What is our “sermonizing” blog series?
This will be a weekly series where our anonymous writer(s) will summarize the sermon and add some of their own thoughts and encourage us to think deeper about it and put it into practice! Today we will be discussing the One Shepherd and One Flock!
One Shepherd One Flock
John 10:1-6 and v.11-16
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
At Christmas, people throughout the world celebrate the birth of Jesus. Yet as Christians we are called to honor God in every season. How can we ensure that God is always at the forefront of our attention and Jesus the Shepherd of our faith?
Here are three aims that we can focus on to help us.
Jesus declares he is the Shepherd and his sheep know his voice. If we read the Bible to hear his voice (John 1:1), he will be familiar to us and we can trust we’re following his direction.
Do we recognize Jesus’ voice? Are we listening to him or the voices of our feelings, opinions, popular culture?
All too often we can also listen to the voices of low self-esteem, being self-critical, guilt-ridden voices, the voices that tell us we are not enough and other “voices” that seek to keep us down and discouraged. Thankfully the voice of Jesus is full of grace to encourage us through those moments.
The voice of Jesus is also full of truth and this is all too often the voice we choose to shut out because it feels too aggressive or strong. Jesus’ words in the Bible can pierce our hearts and challenge our actions. Do we push forward to hear and accept his voice, or do we shut him out when challenged?
His voice leads to eternal life. We will hear his voice on the last day and we will not want him to sound like a stranger
The Shepherd is the only one whose hand will truly protect. Jesus is the Shepherd who faithfully protects and serves his sheep. His sacrifice on the cross shows us the depth of his love. The hired hands – or the things that only matter for this world – do not bring us safety, genuine care or eternal life.
Q: Do our actions reflect that we trust the hired hands of the world or the pierced hands of Jesus?
In Psalm 23, God’s sheep don’t do very much. The Shepherd is amazing because he does everything. He leads us, warns us, protects us, cares for us, dwells with us. God expects us to let him be the Shepherd and to stop trying to care for ourselves. We’re not qualified to fix ourselves, only the Shepherd can. We can’t be the sheep and the Shepherd!
For personal reflection:
- Reflect on who and what you listen to instead of Jesus? Read the Bible daily to increase the power of His voice in your life.
- Consider how your actions can better prioritize following the Shepherd.
- Ask another disciple how you can grow in following the One Shepherd.