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Online Text Sermon - The Good Shepherd, John ch.10 v.14

PreacherRev. Maurice Roberts, Inverness
Sermon TitleThe Good Shepherd
TextJohn ch.10 v.14
Sermon ID75

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"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine" (John 10,14).

1. Christ the Good Shepherd.

2. Who are His sheep?

3. The best pasturage and plan


We are all familiar with the four gospels of Christ, and, therefore, you will not be surprised when I tell you that there are no parables, as such, in the gospel of John. We refer to the first three gospels, as you know, as the Synoptic Gospels. It's a very common phrase, and it refers to the fact that these three gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) have so many things in common. They are looking at the life of Christ in ways which are very similar. However, when we come to John's gospel, even a casual reading informs you that here is a gospel which is different from the other three. One of the differences which is so remarkable is that there are no parables here. Of course, you immediately want to challenge what I say by referring to this very chapter. I'm well aware that there is something like a parable here, but the fact of the matter is that the writer (John) does not call this a parable. He uses a slightly different word which we could translate 'an allegory': it is a remarkably extended illustration, illustrating between Himself and the work of a shepherd; the way in which Christ's entire life and ministry, and His connection with His people, resembles that of a shepherd and his sheep.

One thing further before I look at this passage: there is no difference between the audience in chapter nine, and the audience in chapter ten. Although we have a chapter division here at chapter ten, you must understand there is no break in the narrative; it is the same people listening and hearing what He has to say. Those persons are of two kinds: there is, on the one hand, the true believers, like the man whom he has just healed of blindness - a true disciple - and, no doubt, there were other disciples there too, who believed in Him, and loved Him, genuinely. But then there was another class of hearers, and these were Jewish leaders, the Pharisees, and the chief priests - His critics, in other words - were also there. And what our Lord says in connection here with His being the Good Shepherd, in this extended allegory, bears upon both: those who were His people, and those who were not His people. And with His own unique and consummate skill, He applies the truth of His allegory to them both. Well, then, let's look at this together tonight.

The Lord Jesus Christ compares Himself to a shepherd, and He does so in order to bring out central teaching concerning Himself and His great office and work as our Saviour. What are some of the lessons intended?

The first lesson I suggest to you is that He is conveying to His people the clear teaching that He is equal with God the Father. When He calls Himself the Good Shepherd, He immediately brings to our mind passages of the Old Testament which these Jewish hearers could not but know well. The famous 23rd Psalm that you were singing a moment ago begins with that very statement: 'Jehovah is my Shepherd' - and here is Jehovah Himself! Here is that very Shepherd! come down from heaven to earth, incarnate of the virgin Mary, brought into manhood and ministry, confronting His friends and foes, and the lesson must be that our Lord was instructing us all: that He is very God of very God; the true light that lightens the world, who is come to manifest the truth of God.

If you were to have any remaining doubt as to that fact, you must remind yourself what is said in the prophecy of Zechariah 13. Do you remember these famous words, "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow" (Zechariah 13,7). What an extraordinary prophecy! The sword of divine judgment that woke against Christ on the Cross, was not only against One that was the Shepherd, but One that was the very 'fellow' of God; the co-equal, and the co-substantial, everlasting Son of God. Well, whether they had eyes to see and ears to hear that truth is a matter of much doubt. But you and I must have eyes and ears to receive it. When Jesus tells us, "I am the Good Shepherd," my dear friends, He is claiming absolute Godhead.

And then, also, He uses this illustration to show us, in a very tender way, His profound love, and His affection, for all His people. "I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine" (text). You will be, I'm sure, familiar with this teaching: that the word 'know' in Hebrew parlance is a pregnant word. When we say, 'Do you know somebody', in English, it really means little more than, 'Are you acquainted with him? Are you familiar with him?' But usually, and often, in Hebrew, it means much more: it means love, affection, devotion. "I know My people. I know them with profoundest regard, and concern. They are My sheep, My sheep, and I am known by them. Even as I love them, so they love Me."

