'I am the Good Shepherd'
BeschreibungJohn 1:1-18. 26:30
… Er ist ein Verbrecher und ein Verbrecher. Er, der durch die Tür hinein geht, ist der Schäpfer des Schiffes. Er, der durch die Tür hinein geht, ist der Schäpfer des Schiffes. Er, der durch die Tür hinein geht, ist der Schäpfer des Schiffes. zu ihm, der die Tür öffnet, und das Schiff hört seine Stimme, und er nennt sein eigenes Schiff meinen Namen, und führt sie aus. Und wenn er sein eigenes Schiff aufbaut, geht er vor ihnen, und die Schiffe folgen ihm, denn sie kennen seine Stimme. Und ein Fremder werden sie nicht folgen, sondern fliehen von ihm, denn sie kennen nicht die Stimme der Fremden. Dieses Parable sprach Jesus zu ihnen, aber sie verstanden nicht, was sie waren, was er zu ihnen sprach. Dann sagte Jesus zu ihnen wieder, und er sagte zu ihnen, ich bin die Tür des Schiffes. Alle, die vor mir kamen, waren Flüchtlinge und Räuber, aber das Schiff hörte sie nicht. Ich bin die Tür. Wenn ein Mann vor mir kommt, soll er gerettet werden, und soll in und raus gehen, und Fels finden. Die Flüchtlinge kommen nicht, sondern um zu schützen und zu töten und zu zerstören. Ich komme, damit sie Leben haben können, und damit sie es viel mehr haben können. Ich bin der Gute Schäpfer. Der Gute Schäpfer gibt sein Leben für die Schiffe. Wer in Heilung ist und nicht der Schäpfer, der die Schiffe nicht hat, sieht den Wolf kommen, lässt die Schiffe und fliegt, und der Wolf fängt sie und zerstört die Schiffe. Der Heilige fliegt, weil er in Heilung ist, und kümmert sich nicht um die Schiffe. Ich bin der Gute Schäpfer und kenne mein Schiff und kenne mich, so wie der Vater mich kennt. Auch so kenne ich den Vater. Ich lese es noch einmal. Ich bin der Gute Schäpfer und kenne mein Schiff und kenne mich, so wie der Vater mich kennt, und kenne mich, so wie der Vater mich kennt. Und ich lege mein Leben für die Schiffe. Und andere Schiffe, die ich habe, die nicht in dieser Hälfte sind, muss ich auch bringen, und sie werden meine Stimme hören, und es wird eine Hälfte sein, oder es wird nur ein Flock und ein Schiff. Deshalb liebt mich mein Vater, weil ich mein Leben lege, damit ich es wieder nehmen kann. Kein Mann nimmt es von mir, aber ich lege es mir selbst herunter. Ich habe die Macht, es herunterzulegen, und ich habe die Macht, es wieder nehmen zu können. Diesen Anruf habe ich von meinem Vater erhalten. Vers 27. Meine Schiffe hören meine Stimme, und ich kenne sie, und sie folgen mir, und ich gebe ihnen das ewige Leben, und sie werden nie sterben, und kein Mann soll sie aus meiner Hand nehmen. Mein Vater, der ihnen die Macht gab, ist größer als alle, und kein Mann kann sie aus der Hand meines Vaters nehmen. Ich und mein Vater sind einer. Amen. Ich glaube, meine Damen und Herren, dass der Fall in Kapitel 9 eine objektive Lektion ist, eine Prälude, sozusagen, zur Lehre von Kapitel 10. Ich möchte eine oder zwei Bemerkungen über Kapitel 9 machen. Ich sehe, dass hier einige junge Leute sind. Sie können diese Bemerkungen nicht beurteilen. Ich beantworte sie nicht, besonders, weil ich denke, dass Sie ignorant sind. Ich beantworte nur Sie, als diejenigen, die jünger waren, und vertraue, dass Sie geempfohlen werden. Nehmen Sie es für gewohnt, dass Sie hier sind, weil Sie einen Wunsch nach den Dingen Gottes haben, dass Sie geempfohlen werden, sie zu folgen. Ich denke nur in Bezug auf den Mann aus Kapitel 9, dass er großartige Fortschritte gemacht hat, und er machte schnelle Fortschritte. Es gab einige, die ihn fragten, was mit ihm passiert ist. Er sagt, es ist ein Mann, der Jesus genannt wird. Er hat mich vereint, er hat meine Augen geöffnet, und ich sehe, es gab eine Begeisterung in seinem Seele, in Bezug auf die Gerechtigkeit und die Wertschöpfung eines Mannes, der Jesus genannt wird, der Mann aus Kapitel 9. Dieses Gospel ist voll von diesem Mann. Es ist das Gospel, das besonders die Glory seines Menschen bringt. In seiner Großartigkeit, in seiner Majestät, in seiner Gleichgewichtigkeit mit dem Vater, in der Gerechtigkeit Gottes. Aber gleichzeitig bringt es seine Gerechtigkeit heraus, bringt seine Leidenschaft heraus, bringt seine Verfügbarkeit heraus, dir und mir, in all der Gerechtigkeit des Mannes, die er erwartet hat. Ich kann nicht viel darüber reden, sonst komme ich nie in Kapitel 10. Aber der Gott Jesus, in der Gerechtigkeit der Menschheit, die er erwartet hat, wurde so oft vor uns geschrieben, in den Buchstaben des Gospels von John. Und ich vertraue, dass jeder von uns hier, sowohl diejenigen, die jünger sind, noch jünger werden, die Gerechtigkeit dieses Gnadevollen Mannes. Ein bisschen weiter in der Geschichte dieses Mannes, wenn er wieder gefragt wird, und es ist erstaunlich, die Fragen, die die Leute fragen