You may not realize it, but you’re mentioned in this chapter of John’s letter? Look back to (v 16) and read what it says “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” This is speaking of His redeemed church [you and me]. We are the “other sheep” who would taste the grace after the Good shepherd would lay His life down for the sin of the world. I want you to really think about this passage of scripture for a moment! Several times Jesus makes this statement “I know my sheep” What is Jesus saying? What does He mean He knows His sheep Before the foundations of the world my name, your name were written in His book of promises……Why? Because He knows His sheep “other sheep” you and me! See, it’s not that He knows us like he is meeting us for the first time. He knew us before He created the cosmos and the planets. That’s why Paul reminded the true believers with this opening statement…..
In Eph 1:14 we read “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
Before He created……..
- Heavens and the earth
- The sun, moon and the stars
- Mountains, streams, rivers and oceans
- Plant life and animals
- You and me
He knew our names……………….WOW, WOW, WOW, that’s amazing! David spoke these words about our omniscient God in Psalm 139:16 we read…“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. I wasn’t even a clump of cells and you were already preparing my days. We also read in the gospels! Here is Jesus speaking of the final judgement that is a future promise. In Matt 25:31-34 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”
Not only does He know His own sheep, but He also knows the unbeliever [the goats] before the foundations of the world. The Shepherd [the Good Shepherd] or the better translation “the Beautiful Shepherd” knew our names and He made Himself known to us through the precious gospel and the written word of God. The word “know” here is used in the sense of affectionate regard or love. It implies such knowledge of their wants, their dangers, and their characters, as to result in a deep interest in their welfare. What does Jesus know according to this passage in John’s gospel?
JESUS, THE BEAUTIFUL SHEPHERD KNOWS HIS SHEEP (v14, v27)
This passage points to the close connection or intimate relationship Christ has with the believer. He is not a distant God who is just learning about you for the first time. He is not a disconnected God with His creation when it comes to out every being. He is not an unloving God that is completely ignorant to your life…..He knows you better than you know yourself! He knows His each and every one of His sheep….this indicates he knows our individual traits and special needs. When you read the word “know” it means much more than an intellectual awareness. It reveals to us a personal intimate relationship that He has with each and every one of His sheep. He knows you weaknesses and strengths, fears, desires and so on; just as sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd for food, water, shelter, protection and guidance. Sheep, even need help getting up when they fall down or over on their backs. What picture of the Christian life!
- I desperately need to hear His voice to find peace in the midst of turmoil.
- I desperately need to hear His voice to find rest in a dry weary land.
- I desperately need hear His voice to find shelter in a storm of my life
- I desperately need to hear His voice to lead me beside still waters.
Why? He is the beautiful Shepherd and I know Him because I trust in Him alone to guard and deliver my soul into heaven.
JESUS, THE BEAUTIFUL SHEPHERD GIVES HIS SHEEP ETERNAL LIFE (v28a)
The Good Shepherd pardons our sin and cloths us with His righteousness and gives us a right or the title to reside in heaven with Him for all eternity. A God who came to this earth to dwell among men came to die so the He could leave the Spirit to dwell in men for the purpose of preserving his property so that we can finally dwell where He is. In Heaven with all His glory! Just as Jesus said to the woman at the well we need physical water to sustain life, we need His living water which is the promise of everlasting life.
- Eternal life is more than forgiveness.
- Eternal life is more than a free pass from Judgement.
- Eternal life is all about Christ, the beautiful Shepherd who loved me and died for my sin personally.
As Kent Hughes wrote “He is altogether lovely, this beautiful Jesus, our shepherd. Why is he so beautiful? Because of the way He relates to us, calls us by name, and knows us, and because we know Him and He sees to our every need. Why is He so beautiful? Because He is door, and when we go in, we find protection and salvation. And when we go out, we find pasture and abundant life. Why is he so beautiful? Because of his heart. Because he laid down his life for His sheep. And offers us all a place with Him.” Our beautiful Saviour not only knows us individually, but he also keeps us according to His mercy and grace….through the promise He gives to His sheep……..a permanent home where he is in Heaven. As Jesus said “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3. As a sheep [a child of the Living God] do not be troubled by this world and the situations that He has allowed in your life. He has promised you that he will never leave you or forsake you……because you are His property. This brings me to my 3 point in this passage!
JESUS, THE BEAUTIFUL SHEPHERD DECLARES THAT HIS SHEEP WILL NEVER PERISH (v28b, v29)
Though we are weak, prone to flee or give in or give up by throwing in the towel. Easily persuaded to go back to what or were we feel comfortable. The Shepherd will see to that doesn’t happen as He shepherds us home, “my sheep shall never perish” you should underline the word “never” because as New Covenant believers this is where I find great comfort in my day to day struggles of life. Think about it for a moment! The God and Creator of the universe who spoke life into existence is the one who says the “true believer” will never perish.
- The same God who parted the Red Sea and held back the Egyptian army.
- The same God who made the Israelites walk on dry land, not once, but twice.
- The same God who prepared a flood and dried it up after His promise to Noah.
- The same God who took a barren woman of old age and gave her a child.
- The same God who gave a young boy named David the ability to defeat Goliath.
- The same God who stood in the midst of the fiery furnace with 3 young men.
- The same God who shut the mouths of the lions from devouring Daniel.
- The same God who created a fish big enough to swallow a disgruntle prophet
- The same God who took dry bones and brought life back to them.
- The same God who came in the likeness of man born of a virgin.
- The same God who willing went to the cross and faced the wrath that I deserve.
- The same God who has the power to resurrect the dead, heal the blind, make the lame man walk, save sinners.
This is the same God who proclaims these words to world and the religious blind men who are before him. “I know my sheep”…….and “they shall never perish”. My question to you is this! Do you believe that the sovereign God of the universe is able to keep you? Not even thieves, robbers or wolves can harm or separate you from His sovereign power. Remember what the apostle Paul said “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Rom 8:28-32. The beautiful shepherd will keep His own safe by His mighty hand (v28). You [personally] have been placed into the sovereign arms of the Good Shepherd, who loves you and will care for you because you’re completely dependent upon the Shepherd for life. Just as a sheep are completely dependent upon the shepherd for all things to survive.
When Jesus performed His miracles they were always done perfectly! When Jesus came to die for the sin of the world, He did it perfectly once and for all. When Jesus called you out of darkness, He did this perfectly and He will completely keep you unto the end. As Paul said “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Phil 1:6
Embrace this wonderful truth, because its all of grace………….His grace in the life of His sheep [the true born again Christian]. Do not treat this truth as means or a licence to sin because if that’s how you look at the Shepherd and this passage, then you are not truly His. Remember what Jesus said “you are not of my sheep” (v26). But for us who are His…….. It’s liberating and exciting! I’m so thankful he knew me and that He has the power to keep this wretched sinner saved by grace. As one writer said “God, our great owner, the sheep of whose pasture we are by creation, has constituted His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Shepherd. He has all that care of His people that a good shepherd has of his flock. Trust in those promises because Jesus our beautiful Shepherd is incapable of lying. And His promises will always prevail no matter what happens in this life. Let us take care that we belong to His flock…..persevere in His grace of righteousness. Let us take care that we continue to hear His voice and follow Him by faith…..through the written word as we are guided by the Holy Spirit. Let us find rest in His eternal arms of grace……..because this isn't our home, Heaven is we reside. The place where the beautiful Shepherd is calling His sheep home.