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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Fourth Sunday Of Easter
Series C

Option #1: "The Good Shepherd and His Sheep"
John 10:27-30
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

  I. They listen to His voice and follow Him--John 6:40 & 48, 11:25-26; Rom 6:23; Jude 21

 II. He knows them intimately--John 10:3b; 1 Cor 8:3; 2 Tim 2:19

III. He gives them eternal life--Rom 5:21; 1 Tim 1:16; 1 Pet 1:3-4

Key words:

    akolutheoo--to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple

    arpazoo--to seize, carry off by force, to snatch away

    zooay--life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever. Jesus offers life that is truly life. Eternal life begins here in a relationship with the Good Shepherd. The Shepherd’s Psalm says: "He leads me beside quiet waters."

Philip Keller explains in his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23: "People today remind me of a bunch of sheep I watched one day who were being led down to a magnificent mountain stream. The snow-fed waters were flowing pure and clear and crystal clean between lovely banks of trees. But on the way several stubborn ewes and lambs stopped instead to drink from small dirty, muddy pools beside the trail. The water was filthy and polluted not only with the churned up mud from passing sheep, but also with the manure and urine of previous flocks that had passed that way. Still these stubborn sheep were quite certain that this was the best drink around. The water was filthy and unfit for them. Much worse, it was contaminated with nematodes and liver fluke eggs that would eventually riddle them with internal parasites and destructive diseases."
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Children's Message
 
When you’re driving in the countryside it’s not unusual to see some little farm where people keep sheep. When the sheep grow enough wool, the wool is cut off and sold. The sheep have enough time to grow another coat before winter comes.
 
In Bible times there were no fences when sheep were going from one pasture to another. There was one very important thing that kept the sheep safe and that was the Shepherd’s voice. Jesus said: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me and I give them eternal life. No one can snatch them out of my hand.
 
The older you get, the more voices you will hear who will call to you to follow them. Many of them are not from God and want to snatch you away from God. They can’t force you to follow them, but you can choose to do so, if that’s what you want. I’m talking about things like drugs or violence or bad friends that can get you into trouble. I’m talking about things that could harm your health or even ruin your life.
 
When you hear these voices calling to you, listen to the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd calling to you. When you follow Him, you will be safe and you will stay out of trouble. And that’s not just for the life you have here. Following the voice of Jesus gives you eternal life.
 
When you can’t see the fences that make up right or wrong, listen to the voice of Jesus guiding you--guiding you in this life, and guiding you to eternal life. The Holy Spirit will show you where the lines are; He will show you where you can be safe. He will always remind you to listen to the voice of Jesus the Good Shepherd.

Listen to Him now, listen to Him while you’re growing older, listen to His voice and He will lead you home.

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Option #2: "Our Sheep-Steeler God"
John 10:22-30
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

 
The Point: God protects us from the "wintry" elements and blasts of this world
 
The Problem: we try to brave the storms of life on our own, not believing in, listening to and/or relying upon God
 
The Promise: though He has allowed himself to be snatched and mauled by the wolves in order to lay down His own life for us, His sheep, He will not allow us to be lost from the grasp of his crucifixion-and-resurrection power and love.
 
 
Notes:
 
1. egkainia {eng-kah'-ee-nee-ah}, v22: dedication, consecration; in particular, the annual feast celebrated eight days beginning in the 25th of Chislev (middle of our December), instituted by Judas Maccabaeus (164 BC) in memory of the cleansing of the temple from the pollution of Antiochus Epiphanes. (Blue Letter Bible) This feast, also called the Feast of Lights and known as Hanukkah, falls on December 25th. (Chuck Smith)
 
2. stoa {sto-ah'}, v23: a portico; a covered colonnade where people can stand or walk protected from the weather and the heat of the sun; the portico built by Solomon in the eastern part of the temple which in the temple's destruction by the Babylonians was left uninjured, and remained down to the time of King Agrippa, to whom the care of the temple was entrusted by the emperor Claudius, and who on account of its antiquity dare not demolish it and build anew. (BLB)
 
3. apollumi {ap-ol'-loo-mee}, v28 :to destroy; to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin; render useless; to kill; to declare that one must be put to death; metaphorically, to devote or give over to eternal misery in hell; to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed; to destroy; to lose. (BLB)
 
4. harpazo {har-pad'-zo}, v28: to seize, carry off by force; to seize on, claim for one's self eagerly; to snatch out or away. (BLB)
 
5. Jesus and the Father are one. But as the sheep in His sheepfold, we also share in the unity. We have passed from being bothered to being brother-ed (and sister-ed) by Jesus' liberating, messianic credentials. Nothing can separate us from that liberating presence. And we follow the Shepherd not as creatures in suspense but as divinely blessed sheep with dreams and futures still unfolding. We, who are dedicated to this Messiah's festival, have an Easter life of following the good Shepherd. (Mike Hoy)
 
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