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Brief Audio Reflection "The Way Home" on John 14:1-14; Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A.
Cowboys “drive” cattle. But shepherds “lead” sheep. It’s hardly a subtle distinction. The Good Shepherd does not stampede us towards salvation. He calls his flock. We know his voice. We follow him knowing that his way is the right way. It is God’s way and it leads to redemption, resurrection and eternal life.
The Good Shepherd has earned our trust. He went to the cross for us. And in the glory of Easter, in the rebirth of spring, he’s back among us. The gentle Jesus is risen triumphant over sin and death. Look around you through the eyes of faith. He is in our midst… comforting, encouraging, protecting… leading us home.
And what is our answer to Christ’s love call? “Sorry I’m busy.” “I gave at the office.” “I’d like to help, but not right now.” There’s an encyclopedia of excuses. I’ve heard them all. And I’ve used a lot of them. Chances are you have too. But the Good Shepherd does not give up on us. He is relentless. Listen for him. Follow him. That may not mean a mission to the third-world. It may mean just more quiet time with Jesus… or reaching out to a neighbor who’s struggling… overlooking a slight… forgiving a hurt. But what better way to spend the Easter season than listening for the voice of the risen Savior? What better way than answering the Good Shepherd’s call?
This episode of Pneumatikos will explore the ministry of the Good Shepherd in the lives of believing ones. It is a ministry that defines a strategic role of Theos toward believers. This is a dangerous world and the Good Shepherd provides a needed security buffer for us. The hirelings are the false shepherds who care nothing for the sheep(us), and who will run off when we are threatened with abuse and assault. Western church history is filled stories of false shepherds who have not spared the flock of Theos.
John 10:7-11 (KJV)
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Revelation 5:6-8 (KJV)
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
1“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. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.a They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
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Scripture Text : John 10:1-21
Key Verses : John 10:1-4
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the porter openeth: and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
This episode of Pneumatikos will explore the poignant message of the theology of voice in the biblical documents. The voice motif is intrinsic to both the Old and the New Testament. The spiritual wellness of the believing ones is vitally conjoined with the ability to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd.
So many people, even non-Christians, find themselves quoting Psalm 23 at times of depression and sorrow - but do they really have scriptural warrant to do so - or are they simply speaking empty words void of relevancy to them? Jesus knows His sheep, His followers, and they know His voice - Today's message addresses the question - Is Jesus really YOUR Good Shepherd?
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