Christianity is an interesting thing.
It’s the one religion
where people are expected
to swallow their pride
and be a doormat for all mankind.
Well, this morning we will learn
that is the farthest thing from the truth!
It is true -
we are called to swallow our pride,
because anything selfish is not of God.
We are called
to be humble, gentle and kind;
and patient too -
and to bear with one another in love,
in all that we do.
We are called to make every effort
to keep the unity of the Spirit
through a bond of peace.
And we are told
“To put off falsehood
and speak the truth in love,
and when we get angry, do not to sin.”
Let me remind you -
sin is anything that separates us from God.
A sin is any heart or mind position
that gives the devil a foothold.
That draws us into his stronghold.
The majority of scripture
shows Jesus operating in peace
all the way up to His crucifixion.
But there is one time,
when He acted out in anger
and it was completely justified -
because He is The Righteous Branch
and man was spitting on God's Temple!
Listen to this -
“Jesus entered the temple courts
and drove out all who were
buying and selling there.
He overturned the tables
of the money changers
and the benches of those selling doves.
“It is written,” he said to them,
“My house will be called a house of prayer,’
but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
Well, I noticed that Mark and Luke
make the same report,
but John is the one who describes it best!
Listen to this, it’s gets even more intense -
“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
In the temple courts he found people
selling cattle, sheep and doves,
and others sitting at tables exchanging money.
So he made a whip out of cords,
and drove all from the temple courts,
both sheep and cattle;
he scattered the coins of the money changers
and overturned their tables.
To those who sold doves he said,
“Get these out of here!
Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
What a strong image of Jesus!
Jesus was standing in Jerusalem,
on the Temple Mount, operating in wrath,
wielding a whip, and driving the out the wolves!
For a minute, we are given a glimpse
of the protective side of our Good Shepherd!
The Lamb of God became the Lion of Judah!
What a great foreshadow of what is to come!
This is what Jesus said to the hypocrites...
I am going to take it slow...
“Anyone who does not enter the sheep pen
BY THE GATE, but climbs in by some other way,
is a thief and a robber.
The one who enters BY THE GATE
IS the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him,
and the sheep listen to his voice.
He calls his own sheep by name
and leads them out.”
Don’t you get it?
Jesus is the ONLY WAY to Heaven!
He is the ONLY WAY to God!
He IS the Gate -
And His Father's House IS the sheep pen!
And anyone who thinks
they can come in some other way is deceived.
When the goats and wolves come to the gate,
Jesus will say, “Depart from Me, for I never knew you.”
“Not everyone who says to me,
‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but the one who does
the will of my Father who is in heaven.
On that day many will say to me,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name,
and cast out demons in your name,
and do many mighty works in your name?’
And then will I declare to them,
‘I never knew you; depart from me,
you workers of sin."
“When he has brought out all his own,
he goes on ahead of them,
and his sheep follow him
because they know his voice.
But they will never follow a stranger;
in fact, they will run away from him
because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
Let's repeat what Jesus just said, in simple terms.
Sheep know their shepherd’s voice.
Children of God believe in Jesus
and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit.
They pay attention to all the trees of the heart,
and they know how to discern
the type of fruit growing inside of them.
If you believe what I am saying,
then you are a part of the royal priesthood,
and you will see the glory of God.
If you don’t believe this to be true,
well then, “to hell with you.”
It breaks my heart, but it is not my decision.
Every person is afforded free will.
It’s the Word of God.
And I believe it. Do you?
Jesus said, Very truly I tell you,
I AM THE GATE for the sheep.
All who have come before me
are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep have not listened to them.
I AM THE GATE;
whoever enters through me will be saved.
They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD
The good shepherd lays down his life
for the sheep.
The hired hand is not the shepherd
and does not own the sheep.
So when he sees the wolf coming,
he abandons the sheep and runs away.
Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
The man runs away because he is a hired hand
and cares nothing for the sheep.
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD
I know my sheep and my sheep know me
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father
and I lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep
that are not of this sheep pen.
I must bring them also.
They too will listen to my voice,
and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
(Could Jesus be referring to the Jews and the Gentiles?)
The reason my Father loves me
is that I lay down my life
only to take it up again.
No one takes it from me,
but I lay it down of my own accord.
I have authority to lay it down
and authority to take it up again.
This command I received from my Father.”
John 10:1-5, 7-18
When Jesus displayed righteous anger,
He acted as a Good Shepherd.
The Jews responded to him and said,
“What sign can you show us
to prove your authority to do all this?”
Jesus answered them,
“Destroy this temple,
and I will raise it again in three days.”
“It has taken forty-six years to build this temple,
and you are going to raise it in three days?”
But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
"After he was raised from the dead,
his disciples recalled what he had said.
Then they believed the scripture
and the words that Jesus had spoken."
"Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival,
many people saw the signs he was performing
and believed in his name.
But Jesus would not entrust himself to them,
for he knew all people.
He did not need ANY testimony about mankind,
for he knew what was in each person.”
You see, Jesus knows.
He knows the heart of every person!
He divides the sheep from the goats,
and He protects his sheep from the wolves!
All the while He obeys the commands
of His Righteous Father!
God’s children are not doormats.
They belong to THE royal bloodline.
Their pen resides in Heaven.
And ALL God’s children said AMEN.
Whoever is wise,
let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning,
let him know them;
for the ways of the Lord are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.