werden, und hinter ihnen wahrscheinlich das ulteriöse Motiv und den Wunsch, dich zu robben, von dem, was du hast, in Kontakt zu kommen mit diesem Gnadevollen Mann. Sie fragen ihn weiter, bestimmte Fragen. Sie sagen, was sagst du über ihn? Oh, er sagt, er ist ein Prophet. Der Geist Gottes ist uns in und durch der Person des Sohnes Gottes verschlossen. Weiter geht es, er wird wieder gefragt. Er sagt, warum? Er sagt, wirst du auch seine Disziplinen sein? Indizierend natürlich, dass er jetzt zu der Begründung gekommen ist, dass Christus wert ist, zu folgen, und er ist einer seiner Follower. Also sagt er ihnen, wirst du auch seine Disziplinen sein? Auch er war in der Leitung, er hat seinen Platz genommen. Er hat die Gnade von Jesus Christus getestet. Er hat seinen Platz genommen als Disziplin, ein Follower, ein Lerner des Herrn Jesus Christus. Ein bisschen weiter geht es natürlich. Er ist so ehrgeizig in seiner Begründung und diese Religionisten waren so ehrgeizig und so in ihrer Opposition versuchen sie auszudrücken, auszudrücken aus dem, was er in Christus gefunden hat. Er sagt, naja, da gibt es nur eine Sache, die ich tue. Während ich blind war, jetzt singe ich. Ich erinnere mich, dass ich eines Tages zu einem Servant des Herrn und er sagte, niemals lasst, was ihr nicht wisst, was ihr wisst. Es war so viel, was er nicht wusste. Er sagt, eine Sache, die ich weiß, und er sagt, du kannst es nicht aus mir ausreden. Während ich blind war, jetzt singe ich. Und sie waren so ehrgeizig gegen ihn. Sie konnten nicht gegen ihn ausreden. Sie haben ihn ausgedrückt. Eine junge Dame sagte mir, nicht so lange her, sie sagt, die Mormonen haben mich ausgedrückt. Sie meinte, sie haben mich ausgedrückt. Und dieser Mann wurde ausgedrückt. Er wurde ausgedrückt von den Juden. Sie hatten keinen Platz für ihn. Warum? Sie mussten vielleicht vorher viel Platz für ihn haben, als er blind war. Jetzt hatten sie weniger Platz für ihn, weil seine Augen geöffnet waren. Und er hatte die Intelligenz und die affektionelle Beachtung des Christus Gott. Also wurden sie ausgedrückt. Ein wunderbares Statement, das wir in diesem Kapitel bekommen haben. Ich muss es berücksichtigen. In Kapitel 9, wenn ich mein Auge darauf schaue, ist es Kapitel 35. Jesus hörte, dass sie ihn ausgedrückt hatten. Und als er ihn gefunden hatte, sagte er ihm, glaubst du an den Sohn Gottes? Dieser Mann war draußen, in Bezug auf diese Weltreligion. Er lernte, dass diese glückliche Person, mit der er gesprochen hat, draußen vor ihm war. Und als er ausgedrückt wurde, der Mann, der Herr Jesus, der Prophet, diese glückliche Person, die draußen vor ihm war, lese am Ende des vorigen Kapitels und am Anfang dieses Kapitels, der Mann Christus Jesus, der draußen war, in Bezug auf das menschliche religiöse System, fand ihn. Er kam nicht vor ihm. Er fand ihn. Er musste ihn suchen haben. Und Jesus hörte, dass sie ihn ausgedrückt hatten. Und als er ihn fand, sagte er ihm, glaubst du an den Sohn Gottes? Die Christianität, so wie ihre Testimonie, beginnt genau da. Als der Mann Jesus seine spirituellen Augen geöffnet hat, hat er direkt Jesus gebeten, dass er der Sohn Gottes ist. Und die Endlichkeit und die Vollständigkeit der Testimonie Gottes, wie die Erklärung in Bezug auf unseren Herrn Jesus Christus als Sohn Gottes. Und so ist dieser Mann ausgedrückt von seinem Heiligen Gott. Und als er die Frage stellte, glaubst du an den Sohn Gottes? Glaubst du? Was eine Frage für dich. Was eine Frage für jeden von uns. Was eine Frage für mich. Glaubst du an den Sohn Gottes? Was hat er gesagt? Er sagte, wer ist er, Herr, an dem ich glaube? Wenn ich ihn wüsste, würde ich glauben. Und der Herr Jesus antwortete, sagend, du hast ihn gesehen, und es ist er, der mit dir spricht. Und er sagte, Herr, ich glaube. Und er beteute ihn. Der Beteuer wird Beteuer. Er, der in der Außenseite und in seiner Pflegerung ist, findet sich in der Innerseite mit dem Sohn Gottes, mit all seiner Vielfalt. Und obwohl er seine Vielfalt hat, ist dieser Mann so beeinflusst, dass er sein Herz in appreziativer Beteuerung öffnet. Und ihr jungen Leute, ich würde jetzt nur drei Fragen mit euch von dem neunten Kapitel von John, in Ordnung, dass ich weitergehen kann, in John 10. Und ich werde sie rückwärts lesen. Das ist nach ihrer Ordnung, die restlichen Wörter. Vers 36, der neunte Mann sagt, wer ist er? Gott, wer ist er? Was für eine Frage zu beantworten, in Bezug auf deinen Gott. Wer ist er? Es ist nicht das erste Mal, dass diese Frage gefragt wird. Und es wird sicher nicht das letzte Mal sein, dass es gefragt wird. Denn jetzt, in diesem, deinem Tag und in deinem Leben, der Gottes Geist beantwortet sich für uns alle und sagt uns, wer ist er? Genau wie anderswo