Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Good Shepherd

According to our pastor, this Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday.  Therefore, his sermon came from John chapter 10 concerning Jesus comparing himself to a shepherd and his sheep. Without quoting the entire passage he was using, the portion of Scripture basically talks about how Jesus is the good shepherd and those who truly are his sheep listen to him and follow him.

I think, in short, that was the entire sermon. If we believe in Jesus, we follow him.  If we know he is our shepherd, we listen to him and find comfort in him. Those who are saved know who their savior is.  In a world full of contradicting theology, there is comfort to be found in the fact that Jesus Christ's voice can be heard today by his own sheep. The more we tune our ears to hear his voice by choosing to listen to him, the more we simply listen to his voice.

There was a part in the sermon where the pastor mentioned that true Christians do not need to be persuaded to do what Christians do.  He was saying that as you come closer to the Lord, you simply want to be with the Lord. If you are his sheep, you want to be in his pasture. That means, you want to go to a church where you feel you can commune with God.  And you want to go there often.  That means you want to freely give to others because that's what your heart wants to do.  If you are a sheep of the good shepherd, you choose to love, you choose to obey.  This is not because that's what you think you ought to do but because you are compelled by the Love of Jesus...the good shepherd. 

He also mentioned that we crucify Christ today.  I thought this was interesting because that was something I was actually thinking about recently.  I was noticing that people seem to sacrifice Christ in exchange for what's common.  If Christ starts to become unpopular, people are quick to move toward what is popular.  I see a lot of controversy rising these days over personal opinions and beliefs. People form beliefs and that is what they stand by, and I feel we are straying from the truth.  If we want to hear the voice of the good shepherd, we need to be silent and willing to listen.  Otherwise, we are simply crucifying him for what makes us happy and comfortable. 

If we are his sheep, we hear his voice.  When we are his sheep, our lives change.  We cannot stay the same. We are compelled by his love to do what is right because he makes us want to.  That is what it means to be a sheep of the good shepherd.