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:
- 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.
- Jesus is the passage way. Unless an individual enters through the door named Jesus, there will be no salvation, freedom or spiritual nourishment provided.
- 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)
In last week’s Adult Gospel Advocate Foundations study, the topic of “The Commission to Preach” was discussed.
It’s a good lesson. It particularly does a fine job at distinguishing between preaching and teaching.
I’ve told people I enjoy teaching more than preaching only to have them look at me as if I have a third eye. To most people there is no distinction. I assure you there is.
Many of the questions at the end of this particular lesson were simplistic. I don’t believe it’s to the fault of the editors – it just comes with the territory of the topic. But one question generated a lot more thought in my mind than it did in the class. “What components must be present in a biblical sermon?”
I think it’s hard to be “technical” about answering such a question. Doesn’t mean I haven’t had people share their thoughts with me on how I should preach, what I should talk about or what I shouldn’t say! What I mean is there are many component examples from the scriptures, but very few examples are constantly repeated.
For example: Continue reading
THE GOSPEL ADVOCATE
The Gospel Advocate is a religious journal published in Nashville, Tennessee by members of the church of Christ and has as its mission exactly what its name suggests—to advocate by means of the printed page the pure gospel of Christ as set forth on the pages of the New Testament. Continue reading
C.E.W. Dorris wrote these provocative words concerning Jesus’ departure from the temple in Mark 13:
“Sad the day for us when Jesus leaves our temple, and his voice is no longer heard pleading in our souls.”
His words evoke memory of Jesus standing at the door of the hearts of Laodicean Christians in Revelation 3. Do we sometimes ignore Jesus as we would an unwelcome guest? Do we mentally and spiritually pretend that we’re not home when our conscience senses his knocking?
Jesus calls us to follow him. That call requires attention in all areas of life, in making decisions and in forgiving as he forgives as well as in preaching sound doctrine.
Have we surrendered all? Is the voice of Jesus still pleading in our souls?