- Jesus protects His sheep and lays down His life for the sheep.
- Jesus provides direction to His sheep.
- We should follow the good shepherd!
Good morning, boys and girls! I am teacher Yun. I am so happy to be here to talk to you and worship the Lord together! The last few Sundays, Pastor Sidney gave wonderful messages on three of Jesus’s I AM statements: I AM the bread of life, I AM the light of the world, and I AM the gate for the sheep. Who are the sheep? We are His sheep.
Today we are going to learn about another one of Jesus’s I AM statements. I AM the Good Shepherd. See what I have here. A cute little sheep. His name is Shaun the sheep.
You may know that sheep are not very smart. They need shepherds to take care of them. In the bible, there are many places that mention the “shepherd.” For example, the angels appeared to shepherds and told them the joyful news that Jesus our savior was born! Another example is that David was a shepherd before he came out to fight with Goliath. Jesus said he is a shepherd, but he is not just a regular shepherd. He is a good shepherd. Why does Jesus call himself a good shepherd?
The bible verses from John 10:11-15 will tell us. Let us read the verses together.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
This verse shows us that this is not a perfect world – there are wolves coming to eat the sheep. The hired hand does not care for the sheep because he does not own them. He leaves when the sheep are in need and allows the wolf to take them.
Jesus said “I am a good shepherd.” He owns us and he knows us. He protects us from wolves, spiritual wolves who try to snatch us. He even lays down his life for us.
The Old Testament part of the Bible says that “all we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). We begin our life as sinners, turning away from Jesus and we do things our own way, just like sheep who are far away from their shepherd. Still, Jesus loves us so much that he sacrificed himself for us sinners, the straying sheep.
When Jesus was on the cross, God poured out His wrath and anger against sin. It fell upon Jesus. In reality, it should lie hard on us, the sinners, the wandering sheep. But instead, Jesus gave His life for us. Every one of us believers can say that “He bore my punishment and he died for our sins.”
Jesus is a good shepherd, he lays down his life for the sheep. He also provides direction to His sheep. The shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. The shepherd goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. Jesus does the same thing for us. Just like David wrote in his Psalm 23:1-3 “ The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me besides quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” Yes, Jesus provides us the direction to green pastures and quiet waters. He guides us towards the right paths. Just like the first verse says – “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”
Jesus is our good shepherd. What should we do as sheep? Although sheep are not very smart, they know their shepherd and listen to their voice. They will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. We, as sheep, should know Jesus and only listen to Jesus’s voice. We must run away from strangers who try to steal us from our shepherd.
What is Jesus’ promise to us if we follow him? Just as Jesus said in John 10: 27-28 says —“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
So good sheep should always obey and listen to Jesus and never go astray. We need to come to the Good Shepherd for eternal life, for protection, and for direction.