1. On this occasion Jesus revealed some important information about His identity. 2. He identified Himself twice as "the good shepherd" (vs.11a, 14a). 3. We are using these verses to introduce our lesson because they touch on the subject we are studying -- "Christ cares for His sheep." 4. The first point we need to make is that . . . Discussion:
I. CHRIST CARES FOR HIS SHEEP BECAUSE HE IS "THE GOOD SHEPHERD"
A. Jesus made this point when He compared Himself to a hireling. B. A hireling: 1. will not protect and defend the sheep 2. will run when danger approaches 3. does not care for the sheep (vs.13b). C. As the good shepherd, Jesus: 1. knows His sheep (vs.14) 2. sacrifices Himself on behalf of the sheep (vs.11b, 15b) 3. shows how much He cares for His sheep. D. When a wolf approaches, the sheep need to: 1. trust that the good shepherd cares for them 2. have confidence in His care. II. LET US EXAMINE 2 OCCASIONS WHEN JESUS WAS ASKED BY HIS FOLLOWERS IF HE CARED
A. During a storm the disciples asked if Jesus cared that they were in danger of dying (Mark 4:35-41). 1. Please note that Jesus was with His disciples when this storm arose. 2. Even though the Lord was with them, the disciples apparently were not convinced that He cared for them. 3. Perhaps it would have helped if at least one of the disciples had mentioned how God delivered His people many times in the Old Testament, but none of them did (see Psalm 22:1-5). 4. Jesus did care for the disciples, and He took care of the situation. 5. Let us remember that Christ cares for His sheep when storms arise. B. On another occasion Martha asked if Jesus cared that her sister was not helping her (Luke 10:38-42). 1. Jesus was supplying the guests with the bread of life, and Mary was having a feast at His feet. 2. According to John 11:20-27, Martha had great faith in the Lord, but on this occasion she was more concerned with serving those who were in her home. 3. Jesus: a. revealed Martha's problem b. commended Mary for her choice. III. LET US CONSIDER 4 WAYS IN WHICH CHRIST SHOWS THAT HE CARES FOR HIS SHEEP
A. First, He invites us to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28-30). B. Second, He intercedes on our behalf (Romans 8:34). C. Third, He serves as our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5-6). D. Fourth, He serves as our High Priest (Hebrews 8:1-2; 4:14-16). Conclusion:
1. As we go through 2021 let us remember that "Christ cares for His sheep." 2. Let us keep in mind that anxiety led the disciples and Martha to question whether Jesus cared about the situations they were facing. 3. To avoid their mistake let us practice the admonition given in Philippians 4:6.