I Am the Good Shepherd: Pastor Jesus and the Flock of God, Part 1

Brian Mahon - 6/5/2022


Call to worship: Ezekiel 34:7-16

Text: John 10:1-21


Jesus takes aim at the blind guides of Israel. Fulfilling passages like Ezekiel 34, He declares that He is the Good Shepherd. He is the Christ-Pastor of God's flock. He speaks first to clarify God's true shepherds for God's true sheepfold and, especially, that He is and has always been the Door, i.e., the focal point of all their relations. Any who seek to enter into His ministry by any other way are thieves, imposters, a danger to the flock. In giving a point of discernment, He gives attention to the elevation of His peculiar voice. Good shepherds echo it, and true sheep recognize it, and heed it, chief among ten thousand beside. Ultimately, as He continues, Jesus lays claim to being both the Door and the definitively Good Shepherd. He is the Chief Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. His primary pastoral emphasis is gracious self-sacrifice. He lays down his life for the sheep. He is their Savior from first to last. His cross defines His care, His knowledge, His use of authority. This is why the Father loves Him chiefly. Christ's heart is pure love to God and to His people, even to the point of a triumphant death on a cross. The hearers have an opportunity to prove themselves sheep or goats. Just so, the matter is put to us.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Christ's good shepherds. (10:1-6)
    • They enter the sheep-pen by the Door. (10:1-2)
    • They identifiably profit Christ's sheep. (10:3-6)
  2. Christ, the Good Shepherd. (10:7-18)
    • His primary uniqueness. (10:7-10)
    • His pastoral emphases. (10:11-18)
      • The self-sacrificial protection of His sheep. (10:11-13)
      • The self-sacrificial knowledge of His sheep. (10:14-16)
      • The self-sacrificial use of authority for His sheep. (10:17-18)
  3. Respond better to the Good Shepherd. (10:19-21)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read John 10:1-21. See also Numbers 27:12-18, Psalm 23, Jeremiah 23:1-5, and especially Ezekiel 34.
  2. Coming out of John 9, to whom is Jesus focusing these words? What do they imply about them? Who is the Door by Whom true shepherds of the sheep enter the fold? What might that mean? What's meant by 'another way' into the fold? What's said about all those who come into the service of God's flock that way? What are the basic characteristics of Christ's good shepherds (10:3-4)? What does Jesus depict about God's true flock (10:5)?
  3. What does Jesus claim to be in 10:7? How does this distinguish Him from even good shepherds? How have God's true sheep always responded to false shepherds? Why? What's in them that works for them in discerning good from poor, true from false shepherds? What's the invitation that Christ gives in 10:9? What benefits do any who enter by Christ receive?
  4. What does Jesus further claim to be in 10:11? What pastoral emphasis do we find in Jesus? See 10:11, 15, 18. How does that color His care (10:11-13)? His knowledge (10:14-15)? His ambition (10:16)? His use of authority (10:17-18)? What singular reason does Jesus give for the Father's love for Him?
  5. How did the flock of Israel respond to these words about the very best Pastor (10:19-21)? Why would they respond this way? What part do they have in it? What part, their shepherds? How ought 'the reader' respond to these words? If they respond poorly, what's said about them? If they follow Jesus, what's said about them?
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