One of the unique features of the Gospel of John is the attention he gives to the seven “I AM” statements Jesus uttered. In each of these seven statements, Jesus is recorded as saying the phrase ego eimi – “I AM”. This is the Greek translation of the Hebrew YHWH, meaning “I AM Who I AM” from Exodus 3:14. These are purposeful statements hinting at Jesus’ deity.
In this passage from John 10, Jesus gives us two more “I AM” statements: “I am the Door of the sheep,” and “I am the Good Shepherd.” What on earth does He mean?
Pastor Philip explored three insights into Jesus as our Good Shepherd:
1) The Shepherd’s Provision: In this analogy, Jesus is the Shepherd and we are the sheep. This may seem unflattering, because sheep are notoriously vulnerable animals. But the point for us today is that sheep need a shepherd to thrive, and we need a Shepherd to thrive as well. A Shepherd provides three important things for us: significance, security, and satisfaction. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who offers the good life, now and forever, in Himself. Jesus is offering a life beyond scarcity, worry, stress, and even death. A life abounding with significance, security, and satisfaction. That’s the Shepherd’s Provision.
2) The Shepherd’s Position: Jesus calls Himself “the Good Shepherd;” in the original Greek, it means “I am the Shepherd…the Good One.” He is drawing attention to the difference between a good and bad of shepherd. The religious leaders claimed to be the shepherds of Israel, but Jesus is saying that they have shown themselves to be bad shepherds. In this comparison, a good shepherd has legitimacy, leadership, and loyalty. Jesus is claiming that He is the real, true Good Shepherd whose flock is from every nation, tribe, people, language and tongue. How will the Good Shepherd bring that about?
3) The Shepherd’s Passion: The final proof that Jesus is the Good Shepherd is found in the fact that He lays his life down for the sheep. The death of Jesus is sacrificial, substitutionary, voluntary, authoritative, and lovely. The Father loves the Son for His passion, and it’s the reason the sheep follow the Shepherd. If He laid down his life for us, won’t we follow Him anywhere when He calls us?
We’re all like sheep without a shepherd, and there are bad shepherds all around us who want to steal our lives. Who can we really trust? The Good Shepherd offers the good life: a life of significance, security, and satisfaction. We can trust that Jesus is the Good Shepherd because He is legitimate, He is our leader, and He is loyal to the end. If Jesus loved you enough to die for you, He’ll never do you any harm.