Series: I AM
Sermon: The Good Shepherd
Scriptures: John 10:11-18
ICE BREAKER: Describe the first apartment, house, condo, etc. you ever rented!
In our 4th Iam7 statement, Jesus let's us know that He is the GOOD SHEPHERD.
He contrasts the Good Shepherd with the hired hands. Hired hands are not necessarily bad or evil, they just don't have enough skin in the game. When the wolves or bears come to get the flock, the hired hands run for their lives! The True Shepherd stands and fights because the sheep are precious to Him. In fact, the verse states, "I am the Good Shepherd who lays His life down for His sheep."
This week we talked about the difference between RENTING and OWNING. The Hired Hands were just renting the sheep to earn a living wage. That is why they could so easily give up on the flock when trouble came.
How have you seen the difference in renting and ownership in your own life?
Have you ever struggled to trust someone with something that is meaningful to you - knowing they don't have the same care and ownership that you do?
Jesus is not a hired hand, He is the Good Shepherd. He proved that He has the ultimate level of ownership at Easter. No one can ever question whether or not Jesus has skin in the game!
This Friday is "Good Friday." It is the 4th Iam7 that helps us understand how the day Jesus was brutally murdered could be called "good."
In the metaphor of the Shepherd, Jesus reveals an incredible truth:
"17 This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own." (John 10)
Often we think of Easter as the day that Jesus had His life TAKEN from Him. However, that is simply not the full story. Jesus, God in human flesh, was too powerful for anyone to take from Him what He was not willing to give.
Put simply, we can call it Good Friday because the Good Shepherd's life was not TAKEN from Him - His life was GIVEN from Him, to us!
By definition, anything in this world that we put our hope in is RENTED. One day the world will all pass away. The money that we put our hope in will be worthless, the relationships we make our false gods will dissolve, the influence we worship will disappear.
Your life is TOO VALUABLE to put in the care of Hired Hands.
WHAT/WHO ARE THE HIRED HANDS YOU LOOK TO IN LIFE?
In other words, where are you looking for hope on a day-to-day basis? Who do you look for to protect you, calm you, bring you peace, satisfy you?
If it's not Jesus, it's a hired hand!
Next week is Easter! Spend time with your Life Team, and throughout the week by yourself, praying that God would bring many new people to Easter services and that they would come to know Jesus!