And, then, our Lord tells us: He goes before them. That is, He says, the function of the shepherd. It may not be the case in the Western world, but certainly in the Middle East the shepherd did not drive his sheep; he led his sheep. He went before them. These words appear in this very section, as you may remember. The good shepherd goes before His sheep.

Now, there again, our Lord brings important teaching to our attention. He goes before us in every possible way. There is no temptation that you or I will ever encounter - no evil, no difficulty, no problem - that He has not first gone through. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4,15). He goes before us. The Shepherd has tasted the cup of temptation before you and I are to taste it. And then He goes before us in respect of death. He has tasted of death before us. He has not only tasted, of course, of temporal death, but eternal death. He drank the cup of our damnation. He has gone before us in the experience of death. Our Lord has 'warmed the grave'. Let no one say that the grave is a cold place. Yes, it was - till our Lord came and lay in it, and now He Himself has brought cheer to His people. When they face the grave, they know it is the place that He has been before them in. He has made the grave a hospitable place for His dear people. He has gone before them. And, of course, He has gone before them as our Forerunner into the glory. He has "led captivity captive" (Psalm 68,18; Ephesians 4,8), and He has already "set down at the right hand of God" (Hebrews 1,3; Hebrews 12,2), and there He waits for His people. He has gone before us, and He is waiting for us.

Now the phrase here is, that He calls Himself the Good Shepherd, and the word for 'good' is not the obvious word in Greek 'kalos', but this is the word 'agathos'. We get it in the female Christian name, Agatha. It means 'good' in the sense of beautiful.. Our Lord is a beautiful Person. He is beautiful in His office and character. Our Lord brings before His people a character and an example to imitate. He is a perfect Master. Now, you know, the Bible tells us that if we associate with other people, they will have an affect upon us. We become very much like our friends. For instance, one of the Proverbs goes like this: "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed" (Proverbs 13,20).

But, now, this is what Christ is: He is the Good Shepherd in the sense that the beauty and the excellence of His character are such that when we follow Him we become a little bit like Him. Every true Christian says, with a shake of his head, Not very much like Him. Well, that's true. Every Christian feels, with bitter sorrow, how unlike our Lord he is; how unlike Him is our character. But, nonetheless, the beauty and the radiance of Christ, the beauty of the Lord is being formed in those that follow Him, and this is the teaching which He here conveys. This is also found in other Scriptures: "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4,18); or that wonderful text in 2 Corinthians 3,18 where the apostle says, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed (or transfigured, if you like) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." Sanctification, in other words, is becoming like our holy Saviour and Master Jesus Christ. And in Christ there is this beauty of holiness. He is the beautiful and the Good Shepherd.

Now in the use of this allegory concerning the shepherd, it is clearly Jesus' intention not simply to tell us about Himself and His character, but also His office, His work, and His relationship to us. And He Himself develops this illustration in all the ways that I'm about to open up.

One of these is the way in which the shepherd calls to His flock. There's something mysterious about the shepherd's voice. The sheep know the voice of their shepherd. In Middle Eastern times there was a communal sheep-fold, very commonly. And all the shepherds of an area or region or township would bring their various flocks at night, and all the flocks would be kept safe within this enclosure made of rough-hewn stones. And there would be a doorkeeper who would look after the sheep, presumably during the night when the shepherd had to take necessary rest and sleep. But in the morning, when each particular shepherd came, he would stand at the door and call his own sheep by name, and all his own would rise up and follow him and he would lead them to their pasturage. No other sheep whatever would follow that shepherd. Each knew his own shepherd's voice. That was well known in Biblical times. All the hearers of Christ's illustration would have understood that. Even though, perhaps, we live in an industrial society, we still know sufficient about sheep, even in our twenty-first century, to realize that that is the case. Sheep only follow the voice of their own shepherd - and no one else.

Now, that is precisely the teaching our Lord intends us to understand in a spiritual sense. The true Christian will not follow anybody else's voice but the voice of his Lord and Master. "He calleth His own sheep by name" (John 10,3), that is to say: at the time of a Christian's conversion it is a response within his soul to the voice of his Saviour. In the experience of everyone who is a true Christian there was a moment and a time when he heard Christ speaking to him by name. I don't mean with the outward ear, of course; I'm not referring to visions of the night, or supernatural experiences of that kind. I'm speaking about that inward recognition that Christ is calling us through the gospel! Christ is calling us to Himself! and saying to us: Come and follow Me! Come unto Me, and I will give you rest! (Matthew 11,28).

Now, that is something which others do not hear. And when we are first converted, we are surprised that everybody doesn't rise up and follow Christ. We say to ourselves, How is it that that person sitting next to me didn't feel what I felt? or hear what I heard? or that they were not thrilled in their innermost man as I was, by the Word of God? And the answer is that only the sheep hear His voice and follow Him. Others neither hear it, nor recognize it, nor know it - because they are not of His sheep. And this is what our Lord says to certain people. He says, "You believe not, because you are not of My sheep, as I said unto you, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10,26-27).

So then, that is the experience of grace beginning in the soul. It begins not with 'my decision', as it were; it's not 'what I decide to do'. It's not that I suddenly say to myself that I'm of a certain age and therefore I must become 'a committed Christian' - that fearful expression that people have: 'a committed Christian'. My dear friends, it doesn't begin with committing ourselves in that kind of way. It begins by hearing His voice and following Him. And when we have heard the voice, we cannot but follow Him! We cannot but become committed, because we have heard Him! The Shepherd has spoken! And others will not hear that.

It's very much illustrated in the experience of the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. You remember? He saw the light. And he heard a voice: Saul! Saul! And he fell down. Now he had a lot of companions with him, and they were vaguely aware of some phenomenon. They heard something, and they saw something; but they did not hear the voice of Christ for what it was. But Saul did. He heard the voice of Christ speaking to him. And that's what our Lord does: He speaks to His own by name.

Now then, our Lord goes on with that illustration and He develops it, and He says: They do not hear the voice of strangers. They will not follow a stranger (John 10,5). What does that mean? It means that the Lord's people are given a 'special instinct' so that they know truth from error. They know that the Bible is the Word of God. They don't need a preacher like me to tell them. They know that! They are taught of God to know that (John 6,45). God does the teaching. He gives them an unction of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2,20). They don't need to go to a Bible College to be told that the Bible is the Word of God, and is inspired, and holy - they know it! They know it by virtue of the fact that they've heard the voice of the Shepherd! And when the Jehovah's Witnesses knock on the door, and tell them that there are these texts in the Bible (they think) that prove that Jesus is not God at all but just something less than God, the Lord's people do not listen to that. They know very well it's nonsense! No genuine Christian ever listened to that kind of talk. They know the Shepherd's voice. They know that to know Christ is more precious than life!

And then He goes on, and He puts it like this: The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep (John 10,11). "No man taketh it from Me," He says, "I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father" (verse 18). So He is indicating here the extraordinary love He bears to His own dear people. He loves them enough to die for them. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep. He has power to lay it down, and power to take it again.

There's a kind of strange teaching being invented in some places, and it goes like this. I don't know if you've come across it, but this is the way it's being put across: that Jesus, in Gethsemane, when He was facing the Cross, He was taking a 'huge risk'; He didn't really know whether He would rise from the dead or not. Now, that is being put across these days by some people who claim to know these things better than most of us. All I can say, my friends, is it does not fit the Scriptures. Jesus tells us, "I have power to lay it down, and power to take it again" (John 10,18). He didn't die unsure of His own resurrection. He died in a sure and certain knowledge that He would rise again with His own power.

