Tuesday, February 20, 2007

John 10:1 – 10
“What have you done with Jesus?”

I. Jesus is “exclusive.”

A. Jesus uses the image of a door.

1. A door implies two sides: outside and inside.

a. Sometimes the door is locked (privilege or ownership).

b. Sometimes the door is standing open (invitation).

2. A door implies entrance or exit.

a. You can enter through a door.

b. You can exit through a door.

3. Two images of Jesus and a door.

a. The first one (here) is that of the gate to a secure place.

b. The second one (Rev. 3:10) is of Jesus outside the church.

B. The difficulty with this image:

1. People have trouble seeing Jesus as exclusive, in the sense of being a door.

(Ill.) Bugs Bunny vs Yosemite Sam... high dive board, door.

a. Some don’t like the idea that this door (Jesus) actually goes someplace.

b. Some and nobody will get to that place without going through the door (Jesus).

2. People do not want to admit the door (Jesus) serves a purpose.

a. The door is not a trick, to get money or anything else.

b. The door is a serious question mark: Which side are you standing on?

II. Jesus is “gentle.”

A. Sheep spook easily.

1. They run from strangers because they sense danger.

a. The only way to steal a sheep is through violence.

b. The sheep have learned to associate the shepherd’s voice with safety... so they shy away from strangers.

2. They know the shepherd’s voice and respond to it.

a. (Ill.) A Bedouin shepherd was asked to demonstrate his command of his sheep by using his voice. He called a sheep from the flock. It picked up its head, looked for the shepherd, and made its way through the other sheep to the shepherd.

b. (Ill) Two shepherds meet with their flocks behind them on a narrow street. The flocks mix, get jumbled up but they sort themselves out and continue to follow their shepherd who is leading with a song.

Sometimes we are listening to the wrong voices. Despair.com parodies the motivational posters you see all over the place. One of them says “Meetings: None of us is as dumb as all of us.”

B. The shepherd separates by ownership.

1. The shepherd KNOWS his sheep.

a. The shepherd probably was there at birthing (sheep seldom birth without help).

b. The shepherd may have fed and carried some of the lambs (who may have been too weak... fought for their lives).

2. God KNOWS you, not about you.

a. “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” [Isaiah 49:16a]

b. “If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” [Revelation 20:15]

III. Jesus is the only opportunity.

A. The door of salvation leads to life.

1. This implies spiritual safety.

a. In a RIGHT RELATIONSHIP the believer is secure in Jesus.

b. That’s the idea of following: to be in close proximity to Jesus.

2. This implies spiritual liberty.

a. Freedom vs Liberty

1.) Freedom – “the power or right to act, speak, or think freely.” [Oxford University Press]

2.) Liberty – “the state of being free from oppression or imprisonment.” [Oxford University Press]

b. The difference is that liberty is the possibility and freedom is the power.

1.) We have no power, unless, there first exists the possibility.

2.) We are not able to follow until we are given (and accept) the possibility to follow.

3. This implies spiritual food.

a. The shepherd takes the sheep to where they can eat and drink safely.

b. It is hard for us to eat spiritual food.

B. The door of salvation leads to blessing.

1. The shepherd leads the sheep to were they can rest safely.

a. An image of this is the “Sabbath.”

b. The Sabbath is a spiritual picture of eternal life.

The Bible says, “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. [9] There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; [10] for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. [11] Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” [Hebrews 4:8 – 11]

2. There is a special joy in having a right relationship with God.

a. The parable of the “prodigal” son... A banquet!

b. The Bible says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready... Then the angel said to me, "Write: `Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God.” [Revelation 19:7, 9]

3. There is peace.

a. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” [John 14:27]

b. The Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [7] And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 4:6 – 7]

Many of us have given up hope: A Dilbert cartoon illustrates it this way. Dilbert is trying to console a new employee who is frustrated. His advice? “Give up all hope it converts the despair into bitterness.”

IV. Jesus is salvation.

A. Jesus is the only legitimate way.

1. No pastor, theology, or ministry is the way.

2. Problem is we have to deal with things like, our sinful nature, our evil passions, our inordinate appetites, our secret and besetting sins, our heart’s deception.

a. When we find a person, system, or place that helps ease the pressure, guilt or actually helps with the problem...

b. We substitute our loyalties that should be to Jesus for the pastor, theology, or ministry.

B. Serious questions:

1. Which side of the door are you on?

2. Which side of the door is Jesus on?

No comments: