Prayer and Praise
Jesus said, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40, so we start our journey of giving God time to work in us. Find Psalm 23 in your Bible and follow The Lord is my Shepherd… at this link…
A). The Good Shepherd… v. 11 Complete Jewish Bible…
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (CJB)
11. “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. (Message Bible).
B). Identifying false shepherds … v. 12-13 Complete Jewish Bible
12 The hired hand, since he isn’t a shepherd and the sheep aren’t his own, sees the wolf coming, abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf drags them off and scatters them.
13 The hired worker behaves like this because that’s all he is, a hired worker; so it doesn’t matter to him what happens to the sheep.
“The Message Bible”
12-13. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him.
Note; (a). The shepherd who sacrifices himself is the good one. Compare and contrast the good shepherd with the so-called ‘shepherds’ running the churches who live off the flock. Reason:- they are only in it for job security and perks of the job. They don’t fight for the eternal life of the flock. Their true spiritual welfare is not their concern.
C). The qualities of the real shepherd… v.14-18. Complete Jewish Bible.
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 on behalf of the sheep.
16 Also I have other sheep which are not from this pen; I need to bring them, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
17 “This is why the Father loves me: because I lay down my life — in order to take it up again!
18 No one takes it away from me; on the contrary, I lay it down of my own free will. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again. This is what my Father commanded me to do.”
“The Message Bible.” v. 14-18.
14-15 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary.
16. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen.
I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd.
Note b). Jesus is creating an extended family – ie to include Gentiles. Once they are included, it will be one flock that is God’s family under the Good Shepherd – Jesus. The common denominator will be they will all recognize His voice as being the Good Shepherd.
17. This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again.
He sacrifices Himself voluntarily for the sheep.
18. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.”
Jesus will die voluntarily, but also the sacrifice is accepted by the Father who raised Him up again because it is a perfect sacrifice. The validity of it all was accepted by the Father.
a). Jesus is our Shepherd. Watch out for others calling themselves shepherds. Compare and contrast the difference.
b). The Jewish Messiah is bringing Gentiles into His family.
- Today’s Verse…
Who is Jesus? Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd”, v.14.
- Today’s Challenge
a). Jesus tells us how we can know false shepherds…
This is not the only place where Jesus warns of identifying false shepherds.
b). A great many clergy call themselves ‘shepherds’… (The ‘call sign’ of the Pope’s aircraft is even called “Shepherd 1”! But many other religious leaders also call themselves shepherds also.) So it’s fair enough to compare and contrast Jesus’ warning with those claiming to be shepherds.
Prayer and Worship
“… He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23.
Jesus taught His disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’; Watch Albert Malotte’s ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ here …
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name,
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever;- Amen.
a). The world. (ie ‘For those in authority.’)
b). The ‘suffering church.’ https://barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates
c). Your own situation. (Suggest ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’.)