How is Jesus like the door of the sheepfold?

One question in this week’s lesson (Preaching and Ministry, Jesus the Good Shepherd, Lesson 7, p. 83) in the Gospel Advocate Foundations book asked, “How is Jesus like the door of the sheepfold?”

The verses under question say, “Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:7-10 NKJV)

Looking at the verses under question a few answers stand-out:

  1. Jesus is the legal way. He fulfills the prophecy of the Law, psalms and prophets. People who reject Jesus become law-breakers who work against the will of the God and harm the sheep.
  2. Jesus is the passage way. Unless an individual enters through the door named Jesus, there will be no salvation, freedom or spiritual nourishment provided.
  3. Jesus is the rejected way. Abundant life offered, abundant life rejected was the choice of the false teachers (thieves and robbers). Jesus’ desire was the former.

In light of Ezekiel 34, Jesus’ lesson about the sheepfold, the door, the thieves and robbers, and the shepherd of the sheep was meant to grab attentions, interest and decisions. It did and it still does by causing people to see Jesus as the legal way, the passage way and the rejected way.

Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”” (John 10:19-21 NKJV)

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While We Wait For the Chief Shepherd To Return

While we are willing for Him to return, we have some responsibilities to fulfil.

  • First, We Must Keep Alert To The Voice Of The Shepherd. We discover His leading as we study the Bible, meditate, pray and obey what he reveals to us. We must follow Him one step at a time, one day at a time.
  • Second, We Must Stay Close To The Shepherd no matter whether He leads us to the green pastures or to the dark valley. He is with us in both places. We must always have our eyes on the Savior (Heb. 12:1-2)
  • Third, If We Do stray, We Must Call For The Shepherd’s Help He will forgive if we will ask Him.
  • Finally, We Must Be Useful To The Shepherd. Each member has a gift. We must use it. All can do something for God. We must find our talent and use it for the Lord.

 

 

 

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The Shepherding Ministry Of The Lord Jesus

The Bible presents the shepherding ministry of the Lord Jesus from three different perspectives.

  1. As the Good Shepherd, He died for the sheep (John 10:11, 15, 17-18);
  2. As the Great Shepherd, He lives for the sheep to perfect them (Heb. 13:20);
  3. and as the Chief Shepherd, He will return to gather His sheep and take them to Heaven (I Peter 5:1-4). These three titles tell about His ministry to us in the past, present and future. Psalm. 22 describes the Good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep; Psalm. 23 describes the Great Shepherd’s provision to us “all the days of our lives.” Psalm. 24 is a victory Psalm that announce the arrival of the King, the Chief Shepherd, who will defeat His enemies and reward His people.
  • The Good Shepherd ( John 10; Psalm. 22) He willingly gave His life for the sheep.
  • The Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20-21; Psalm. 23) One of Jesus’ present day ministries is one who perfects His people. He is ministering as our great High Priest (Heb. 4:14-16; 8:1-2) He is our Ad­vocate (I John 2:1-2) The phrase “make you perfect” in Heb. 13:21 is a translation of the Greek word Katartidzo, an unfamiliar word today, but one familiar to the Greek speaking people of the early church. To the soldier it meant “to equip an army for battle,” and to the sailors, “to outfit a ship for a voyage.” The Great Shepherd wants us to be complete in Himself. He wants to equip us for battle. He uses the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17) The purpose of this perfecting ministry is so that we can be better service to Him. He want to work in us so He can work through us to ac­complish His will on the earth. Psalm.23:6 impresses on us the fact that the Great Shepherd will take care of us. Jesus has promised to take our burdens and our cares. He is “My Shepherd.” We must stay close to Him and He will stay close to us. We must obey Him. he cares for us.
  • The Chief Shepherd (I Pet. 5:4; Psalm. 24) One day he will return and gather His sheep and take them to Heaven. (John 14:1-3; I Thessalonians. 4:13-18)

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A Sheep In God’s Flock

Why does God compare His people to Sheep?

  • Sheep Are “Clean” Animals. This means that they are acceptable to God. Our acceptancecomes only through the merits of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21Ephesians. 1:6) The nature of the creature determines its appetite, and it is the nature of the sheep to desire the pasture and not the “garbage dump.” 2 Tim. 2:19, “Let everyone that named the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
  • Sheep Know Their Shepherd. John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and are known of Mine.” The sheep know the shepherd”™s voice and obey it, but they will not follow if they hear another. There are many “voices” calling today, and some sound religious. The child of God will not follow when he hears the voice of strangers (John 10:5) God’s voice to us today is the Word of God, taught by the Spirit of God. It is encouraging to know that Christ knows each of His sheep by name.
  • Sheep Desperately Need A Shepherd. Without the loving care of a shepherd, the sheep would be helpless. Unless we follow our Shepherd, we will go astray (I Peter 2:25)
  • Sheep Are Useful Animals The Good Shepherd has every right to expect His sheep to be useful. In return for all He does for us, we should be useful to Him. We should be giving our all to the Lord (Rom. 12:1-2).
  • Sheep Flock Together. It is the nature of sheep to want to be with the flock; and it is the nature of the believer to want to be with one another The New Testament knows nothing of isolated Christian living. We need to be identified with God’s people. We need to be steadfast. We need to be in the Lord’s house (Heb. 10:25). The isolated sheep is always in danger.

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