wurde die Frage gestellt, was denkt er von Christus? Wer ist er? Wer ist er? Peter in Matthäus 16? Wem sagt er, dass ich da bin? Wer ist er? Let this build in your souls, young Christians, the glory of your blessed Saviour as the Son of God. Let this question ring in your soul, because as you are led by the Spirit of God, to grow intelligently, so as to answer it properly, it will lead you where He is, outside of man's system of things and inside that blessed circle of affection and relationship where the Son is at home with the Father. Who is he? A little further back in this chapter, verse 26, chapter 9 for instance, they said to him again, what did he to thee? Who is he? What did he? There's only one answer to that. The cross is the answer to such a question. A little further back in this chapter, verse 12 for instance, they said unto him where is he? Think of these three questions. Those of you who are younger, who is he? What's he done? Where is he? He's the Son of God. He's beaten the cross. The Father is glorified. He's accomplished the work that the Father gave him to do. And on the ground of it, you and I stand in company with him before the Father's face. Where is he? The question has been raised before and the answer has been given. He is not here. He's not here. He's risen and as to the fact that he has been here and he has done this amazing work, this blessed statement is given to us. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Not where he lies, where he lay. He has lain here. He's not lying here any longer. Where is he then? He's glorified in the presence of the Father. We don't get the effect of the ascension of our blessed Lord in John's Gospel, but we get the intimation that it surely will take place for he said as the risen man from amongst the dead, he said to that woman, you remember, I ascend to my Father and your Father to my God and your God. Where is he? He's with the Father. And that's where your blessing, that's where your association, that's where your hope as a Christian lies within before the Father's face. And so this man is cast out in John 9, served so to speak, I repeat, as an object of the blessing upon which the ministry of our blessed Lord in chapter 10 is given to us. And we'll have to speak about it. Verily, verily, chapter 10, verse 1, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same as a thief and a robber. I don't dwell on this verse. I'm just trying, accepting just to say that just as the Lord said in Matthew 24 that many would come claiming to be the Christ, several had already come claiming to be the Christ. But he says they haven't come in through the door. In other words, they haven't come the appointed way. And not having come the appointed way, they cannot produce the necessary credentials. So here he says in verse 2, but he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. I had it in mind that I might return back to Matthew's gospel. There won't be time. But if you were to leisure, look through Matthew's gospel. Go through chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3 and into chapter 4. You'll find that there are seven direct fulfillments of Old Testament prophecy by the incoming of our Lord Jesus Christ into the Jewish fold. I say into the Jewish fold because we know that he presented himself first as he must of necessity do to Israel. Because he came as the anointed vessel. He came as the Messiah. He came in view of the establishment of the will of God in regard to all the promises of God that had their center in that earthly people Israel. Coming as the shepherd of Israel, he must come the appointed way. He was born of the virgin. The prophet Isaiah, I won't go into it because it takes too much time but the prophet Isaiah had prophesied it. He was born in the very place where the prophet said the shepherd of Israel would be born. Go into the book of Micah find it out. Look these things up for yourselves. If you've got a reference bible, you'll be able to trace them out. I haven't got a reference bible. I tried to trace them out today and one stuck me. I had to ask a brother to look into his concordance to give me a certain quotation from the Old Testament. But as you travel through Matthew's gospel, you'll find that the Lord Jesus Christ takes his place in a certain domicile in order that that which was spoken and you'll not find that in the written prophecies because it wasn't a written prophecy, it was a spoken prophecy that that which was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, he shall be called a Nazarene. In other words, he took a very lowly and a very humble place but the prophets had said that when the true shepherd of Israel