Friday, October 24, 2008

One Flock, One Shepherd

October 24: John 9-10

7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
John 10:7-11

One Flock, One Shepherd

I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

John 10 is one of my favorite Bible passages because it so beautifully illustrates the relationship of Christ to His children. As Christians, we are the sheep and Christ is our Shepherd. There are two very significant points that Jesus makes in this passage that relate directly to all Christians. The first is found in verses 17 and 18 of chapter 10.

I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.

Do you remember all of the times the Jews tried to kill Jesus, but He just seemed to disappear into the crowd? Jesus lay down His own life for His sheep; when on the cross, we are told that He gave up His life and died. Jesus was not a victim! He came to this life for one reason, and when here He fulfilled that purpose. No one took His life from Him; rather He gave it up for His sheep.

Secondly, look at John 10:16.

And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Though it may have been a surprise to the disciples, after the resurrection of Christ, that they were sent to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews, it was not an after thought to Christ. From the beginning, He purposed that salvation would be offered to all men. Not only was salvation to be offered to all men, but those who responded in faith would all be members of one church with one Shepherd.

In our days of denominationalism, God's church is scattered among many denominations. That does not negate the fact that in the eyes of Christ, they are all members of one church--His church! That is an important distinction for us to make; remember that our allegiance is to Christ and to His Holy Word, the Bible. To the degree that our own particular church agrees with the Bible, we must also agree with our church. But as true children of God, it is always our responsibility to read and study God's Word so that we would know if we are being taught errors from our pastors or teachers.

That thought should never be offensive to pastors or teachers. Fortunate is the pastor who has a flock that is well versed in the Scriptures.

Pray today that you would be faithful in your own personal Bible study and prayer time with the Lord, because you are part of One Flock, and have One Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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