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Covenant Community Church

"I AM" The Good Shepherd

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Sunday, July 17, 2005
Book of Romans: Jesus the "I AM"

"I AM" The Good Shepherd

Introduction: For last three Sundays, we have been following a logical series of steps in a person's relationship with Jesus. The first step is seeing Him as the Light; second, entering by Him as the Door; third, feeding on Him as the Living Bread; and now, developing a relationship of intimate knowledge and everything else that pertains to His identity as our Shepherd.

"All we like sheep have gone astray," said Isaiah (53:6). He was talking about the human race, including you and me. That being the case, we need a shepherd. However, not just any shepherd: we need the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:25 ESV  For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Most people today (unlike Jesus. day) seldom see a flock of sheep with a shepherd. We have little idea of what shepherds do for sheep. Jesus, however, mentions four basic elements in the shepherd-sheep relationship that we can immediately apply to our relationship to Jesus.

I.   The Shepherd's Intimate Knowledge of the Sheep

John 10:14-15 NIV "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.

A.  The first basic element in the shepherd-sheep relationship is intimate knowledge.

1.   Thayer Definition for "know" ginōsko Part of Speech: verb ̄

a)   to learn to know, come to know

b)   to have knowledge of

c)   Jewish phrase for intimacy between a man and a woman

d)   to become acquainted with, to know

2.   Jesus contrasts the Good Shepherd with the "stranger," (vs. 5) and the "thieves and robbers," (vs. 1, 8)

B.  Intimacy is more than knowledge.

1.   Real intimacy, in any personal relationship, is always mutual.

2.   Intimate knowledge is not the same thing as detailed knowledge.

C.  And we are to "know "the Shepherd.
John 10:14 NIV "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.

1.   Pray to know Him better.
Ephesians 1:17 NIV I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better

2.   Use His understanding.
1 John 5:20 NIV We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

D.  He is not far

1.   Call on Him for He is near.
Psalms 75:1 NIV We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.
Psalms 145:18 NIV The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

2.   Seek Him, He is not far.
Acts 17:26-27 NIV From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though He is not far from each one of us.

3.   Seek Him while He may be found. Isaiah 55:6 NIV Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

4.   Find Him before your heart is hardened.
Matthew 13:15-16 NIV
For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.

II.  The Shepherd's Personal Leadership of the Sheep
John 10:3b-4 NIV
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

A.  The shepherd does not send the sheep on ahead, while he remains behind.

1.   He goes before them, and his sheep follow him.

2.   He leads them on, a few steps at a time, inspecting the path to be sure it is safe

B.  Sheep decide who they will follow.

1.   God's sheep do not follow strangers. John 10:5 NIV But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."

2.   Question: Do you recognize the voice of the Shepherd?
John 10:27 ESV
 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

C.  The shepherd will go everywhere the sheep go.

1.    He will be with you in the dark times.
Psalms 23:4 NIV Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

2.   He will be with you till the end.
Matthew 28:20 NIV And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

III. The Shepherd's Provision of Abundant Life for the Sheep

John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

A.  David tells us in Psalm 23.
Psalms 23:1-2 NIV
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters,
Psalms 23:5-6 NIV
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

B.  God tells us.
Ezekiel 34:15-16 NIV
I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

C.  The Shepherd is concern for us.

1.   A shepherd's concern his concern is for his sheep to be healthy and prosperous.
Again, there may be temporary periods when the sheep have to endure privation for a season; but in the end, the shepherd's purpose is for the abundant life and welfare of the sheep.

2.   The same thing is true of God's purpose for us.
Although we may sometimes have to endure temporary hardship and privation, the Bible makes it clear that God's long-range purpose for His people is abundance
and prosperity.

Psalms 36:7-9 NIV How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

Psalms 103:2-5 NIV Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

IV. The Shepherd Rescues and Protects from the Enemy
John 10:15 NIV just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.

A.  People have two enemies.

1.   The devil, Satan
John 8:44 NIV
He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
1 Peter 5:8 NIV
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

2.   Death is man's enemy.
Romans 5:12 NLT
When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

B.  Jesus came to destroy these enemies.

1.   He came to destroy the work of the devil.
1 John 3:8 NIV He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.

2.   He came to destroy death.
1 Corinthians 15:24-26 NIV Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
2 Timothy 1:9b-10
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

C.  How does Jesus do this?

1.   He lays down His life for us.
John 10:15b NIV I lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:17-18 NIV
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

2.   He died so we could live.
Hebrews 2:9 NKJV But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

3.   He rescued us from the dominion of darkness.
Colossians 1:13 NIV For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves

D.  Jesus protects us because He loves us.

John 15:12-14 ESV "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.


We should know Him in the four ways that He deals with us as the Shepherd:

Know Him by returning His intimacy.

Know Him by following His leadership.

Know Him by trusting in His provision.

Know Him by trusting in His protection.