appeared on the scene he shall be called a Nazarene. A little further on you have other prophecies. I can't recite them all but you'll find that they're fulfilled to the letter. Seven distinct prophecies that must be fulfilled in relation to the incoming of the true Messiah to Israel and they were fulfilled to the letter. In other words, he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. And in these verses that we've read together there's some very interesting things. In verse 3 for instance to him the porter openeth. Years ago I used to wonder who the porter was. Who opened the door into Israel to the Lord Jesus Christ? When he'd come the proper way who opened the door? I used to say John the Baptist. Well, John the Baptist pointed him out. He looked at him, pointed to him and he said this is he of whom I speak. Yes, he presented the Christ to God. But in John's Gospel, John the Baptist is not the porter. I used to say later the Holy Spirit must be the porter. And I think that he probably was. You can't exclude him. But I've come to the conclusion that probably the father was the porter. And I'll give you a scripture for it just before we pass on. You don't need to turn to it. I'll read it. John Baptist cannot be the porter because he says I knew him not. So if he knew him not, he couldn't open the door to him. He says I knew him not, but he that sent me. Who sent him? God the Father sent John the Baptist to Marko to draw attention and testimony to the Son of God. He says he that sent me to baptize with water the same seven to me upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on him the same as he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. So you'll see there that both the one who sent the Baptist and the Spirit as descending upon the Lord Jesus marked him out as the one who would come into the fold by the appointed way. And so here to him the porter openeth and the sheep hear his voice. Oh yes the sheep heard his voice didn't they? We could go on for a few minutes and with the time to recite some of the names, illustrious names in the book of God of those who heard his voice. Go through the early pages of the Gospels and you'll see them for yourselves. Oh you young people speak yourselves in the Scriptures. Don't just wait to be told things. Read them in the Word of God and you'll find some precious morsels to feast your souls upon in regard to our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. And so here the sheep hear his voice and he calleth his own sheep by name. I think that's a blessed word. He calleth his own sheep by name. In the first chapter of the Gospel it says I think it's verse 11 He came unto his own and his own received a not. Those two pronouns are of different gender and one of them means he came to his own things. He came for the throne. He came for the crown. He came for the exaltation as he was entitled to it. The son of David came to his own his own things with his own people the Jews. I say the Jews because in John's Gospel we read about the Jews. We are not so much taken up with Israel in John's Gospel. We are taken up with that people in their character as the Jews. Feast of the Jews and so on. And he came to his own things and his own people received him not. And there he stood alone at the very outset despised and rejected. But here in John 10 we read this blessed word. He calleth his own sheep by name. What an intimate interest. What an intimate consideration the Lord Jesus the true shepherd of Israel has in those who are called his own. We could have an address on those who are his own go through the pages of John's Gospel having loved his own which were in the world he loved them to the end. But he calleth his own sheep by name. He's got an interest in you. He's got an intimate interest in you. He's got a perfect knowledge of you and he's got a perfect concern for you and he's got more than concern he loves you because you are his own. What a saviour you young people Jesus is. What a shepherd this blessed person is. He calleth his own sheep by name and he leads them out. And when he puteth forth his own sheep he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice and a stranger will they not follow but will flee from him for they know not the voice of strangers. I hope to come back to this in a moment or two but I'll just say this in regard to verse five. A stranger will they not follow. I'm not an agriculturist. I'm not a farmer. I don't know much about cattle. I know they've got cows. And I know what a dairy cow is. And I know what a beef beast is. And I know what a sheep is but I don't know much more. It's about the sum total of my farming knowledge. And I