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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - I Am the Light of the World

James Meehan - I Am the Light of the World

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    James Meehan - I Am the Light of the World
TOPICS: Bible Nerds

Well, welcome to this week of Bible Nerds where we are continuing our series, "Who is Jesus"? We're exploring the seven I Am statements that Jesus made in John's gospel and the goal is to help us better understand who he is and how we can more faithfully follow him. Today we're looking at a passage of scripture found in John chapter 10 where Jesus declares that he is the good shepherd. Starting in verse 11, Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd". We're gonna stop right there because this is what we're talking about. Who is Jesus, according to Him, He is the good shepherd.

Now, how do we know that he's actually good? Well, right before this in verse 10 Jesus told us that his purpose is to give his sheep. That's us, a rich and satisfying life which is a really good and selfless thing to do. Verse 10 of John 10 says "that the thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.Э But Jesus speaking says "that my purpose is to give them to give us a rich and satisfying life". And then right after this statement Jesus defines for us what good shepherds do. Once again, in verse 11, he says "that the good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep".

Even people who have never read the Bible know that that is exactly what Jesus did. He sacrificed his life for us, his sheep. He died on the cross. And even if that was all Jesus said about what it means to be a good shepherd and dying for us was all that he did, that would still be good enough to rightly call him a good shepherd. But that's not all Jesus says and it's certainly not all he does. Continuing in verse 12, Jesus says this "that a hired hand will run. When he sees a wolf coming he will abandon the sheep because they don't belong to him and he isn't their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and he scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he's working only for the money and doesn't really care about the sheep".

Good shepherds are willing to die for their sheep, hired hands, not so much. You see, when the going gets tough the hired hands get going. Like if they've got the choice to save themselves or the sheep, they choose themselves every single time. Why? Because they don't really care about the sheep. They're just in it for the money. But this is the point that Jesus is making is that he's not just in it for the money or the glory. He became a human. He launched his ministry. He died on the cross. He rose from the dead. He sent his spirit and he filled us with new life because and don't miss this, he cares about us. He loves us so much that he was willing to sacrifice the comfort of heaven and walk through the pain of death for you and for me.

So who is Jesus? Well, he continues to say in verse 14 "I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep, and they know me just as my father knows me, and I know the Father so I sacrifice my life for the sheep". You are not just a number in the crowd to Jesus. He knows your name. He knows your story. He knows your past, and he knows your potential. He loves you and he sacrificed himself for you. Continuing in verse 16, Jesus goes on to say "that I have other sheep too that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock with one shepherd". So who are these other sheep that Jesus is referring to? Well, he's talking about Gentiles, people who are not Jewish.

You see, before Jesus, God's people consisted of the nation of Israel, but Jesus came to establish a kingdom without land and borders. It is the kingdom of God. And in the kingdom of God, everyone everywhere is invited regardless of their race, age, gender, or nationality. You see, Jesus is inviting people from every tribe, nation and tongue to join his flock to become a part of his family. Jesus closes out in the last couple of verses in 17 and 18 by saying "That the father loves me because I sacrificed my life so that I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily for I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again for this is what my father has commanded".

First, it is important to note that Jesus's sacrifice. Isn't the only reason the Father loves him, right? It's just the reason he's highlighting here. It's kind of like if you were to say "I love my mom because every year on my birthday she makes me my favorite meal". That's not the only reason you love her, hopefully but it's probably the reason you're emphasizing in whatever conversation you're currently having and that's what Jesus is doing here. He's telling us that his voluntary sacrifice on our behalf and in obedience to the Father is something that makes him even more lovable than he already is.

Second, Jesus makes it clear that his sacrifice for us is voluntary. That means nobody forced him to do it. I mean, he didn't do it because he had to. He did it because he wanted to. This is what makes him such a good shepherd. He volunteered to sacrifice himself on the cross to rescue us from our sin to repair our relationship with him and to restore our purpose of partnering with God because Jesus is the the good shepherd. So as his sheep, what do we do? Well, we listen to what he says and we follow him where he goes. When we do, he's gonna make us into the kind of people who truly love God, who selflessly serve others and who make a noticeable difference in the world around us.
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