[SW196] 07/24/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015
Sheep always are glad when they hear the voice of their shepherd and see him approaching. They run to him, without delay, and obey his voice!
Jesus Christ looks around even today, and sees that His people were distressed and dispirited; that is, thrown down, a deliberate, extended hurling, a long distance.
And He says, even today, “I AM the Good Shepherd!”
Matthew 9:36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.
He felt compassion for them. He was inwardly moved, because they were confused by the message that came from the Jewish leaders and priests.
They went through the religious motions as directed, but they continued to struggle with sin.
They were under Roman rule, and many were impoverished, not only by heavy Roman taxes, but false teachers who stole land, even out from under widows, and in the Temple, when offerings were given, they rigged the scales in their favor!
Worst of all, they were under a yoke no one can bear (Acts 15:10) — a form of religious godliness that denies the power of God to change a human heart (2 Timothy 3:5).
Their teachers were hypocrites, teaching one thing and doing another. They did not enter into life, and did not allow those who were in the process of entering to actually come in. (Mt. 23:13)
What good news He shared! He is the One who will gather them and hold them in His bosom (Isaiah 40:11) — He will enclose them in a holy, intimate way, and He will be IN them!
His announcement is in John 10, right after He healed the man born blind, and His work was rebuked by the Jewish religious ones, the Pharisees.
Verse 1-2 — Highly important, truly, truly! There are thieves and robbers, false shepherds!
They climb up over the protective fence around the flock, to steal the sheep. They are being used by Satan, the chief thief.
But there is a true shepherd!
Verse 3-4 — He leads them out. and the sheep hear His voice. He knows their names, He calls them, and the sheep follow (obey!) because they know, they have intimate experience with, hearing His voice.
Verse 5 — Because they know their Shepherd’s voice they are able to discern a stranger’s voice. And they run from a stranger’s voice, because they do not know or have intimate experience with hearing the voice of that stranger.
Verse 14 — I AM the Good Shepherd, Jesus says, and I know My own and My own know Me intimately and experientially. They have experienced Me.
Verse 27 — My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow (obey) Me!
What good news for sheep who obey the Good Shepherd. Their obedience is evidence that they know Him intimately, by experience.
“But what do I see, even among the flock that is Mine?” That’s what the Lord says today.
Disobedient sheep, who claim to be Mine. They do not follow me. They do not obey My voice.
They climb down onto precarious ledges to eat something that looks good to them! They have gone after ear-tickling messages from thieves and robbers!
Isaiah 65:2 “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts . . .
Many are out on a ledge, unaware of their condition!
When it is dark, the Lord says, you will be afraid and panic because you know you can’t see to climb back up to safety.
I will wait until you are exhausted, when you have no fight left in you.
When you cry out to Me, when you are ashamed and turn from turn from going after what looks good to you, things that thieves and robbers are teaching, I will rescue you.
Then you will know that I AM the Good Shepherd, and you will ask and I will give you a heart to obey Me.
If you refuse —
Isaiah 65:13 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD,
“Behold, My servants will eat, but you will be hungry.
Behold, My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty.
Behold, My servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame.
14 “Behold, My servants will shout joyfully with a glad heart,
But you will cry out with a heavy heart,
And you will wail with a broken spirit.
15 “You will leave your name for a curse to My chosen ones,
And the Lord GOD will slay you.
But My servants will be called by another name.”
You who are on a precarious ledge, turn now! Repent now! Cry out now!
He will go out of His way to go and get you, when you cry out (Luke 15:1ff)!
Do not wait — the hour is late and the time is short!
Come into the fold of the Good Shepherd, and He will lead you!