remember once when I was going up to Woolwich to preach the gospel. I spent a weekend with a brother who had some farming interest and some farmland and he had some sheep. And he says I'm going up to feed my sheep. Do you want to come? I said righto, I'll come with you. And we went into this field where he was going to prepare to feed his sheep. I couldn't see any sheep because there was a bit of a rise and it went on for quite a way and there were no sheep in sight. And he began to make a sound. I wouldn't try to imitate him but he said certain words and to my great surprise the sheep began to come over the brow of the hill. So I says just keep playing for a minute. And I imitated him. I was a stranger of course. And the sheep that were beginning to pour over the top of the hill were stopped dead. I says try again. And so he spoke the magic word again. Just a simple word come in his own Hungarian dialect and they started to come on again. Oh I said hold your tongue. And I had another go. And I tried to imitate him to stop dead. I said well the scripture definitely is true. And a stranger will they not follow for they know not the voice of strangers. If I'd been there long enough of course I might have been able to deceive them. But I wasn't there long enough. And they'd learned the shepherd's voice. They knew the shepherd's voice. And they knew the shepherd. And I said to you young people if you want to get freed and keep free from the clutches of the stranger get to know the shepherd and learn the shepherd's voice. And when the stranger makes his bed and there are many strangers in the religious world today seeking to rival the claims of your blessed Lord if you want to be kept from their clutches get into intimacy with the shepherd of the sheep. A little further down he says in verse 7 Then said Jesus unto them again verily verily I say unto you I am the door of the sheep. Now notice that I am the door of the sheep. We've already made some reference to the door until the sheep fold. Now this is another door. Christ came in through the first door. But now he is the second door. He says I am the door of the sheep. And if you follow this out you'll find he's a door out. He came through a door that was into the sheep fold. He becomes a door out of the sheep fold. I change the reading quite rightly of course. I don't have any desire to tamper with the word of God at all. But on a matter of true translation there shall be one flock and one shepherd. There's no sheep fold today. And he led his own out of the sheep fold. The sheep fold was the whole Jewish order of things. The door was closing on it in the sight of God. And he says I am the door of the sheep. I suppose the custom of the eastern shepherds was if they were watching their flocks by night that when the sheep fold had been erected and the sheep were placed in it, there was a gap left there for any access or for any exit. And the shepherd sat himself down in the opening and he became the door. And he was the door of the sheep. None could get in and none could get out unless the shepherd allowed them. And if any Jewish sheep had tried to leave the Jewish order of things before a divinely opened way he'd have been on the line of apostasy from God. But the time had come. Christ as we've said from the first chapter of the gospel having come unto his own things and being refused by his own people the time has come for the opening of a new order of things. And if there's a new order of things to be opened in association with him as the son of God the sheep who were his own must find a righteous exit from the Jewish sheep fold. And so he says I am the door of the sheep. It's the door out of the fold. I don't dwell on verse 8. In verse 9 he says I am the door. He doesn't quite say here I'm the door of the sheep. He's not speaking now in verse 9 of a way out of a religious order of things that had been set aside of God. He speaks of himself as the door into the new order of things that was being established in relation to himself as the son of God in the light of the revelation of God as it had come out in him in his own blessed person. And so he says I am the door by me if any man enter in. If any man enter in. What a blessed statement isn't it? I am the door by me if any man enter in. It's an important thing to have Christ presented to us as the way into the father's things. And the only way into the father's things is via Christ as the door. The appointed way now for you, for me, for faith in any one of us into the new sphere that is opened up by the son of God as cast out of the Jewish order of things is faith in his own blessed person. He says I am the door by me if any man enter in