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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Good Shepherd – Part 4

          We have learned that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Door of the sheep and the protector of the sheep. Jesus is the Supreme Shepherd – the Shepherd of all shepherds. He is the access to the Father and the Door of Heaven. Jesus is the fulfillment of Psalm 23.  Now Jesus will talk about His knowledge of His Father and His own.

Jesus Knows His Sheep

         “I know My sheep and My sheep know Me – just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father… John 10:14-15 Jesus knows His sheep individually and collectively. 2 Timothy 2:19 says that Jesus knows who are His. Jesus knows us by name and has a personal, intimate, deep and abiding love for each of us. No one can pluck us out of His hand because the Father gave us to Him.(see John 10:29) We are the gift of the Father to Jesus, and He is the gift of the Father to us along with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was not given until after Jesus shed His sinless blood on the cross. Until Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was on earth in fullness only in Jesus. Then at the time of the Feast of Pentecost after Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension to the Father, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon believers.
            Jesus said in John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” Jesus is the Word of God – the voice of God. Believers must listen to the Word and do it. This is how we follow Him – not just as listeners of the Word but doers also. Just as Jesus’ relationship with His Father in heaven was pure and perfect because He only did what the Father told Him to do and only spoke what the Father told Him to speak, Jesus wants us to hear and obey His Word. Jesus' sinless life, love and obedience to His Heavenly Father kept their relationship in perfect harmony and peace. Jesus said in John 15:9-10, “As the Father loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love.” Jesus is encouraging His disciples that the way to remain in His love is by obeying His commands so “My joy may be in you.”  His Word remains in us when we do it. In other words, the Word abides in us – takes up residence because we obey it. We establish it in our lives. If we are listeners only, the Word goes in one ear and out the other without taking effect in our lives. Doing the Word produces obedience and love for God and others. We must find our meaning and purpose in Jesus who is the Word of God brought to life in the flesh. As Jesus put His flesh life to death on the cross, He wants us to allow His Word and Holy Spirit to put our fleshly nature to death, so we will walk in love for God and others. We were made through Jesus, by Him and for Him. We are His ambassadors (representatives) to the world.
            Because humans are not God and perfect, we are out of harmony with the Godhead. God’s love, grace and truth through Jesus is our salvation. We can come boldly before the throne of God and confess our sin and He is faithful and just to forgive our sin. We are wrapped in His love and care. We rest knowing that the protector of the sheep is guarding us and saving us – yes, even from ourselves!

Jesus Knows the Father

          Jesus brought the knowledge of the Father with Him from heaven because He has always existed in the Father. Jesus was the Word of God (voice of God) in the beginning before anything was created. Jesus said in John 8:14, “I know where I came from and where I am going.” Without Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit nothing would be created! (see Genesis 1:1-3) It was the Godhead that created in the beginning. It is the Godhead who recreates in the Gospels. They are One and act in perfect harmony, agreement and accord. They are inseparable. Jesus is and will ever be the Word (voice) of God.
            Jesus is the complete revelation of God. God reproduced is God! Humans reproduced are humans. The Holy Spirit planted the Seed of God (Word of God) into the virgin womb of Mary. This too was the Godhead at work. The Father willed it; the Holy Spirit planted it and Jesus took on flesh until He was birthed through Mary. The Godhead works the same way in followers of Christ while making us into new creations. God’s will is that we become new creations in Jesus. The Holy Spirit plants the Seed/Word into our hearts which takes on our fleshly nature until Jesus is birthed in us making us new creations. Jesus lived a holy life in the flesh for 30 years leaving us an example of godly character and ways.He wants those who love and serve Him to be His example to a world that is lost and dying.

            To behold Jesus is to behold the Father. He is the fullness of the Godhead and all the attributes of God in completeness. To see Jesus is to see the Father in fullness. He and the Father are One in truth, love, purpose and power. The Father sees Himself in Jesus and Jesus wants to see Himself in those who love and follow Him. The new life that Jesus gives comes through His death. In like manner, His life in us comes by allowing the Godhead to put our fleshly ways to death. As Jesus and the Father were bound by holy, inseparable love, Jesus wants us to be bound to Him and others by love. We must trust Jesus to pour out His love and grace into our hearts. His love is infinite and beyond comprehension. His peace passes understanding. His joy is unspeakable. He is able to make all grace abound towards us. Thank you Lord for the riches of your love, grace and mercy. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him, but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

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