Sunday, June 8, 2008

The great Shepherd

The Great Commission

Part 21 – Jesus Speaks of Death and Resurrection

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


WHERE WE ARE AT

Jesus Blesses the Children

SCRIPTURE READING

Mark 10:32 - 34

32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him.

33 "We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,

34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise."

I. JESUS WENT BEFORE THEM, LEADING AS A SHEPHERD

a. Jesus went before them

Jesus went before the Disciples, leading then to Jerusalem.

b. He is the Shepherd preparing the way

David speaks of the Lord with admiration as a Shepherd who loves His sheep.

“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me…”

Rod – is for discipline and defense of the flock.

Staff – for rescue and bringing the sheep back to the flock.

At the First Baptist Church, when I was an Elder there, I wrote what was called “The Shepherds Staff Project”, which focused on bringing discipline into the church, as well as correction and protection.

Correction “The Shepherds Staff” brings us gently back into the direction we are to go.

Discipline “The Shepherds Rod” must be used for those who refuse to follow the Lord’s instruction.

This protects the other sheep who are following the Lord’s instruction.

Without Correction or discipline, there is no protection…

The flock will suffer.

The Word of God has these written into it.

The Shepherd LEADS the way, regardless of the trial, tribulation or danger ahead…

WHY? To keep the flock protected, and to make the path as easy as possible.

Removing the thorns and thistle from the path, clearing rock and snakes so that when we follow our Lord, the path is already clear!

Sometimes in our lives when we run into thistles, thorns, and snakes, it’s because we have stepped off the path.

Even one step to the left or right of the path can change our travel.

The scriptures tell us that the path is NARROW that leads to life, and few find it.

But broad is the way that leads to death, and there are many there.

How much easier is the path if we follow the Great Shepherd and allow Him to clear the way for us.

c. They were amazed at His determination and strength

The Disciples were amazed because of Jesus determination.

He knew what awaited Him, yet did not stumble or pause to do what He had to.

He set His eyes on Jerusalem…and went.

Leading the multitudes.

The Lord calls us to do the same.

To stand for what we were called to do in this life, and do it.

To have no fear for the Lord has prepared a way, a path that has been cleared by Jesus Himself for your feet!

Do not look to the thistles to the left and the thorns to the right and cause yourself fear…but stay focused on the Lord ahead of you and follow His way which is true and straight.

We must be as Daniel, and determine in our hearts to follow our Lord no matter what.

Daniel did, regardless of the thereat of Death, and even to the point of standing for what was right, when he could have tried to save his own life.

Where are the Daniels of today?

Where are the Great Shepherds true sheep????

Why is the path, the narrow path so vacant?

Jesus said, few find it…

This is why we sometimes feel alone in this world, when we are living for the Lord.

But Jesus has a remedy for that!

A flock!

Are you tired of feeling alone in this world?

Are you tired of looking around and only seeing the thorns and thistles of life?

Then what are you waiting for? Surround yourself with the flock, where there are many, who will love and protect you, be there for you, and when you are in the flock, you will have the Great Shepherds rod and staff to comfort you, He will clear the path for you, and remind you, you do not have to be alone in this world!

II. HE TOOK THE 12 AND SPOKE ABOUT DEATH AND RESURRECTION

a. He took the twelve aside to speak with them alone

Jesus has done this often, teaching the twelve and leaving it to them to teach those around them.

This is a picture of our modern church.

Christ taught the 12 (Elders of the church), and they taught it to the Disciples (Followers of Christ) who then took it into all the world.

This is how we are to run the church.

Christ teaching the Elders (which the Pastor is) through the Holy Spirit and study of God’s Holy Word, and the Elder’s taking it to the Disciples (the congregation), and the congregation takes it into all the world.

The congregation is not here to keep the chairs warm…

But to learn the way of the Lord so they can share it with the world.

Those around them in their lives who may not attend a church, or even read the Bible.

We have to stop treating people the way the church system in America has taught us, and go back to the Word of God and simply do what it says if we are to ever reach the lost.

No where did Christ teach to attack the sinner for sinning…

Jesus said, I did not come to condemn the lost, for they are already condemned.

I came to save them.

Who would want to come to a God who they think hates them because they are sinners?

God does not hate sinners, or the scriptures would not say, “God shows His love in this, WHILE we were yet sinning, He died on the cross for us…”

We nee to share that Love of Christ with sinners.

Why?

Because the true followers of Christ, the ones who really love God, loves sinners.

Jesus said, love your neighbor as yourself.

Neighbor means the unsaved.

The scriptures also say that, “Anyone who says they love God, yet hates his brother is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Love.

Are you loving your neighbor? Your brother?

If not, you are not loving God. The scriptures say so.

III. WHAT PATH SHALL YOU TAKE?

a. Will you follow the Shepherd?

i. He knows His own

The scriptures say “He knows His own…”

Does the Lord see you when He looks out at His flock?

ii. Do you hear His voice?

Do you hear your Shepherds voice when He calls?

He may be calling you right now…

You may not even know why, but don’t let that moment go.

Don’t wait for it to pass, answer the Lord.

iii. There is only one way into the pasture

You can not go over the gate, around it or under it. You may only enter through it, and Jesus says, “I am the gatekeeper, and no one enters through any other way”

b. He has prepared a way for you.

i. Confess your sin

ii. Repent

iii. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior

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