he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture. Now if you were to take account of this verse and run through the pages of John's gospel you'd see it's blessed contents worked out in wonderful detail. In John 3 he speaks of the blessed fact that he hasn't come to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. Just as in chapter 4 he says salvation and he speaks of salvation and he speaks of being saved and he speaks of being saved by faith in his own blessed person and if anyone wants to be free as many did in that day thank God then from the trammels of a Jewish order of things that God was closing up they have found salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ and if anyone wants salvation today they'll find it outside of the organized system of things that patterns itself on the Jewish character and they'll find it by faith in the person of the Son of God. Salvation is conditioned, it is colored, it is characterized today by that which has been brought to light by our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God and has been established righteously by his redemptive work at the place called Calvary. So in the third chapter of John's Gospel you'll find the truth of salvation all stemming from the blessed fact that the Lord Jesus Son of Man has having been lifted up in order that God might be glorified righteousness established and the floodgates of divine love flow out to you and me. Salvation is based upon the death of Christ is available to us through faith in the person of Christ because he has done all the work that is necessary. But then he says not only he shall be saved he says he shall go in and out. What does that mean? Does it mean he shall go in and out of the divine order of things? No. It means that in contrast to the legal and slavish bondage of the law system there'll be the spontaneous life and liberty of this blessed circle that he opens out. In and out speaks of spontaneity and it speaks of liberty and the Son of God will bring us into divine life and liberty. Something of that is opened out for us in the fourth of John when he said you remember the water that I shall give him shall be in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life. And then we read further man shall find pasture. There's divinely provided food for those who come to Christ or enter in through him the door. And if you were to travel into the sixth chapter of John's gospel you'll find he's presented as the bread of God. He's presented as the bread of heaven. He's presented as the bread of life. You'll find he's presented as having been made available for you and for me. Made available for men by going down into death at the cross. In other words accept you shall have eaten the flesh and drunk the blood of the Son of Man you have no life in you. We feast upon him in the appropriation of faith in order to receive life. And if you go further down that wonderful chapter you'll find that having received life through feeding upon a Christ who's been into death you'll find you're sustained you're maintained in life by continuing in communion feasting your soul upon him as the bread of life. And so here if any man enter in he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture. The thief cometh not but for to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that I might have life and that I might have it more abundantly. The subjects of verse 10 are set on destroying the ship. The subject of verse 12 is bent upon serving his own purpose gaining his own ends he's caring for his own life but in the middle the Lord Jesus in verse 11 says I am the good shepherd the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. And in the end of this preceding verse verse 10 unlike the thief who steals what is not his own, unlike the robber who takes what belongs to somebody else. The Lord Jesus says I am come that they might have life. I suppose every subject of faith in whatever they has life. He has life in his soul because he is born again. The great thing here is the Lord Jesus says not that he's come merely that we might live. He's come that we might have it more abundantly. Not only is it true that the scriptures open out to us the blessed teaching that there is a life by which we live but there is a life in which we live. This chapter speaks of it as eternal life. And eternal life doesn't just mean that you live forever. Eternal life means certainly that it's a life that's sin and death and touch. It will go on forever but eternal life is lived in that blessed sphere of love and relationship into which redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ introduces us. He says