Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #299 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading John 10 today and our focus is on How Does Our Relationship with Jesus Work? + How is Jesus a Good Shepherd? What Kind of a Life Does He Give Us?  We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Trinidad and Tobago, Western Australia, Uttar Pradesh, India, Portalegre, Portugal, Parts unknown Spain and Philippines, British Columbia, Canada, Salinas, California, Dallas, Texas, Tyler, Texas, Des Moines, Iowa, Beaumont, Texas, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, Sioux City, Iowa, Wilmington, Delaware and Flint, Michigan.  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Let’s start off with a brief, but important observation. We frequently discuss the question: why did Jesus come to the Earth, and today’s chapter gives us one of the clearest reasons why Jesus came, from His own mouth:

10 A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.  John 10:10 

We could spend the whole episode talking about this wonderful promise, and still come up short, but let’s let pastor Tony Evans briefly explain the abundant life to us:

Jesus made a staggering promise. It was “… I have come to give you life, and to give it to you more abundantly.” He said I’ve come to give you a different kind of life that would be lived at a different kind of level, and this different kind of life, that’s to be lived at this different of level, is supposed to be normal [for the Christian.] Not exceptional. That is it’s not supposed to be for a select few of super-saints. It’s supposed to be available to every believer; regardless of race, or class or background. It is the abundant life. A life full of meaning, and purpose, and joy and victory.

Tony Evans, “‘Cultivating a Spirit-Filled Mind,’” in Tony Evans Sermon Archive (Tony Evans, 2015), Ro 8:1–13.

Second topic. The Sheep/Shepherd chapter is a pretty good description of John chapter ten. In the Bible, there are 1,189 chapters, and the word “sheep” is mentioned about 187 times spread across those nearly 1200 chapters of the Bible. John 10, with 15 “sheeps” in its text, contains almost ten percent of the mentions of that Word in Scripture. Similarly, the word “shepherd” appears about 120 times in Scripture, an average of about once every ten chapters of the Bible, and yet we see it here in John 10 SEVEN times in the first half of the chapter – more than 5% of the total uses of the word “shepherd” in the Bible.   Sorry about all of those numbers – I don’t particularly like math, but I love sports math and Bible math, and this math at least shows us that John 10 is as much or more concerned with the idea of shepherds and sheep than pretty much any other chapter in the Bible. Why is that a big deal? Because, in this instance, unlike many other uses of the words sheep and shepherd, Jesus is here talking about Him and us – how our relationship with Jesus works, and His description of our relationship with Him is couched in the metaphor of sheep and shepherd. He is the shepherd, we are the sheep. Not only is He the shepherd, He is the GOOD shepherd, “11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Not only is He the good shepherd, He is also the CHIEF shepherd, “when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” 1 Peter 5:4. This means that no man is ultimately in charge of the church of Jesus. No prophet, pope or pastor can ever call the people of God, “His church.” in any sort of meaningful way. All of us are sheep, even pastors, and He is the GOOD and CHIEF shepherd. What does Jesus do that makes Him a GOOD shepherd? I’m glad you asked:

  • He sacrifices His life for His sheep, and everyone who would lead like Jesus should and must do the same. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11 
  • Jesus is the entrance and the way and the gate for the sheep – the ONLY way for us to get to the Father in Heaven. “I am the gate for the sheep” John 10:7
  • Jesus KNOWS us intimately and deeply. He’s not like the one celebrity you met that one time who barely gave you a moment’s attention, and even that made your heart flutter. Jesus KNOWS you – better than you know yourself. ““I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me” John 10:14  He also knows YOUR name, “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3
  • Jesus LEADS His sheep and shows them the way to go, “When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him”
  • He leads them by His voice – teaching them His Words through the Bible and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. “27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

What is our job as sheep? Simple: to BELIEVE on the one who laid His life down for us. Togo through Him as the gate – the way, the truth and the life, the only way to the Father. Finally, to KNOW Him – listening to His Word and following what He teaches.”

I’ll close with a wonderful letter from John “Amazing Grace” Newton to a friend. In the letter, he tells of his wife’s frequent illnesses, but notice how he doesn’t complain in the least, but has entrusted himself and his family to the care of the Good Shepherd. May we learn to do the same!

The same good providence which has preserved you and your’s, has taken care of me and mine. But Mrs. N***** has been sometimes ill; no oftener and no more than we have been able to bear, or than the Lord saw was most for our advantage. After so many years’ experience of his goodness, we surely have reason to be convinced that he does all things well. At present, she is tolerably well.
We are his sheep; he is our Shepherd. If a sheep had reason, and were sensible of its own state, how weak to withstand the wolf, how prone in itself to wander, how utterly unable to provide for its own subsistence; it could have no comfort, unless it knew that it was under the care of a shepherd; and, in proportion to the opinion it formed of the shepherd’s watchfulness and sufficiency, such would be its confidence and peace. But if you could suppose the sheep had depravity likewise, then it would act as we often do; its reason would degenerate into vain reasoning, it would distrust the shepherd, and find fault with his management. It would burden itself with contrivances and cares; tremble under the thoughts of a hard winter, and never be easy unless it was surrounded with hay-stacks. It would study from morning till night where to hide itself out of the wolf’s way. Poor, wise, silly sheep! if thou hadst not a shepherd, all the schemes would be fruitless; when thou hadst broken thy heart with care, thou art still as unable to preserve thyself as thou wast before: and if thou hast a good shepherd, they are all needless. Is it not sufficient that he careth for thee? Thus I could preach to such a sheep as I have supposed; and thus I try to preach to my own heart. But though I know I cannot, by any study of mine, add a cubit or an inch to my stature, I am prone to puzzle myself about twenty things, which are equally out of my power, and equally unnecessary, if the Lord be my Shepherd.

John Newton and Richard Cecil, The Works of John Newton, vol. 6 (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 190–192.


Bible Memory passage for the month of October: Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  1 John 4:7-8 

The Bible 2021 Podcast Is a ministry of Valley Baptist Church A Baptist Church in North Salinas, California.

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