our LORD warns us against false shepherds. Beware of hirelings who do not care for the sheep. There are thieves and robbers who climb up another way so that they can steal and kill. They do not come through the door, said Jesus. They may appear to be so very good. But they are not interested in the sheep. They destroy the sheep. And how would you and I recognize false shepherds?


The American Banking Association in their training program to help tellers recognize counterfeit money, is never to look at a counterfeit bill. No, what they do is, hour after hour, day after day, is handle real authentic currency until they are so familiar with the true that they can not possibly be fooled with the false. This is the way we should be with the Word of God. This is the way we should be with our Saviour.


1. Let us then know Him better

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15: As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

I said that it is amazing that the Good Shepherd knows us. But another amazing thing is that the Good Shepherd wants us to know Him! He wants us to enter into that blessedness of knowing Him!


2. Let us then love Him more

The Scripture says,

John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 

What a beautiful affirmation of the Father's love and acceptance for His Son and His sacrifice!

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.


May it also be said of us, "Therefore do My people love Me because I lay down My life." Oh, how we ought to love our Good Shepherd! May we all grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen!


Now let me speak to those who are still outside the door of the sheep. Remember how the Lord, in this same chapter, said, "I am the door of the sheep."

John 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 7: Then said Jesus unto them again, Verly, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8: All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Are you still outside looking in? Are you still outside wondering about the Door? Do not be content of being outside and walk back and forth wondering about the Door. May God give you grace to enter in through the Door. If you enter in, you shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture. May you experience the wonderful things behind that Door - safety, security, sufficiency, and satisfaction, now and forever.