I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. And so he says as I repeat the verse I am the good shepherd and what identifies him as such is the good shepherd who gives his life for the sheep. And then a little further down verse 48 I am the good shepherd and know my sheep. I am quoting so far as my memory serves me now from the new translation. I am the good shepherd and know my sheep and have known of mine as the father knoweth me and I know the father and I lay down my life for the sheep. Think of it he desires that his own sheep should be brought into the same kind of intimacy as he lives in in relation to the father. That his own sheep might know him as the father knows him and as he knows the father. It seems incredible that this should be opened out to men and women down here in infinite love and grace and intimacy and relationship and enjoyment of affection with divine presence such as our blessed Lord knew perfectly knew fully and opens out and invites us into. As the father knoweth me and I know the father and I lay down my life for the sheep yes he lay down his life to save us from hell he lay down his life that we might not perish but in the pages of John's gospel as overriding everything he lay down his life that we might have eternal life he lay down his life to bring us into that blessed circle where love's treasures are displayed and in order that the blessed intimacy as described in verse 15 might be ours he says I lay down my life for the sheep. Well so far I suppose the sheep have been related to the once Jewish order of things now brought out by faith in the person of the despised and rejected yet true shepherd of Israel but now in verse 16 our blessed Lord says and other sheep I have which are not of this fold he's speaking of something now outside the Jewish fold that's where you are that's where I am you remember if you can cast your mind back I learned well on it in the blessing of Joseph we read that Joseph is a fruitful bough is a fruitful bough by where his branches run over the wall I wonder what the wall was well Colossians will tell us Ephesians will tell us what the wall is it's that middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile but in Joseph's day there was some fruit going over the wall for those on the other side you and I are on the other side but when you come to the New Testament thank God the wall is down the wall is abolished it's abolished in the giving of the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ in death that Jew and Gentile might be brought together and made one to equally participate in the blessed bounty that has come to light in his passion based upon his work in the amazing grace of the full revelation of God and today he says other sheep I have which are not of this fold them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one flock and one shepherd he doesn't make the converted Gentile a Jew and he doesn't make the converted Jew a Gentile he brings the Jew from his Judaism he brings the Gentile from his paganism and he puts them into a blessed unity on new ground in new creation that's Paul's language but he puts them together in the blessedness of eternal life so here he says that there should be one flock and one shepherd and then in verse 17 therefore doth my father love me just think of it the father loves him because he is the son the father loves him because he is the only begotten son there is no one like him he is unique he is the unique son of the father's bosom and the father loves him in the blessedness of an eternal relationship that nothing is ever interrupted and nothing can ever interrupt but when you come to this statement here he has afforded the father a motive for loving him and that which he has afforded is described to us here therefore doth my father love me because I lay down my life that I might take it again you notice he doesn't say because I lay down my life for the sheep he says because I lay down my life that I might take it again the Lord took up life in a flesh and blood responsible order of things and in that responsible order of things not in him thank God sin predominated in you and me and everyone who would be brought into this new circle where those treasures are displayed and he took life in that condition of things to which sin attached in you and me that he might bring it to an end for the glory of God that I might take it again and he takes it up in a new condition to which sin and death shall never be attached on the resurrection side of death somebody said the other night in this meeting room that Christianity proper the blessings of the gospel start for us on the resurrection side of death and that's true God works on