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WHAT THE GOOD SHEPHERD DOES FOR HIS SHEEP
Intro: This chapter is one of the clearest and greatest statements in the Word of God concerning the love of God for lost sinners. During His ministry here on earth, Jesus had more trouble from the religious establishment than He did from the lost. Here, they are upset because He had fellowship with lost men and even ate meals with them. They would have never done that for fear that they would have been contaminated by contact with lost men. Jesus, however, loved them and wanted to reach them. He knew that, in order to reach them, He had to love them! I don’t know about you, but I am glad that Jesus Christ came to this world to demonstrate the love of God for lost sinners, Rom. 5:8.
In order to teach this truth to these religious, but hard hearted men, Jesus told them a series of three parables. In this chapter, that can be called God’s Lost and Found, Jesus reminds them that every life is valuable to the Lord. In this first parable, the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus shows the pharisees how God feels about the lost. In doing so, He also shows us what The Good Shepherd Does For His Sheep. That is the thought I would like to magnify this evening.
I. V. 4 THE GOOD SHEPHERD SEEKS HIS SHEEP
A. A Compassionate Search - Just one sheep was missing, yet the Shepherd still went - Luke 19:10. Ill. John 10:3; 10b)
B. A Costly Search - For the shepherd, the search was dangerous and death was a possibility. For the Good Shepherd, the death was an absolute certainty - John 10:11; John 15:13; Rev. 13:8; 1 Pet. 1:18-20.
C. A Consistent Search - The shepherd did not stop until his mission had been completed and the sheep had been found! Jesus did not stop on His quest until He was able to cry, “It is finished”, John 19:30! (Ill. Mark 10:45)
II. V. 5a THE GOOD SHEPHERD SAVES HIS SHEEP
(Ill. The text does not say, “if he finds it”, it says, “when he hath found it!” The saving of the sheep is an absolute certainty! Everyone the Father has chosen will be saved, Rom. 8:29-39; John 6:37-40; Eph. 1:3-6.)
A. Here We See The Sheep Rescued - The sheep has been found and is rescued from the danger in which it had been! (Ill. The word “saved” means “to rescue from all harm and danger”. That is what the Good Shepherd does for all His sheep! His delivers them from the danger and the damage of their sins! All of God’s sheep are delivered from the Penalty, John 3:18, 36; the Power, Rom. 6:11-14 and ultimately from the very the Presence of their sins, Rev. 21:27.)
B. Here We See The Shepherd Rewarded - His labor had not been wasted, but He returned to the fold with the very thing He went after! (Ill. Jesus will not be disappointed by the harvest He reaps from this world! When we arrive home in glory, we will learn that the Good Shepherd perfectly fulfilled His mission, and all those He saved by His blood will be home in Heaven! - John 17:24; John 6:37-40 - Notice the usage of the words “all” and “every one”.)
III. V. 5b-6 THE GOOD SHEPHERD SECURES HIS SHEEP
A. He Secures Them By His Strength - The sheep is not responsible for getting itself home. After it is saved, it finds itself resting upon the strong shoulders of the shepherd! (Ill. Thank God, the Lord’s sheep are not responsible for getting themselves home either, but they are “kept by the power of God”, 1 Pet. 1:5, and they rest upon His precious promises for their salvation, John 10:28; John 6:37-40; John 6:47; Heb. 9:12. The Lord’s sheep are saved by grace and it is grace that sees them home, Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 11:6. None of the Lord’s sheep need ever fear being left behind!)
B. He Secures Them By His Stamina - The shepherd was able to lift the sheep and bear it upon his shoulders all the way back to the fold. He had sufficient stamina to finish what he had started. (Ill. The Lord did not start this mission to fail. He went after the sheep for the express purpose of bringing them home! Notice His confidence - Luke 19:10, “to seek and to save”; John 6:37, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”; Heb. 13:5, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”; John 3:16; John 5:24; John 6:47. Don’t worry about being lost again, just be sure you get in! Our strength will wain along the way and we will fail many times, but His strength never wavers! Our arrival in Heaven does not depend upon you and me, but upon Him!)
Conc: Are you His sheep this evening? Isn’t it good to have His precious promises in salvation? If you are His, then rest assured that He will see you safely home. If, however, you are not saved by grace, let me invite you to come for Jesus. If you are lost and you feel a need to be saved, that is the Shepherd looking for you. If you will come to Him, He will carry you away from the danger and take you safely back to the Father’s house in glory.