THE WORD L5

Sheep

A segment of a mural from a wall in Jerusalem.

THE DOOR and THE GOOD SHEPHERD

“I AM the door of the sheep.” (John 10:7)

“I am the Good Shepherd.” (John 10:14)

Jesus Christ (Yeshua) compared Himself in the same teaching to both a door and a shepherd. Yeshua, being God, has many roles to play in our lives!

When Yeshua lived on earth, many families owned sheep. At night, a good shepherd would keep his sheep in a fenced-in area. This was for the protection and well-being of the sheep. Prowling thieves and wolves were out in the night searching for unprotected lone sheep. But the sheepfold was a place of safety. A good shepherd would set a guard at the door to keep out all those who would harm the sheep.

The words of our Good Shepherd, Yeshua, are recorded in John 10:1-18.   You may want to read the whole passage.

THE DOOR

There we learn that  Yeshua is the door to the sheepfold. Yeshua is the only Way into the “sheepfold” of the church. He expresses this another way in a later Scripture:

“I AM the Way.…” (John 14:6)

Although we call the building where we meet a church, the ACTUAL church (ecclesia) is made up of the born-again believers in Yeshua, Immanuel, the Messiah. One might sit in a church pew but not really be part of the spiritual church!  You must be born again of the Spirit of God!  Do you believe in the LORD Yeshua as your Savior and God?  He is the only door to His spiritual sheepfold.  (Read more on being “born again” here.)

THE SHEEPFOLD

The “sheepfold” is where the sheep are gathered. Yeshua uses this expression to represent His people collectively. His word tells us that we need to be with God’s other people for protection. A lone sheep wandering around on a hill by himself is a target for hungry wolves!

For our own safety and growth,  we need to be in community with other Christians! This includes going to church and Bible studies and just hanging out together, loving one another in Christ!

“24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  (Hebrews 10:24-25)

THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Yeshua also calls Himself the Good Shepherd. This is the same title Yahweh God called Himself. It is another reason we know that Yeshua is the same spirit as the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets!  Here are some Scripture from the Old Testament that show YHWH God as the Good Shepherd:

“Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’” (Jeremiah 31:10)

“I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 34:15)

“Shepherd of Israel, give ear and lead Joseph like a flock! Be revealed sitting upon the cherubim!” Psalm 89:1 (ABPE)

And of course, the most famous psalm of all:

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.

You may wish to read all of this beautiful Psalm 23, which was written by the David of the Old Testament, who was a shepherd himself as a boy. He knew all about being a good shepherd and lost sheep!

FURRY LISA

These lyrics to Granny Vee’s song “Furry Lisa” tell a story of a little lost sheep that wandered off from the sheepfold.  I pray you never wander away from the safety of God’s sheepfold!

Furry Lisa

Furry Lisa Lamb wand’ring alone, where will you go?  How will you know?
Which is the pathway back to pastures green,
Your Shepherd calls, “Come back to Me!
My Furry Lisa, little lamb, lost in the land, come back to me. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
My Furry Lisa Lamb, My Furry Lisa Lamb….

You may sing these lyrics to Beethoven’s famous “Fur Elise” melody or download here the music to “Furry Lisa”. The download is only available till October 14, 2014. But you may purchase the entire CD here after that.

The next lesson will continue on this topic from John 10.

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