the platform of resurrection and our blessed Lord he says I lay it down I lay it down my life that I might take it up again and he takes it up in that new condition of things not new for him new for you and new for me into which grace and love because of redemption brings us and he takes it up forever more and you and I now thank God as in association with the Son of God have a life that sin and death can never touch we touch that just fleetingly perhaps before I sit down but here he says in verse 18 no man takes it from me think of him in the superb grace of his person in the supremacy that is his person as co-equal in the Godhead with the Father and the Holy Spirit and he looks round upon the array the whole panoply of opposition and he says no man taketh it from me and while he says no man taketh it from me we could rightly deduce from that that no man could take it from him and in John's Gospel his death is his own action he says I have authority to lay it down on myself I have authority to take it again and yet although possessing this power and authority in the glory of his own blessed person as co-equal I repeat in the Godhead with the Father having assumed manhood he takes his place in perfect submission and obedience saying this commandment have I received from my Father sin and disobedience have brought us we were brought under the deserts of divine judgment because of our sin and disobedience he in love to the Father went into death in grace and obedience for the Father's glory and the opening of the door into eternal life this commandment have I received from my Father there was a division therefore again among the Jews for these things I didn't read that verse and I don't touch it because there isn't time just a touch in closing my sheep verse 27 hear my voice and I know them and they follow me he is speaking of the normality of life and character that mark those who come under his blessed and attractive spell my sheep hear my voice and I know them just as elsewhere he said in this chapter they know him and they follow me and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish that blessed life in which he has ever subsisted in communion with the Father is given to those who are his own that they might know it, live in it and enjoy it in communion with himself and they shall never perish forever neither will any man pluck them out of my hand my Father which gave them me brethren when you cite this verse please quote it accurately my Father which gave them me I hear it time after time is greater than I the Lord Jesus never said that here, our Lord said my Father which gave them me is greater than all greater than all the opposition greater than all the foes greater than all the forces of evil, my Father which gave them me is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand I cannot help speaking about security here I know there is more than security here there is life here there is intimacy here there is affection here I am Christian the Lord Jesus says they shall never perish forever none are able to pluck out of his hand and none is able to pluck out of my Father's hand you are in the Son's hand you are in the Father's hand we read of Jacob in the Old Testament that his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob and here in verse 30 the Lord Jesus says I and my Father are one it's not a question here exactly of one in person it's one in purpose it's one in their in, it's one in their interest, it's one in their love for the sheep he says I and my Father are one and you the world's disposition is manifested in that but dear brethren our disposition is manifested in a similar way to that of the man to whom we referred in John 9 when he said Lord I believe I am his worshipper Amen perhaps we might sing one hundred and thirty six Father spring a thousand blessings grateful praise to thee we bring objects in thy sovereign favour and I would love to sing one hundred and thirty six Father spring a thousand blessings grateful praise to thee we bring objects in thy sovereign favour and I would love to sing one hundred and thirty six Father spring a thousand blessings grateful praise to thee we bring objects in thy sovereign favour and I would love to sing one hundred and thirty six Father spring a thousand blessings grateful praise to thee we bring objects in thy sovereign favour and I would love to sing one hundred and thirty six Father spring a thousand blessings grateful praise to thee we bring objects in thy sovereign favour and I would love to sing one hundred and thirty six Father spring a thousand blessings grateful praise to thee we bring objects in thy sovereign favour and I would love to sing …