Weekly Encouragement 11-4-19 The True Shepperd
On occasion, I find myself listening to discussions about some charismatic leader or another who has drawn a large following of people to himself. Such was the situation a few years ago when I listened to a conversation between two Christian brothers as they discussed Jim Jones (Leader of The Peoples Temple) and David Koresh (Leader of the Branch Davidian religious sect). Said brothers were perplexed how that anyone could draw people to himself, especially in large numbers, convincing them to submit to his direction and teaching, giving up all personal control of mind and will. Jim Jones convinced and led over 900 people in a mass suicide on November 18th, 1978, and David Koresh led his people to give up their lives rather than surrender to authorities on April 19th, 1993. There were many things that both leaders convinced their followers to do, things that need not be mentioned here. The point is, the followers of each leader completely submitted themselves to his leading, giving up all personal autonomy. Both leaders claimed Christhood and demanded the people’s worship.
What struck me in the conversation of that morning, was there was not even a mention of the true Shepperd, Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of Christianity. He gave His life for His sheep, not demand their lives as did Jim Jones or David Koresh.
Listening to the conversation, my thoughts turned to Jesus’ own words concerning the true Shepperd as recorded in the Gospel of John. “1Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 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.
17 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:1-18).
Now, I am not being critical of my brothers for not considering the true Shepperd while they conversed, nor am I being critical of other Christians, but isn’t it time that we Christians begin thinking Biblically again. Not only thinking Biblically but living and speaking Biblically. How else are people to know that we are sheep of the only sheepfold that counts and that we are followers of the only true Shepperd?
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man