So all of this, then, is brought out as teaching by our Saviour concerning His being the Shepherd, and I want to ask you, in a word, if you are aware of this experience, yourself, of having heard His voice. My dear, dear friend, have you heard His voice? Have you started to follow Him? Do you know the Shepherd for yourself? This is life eternal: to know Him (John 17,3) and to be one of His sheep.


Well now the Lord's people, secondly, are compared to sheep. This is a very frequent expression in Scripture. Jesus Himself says, "I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves! be ye therefore wise as serpents; and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10,16). Or, again, that famous expression our Lord uses, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12,32). And so our Lord frequently compares His people to sheep. Why is this?

Well, of course, it's partly because of the tenderness of the relationship, and His compassion for His people. I was recently in a farmhouse and I saw a little lamb born that very day, I say, a one-day old lamb, standing up, like a pet lamb, in the house of my dear friends. What a weak, dependent creature it is standing there helplessly, bleating, just having opened its eyes on this wide world. And our Lord has compassion for His people. He knows what a dangerous world His people have to live in; and He is the Good Shepherd because He cares for them.

You know when the shepherd was looking after his sheep, his eye was never far from them. The other day, you may know, I had to look after a grandson. Wonderful privilege to look after a grandson, but you can't take your eyes off a little boy or girl - not for ten seconds, you can't! They're into this, or into that, they may cut themselves, or fall or something - you can't take your eyes off them. So it is with Christ - He never takes His eye off His people, night or day! The Shepherd watches all His people, in all their circumstances, wherever they are: and He cares for them. Left to ourselves as the sheep of Christ, I say, left to ourselves we would soon wander away and be lost. "All we like sheep have gone astray" (Isaiah 53,6). If Christ were not to continually gather us together into His own bosom, and to steer us in the right way, we would all quickly be lost.

The Lord's people are harmless. That must be the reason why the Scriptures compare Christians to sheep. The Lord's people are harmless. The wicked, you know, are compared to savage beasts and brutes. Do you remember Psalm 34, The lions young may hungry be, and they may lack their food (verse 10). What does it mean by that? Is he talking about real, literal lions? I don't' think so. He's talking about the wicked; non-Christians. The lion's young is an illustration of the non-Christian. The non-Christian is able to fend for himself. He doesn't need a shepherd; he's too proud to be led along by any shepherd. He is his own master: the captain of his own destiny, the master of this own fate. He is going to cut for himself in this life. So, he's compared to lion's young, and wolves, and foxes. But the Lord's people are harmless, like Himself. What beautiful words are said about Christ: He is "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Hebrews 7,26). So are the Lord's people,they're harmless. Christians are the most harmless people in the world. They have no wish to do anyone any hurt.

And I suppose He uses this expression 'sheep' of His people because they belong together. They're not like certain animals which are all on their own in a state of solitude. The Lord's people are gregarious; they like to meet together. That's why God has given them church services, and fellowships, and communions. They belong together. They are one flock. They are His collective congregation. And let's not forget that. You know, we mustn't make ourselves strange to one another. Let us get to know one another. Let us watch out for the one who is shy, and like a shadow on the edges, and let us befriend them, and make them feel that they belong with us, and that we care for them. It could be, my friend, that if you're too much on our own and too little in the fellowship of God's people, it may be that that's the real thing that's gone wrong with you. Maybe you're too solitary. Maybe you're too much locked up in your own thoughts and your own worries. No, fellowship is a means of grace. God's people are a flock, they are "My sheep", and they belong together. Maybe you should spend a little more time in the fellowships, and in the companies of those who love the Lord. Well, I say, the Lord's eye is ever upon them.

A very wise man in the commission of the assembly the other day said this, or something like this: he spoke of the homosexualization of modern society. It's a very chilling thought that the government in Scotland, the Parliament in Scotland, evidently, are pushing, pushing, pushing to bring this country into a position in which there's going to be more and more homosexualization. I'm sorry to refer to this in a meeting like this, but I think you'll see that it's important that I should do so. It's a very horrible thought, and this wise minister said this: "It's a chilling and a terrible thought." And the way he expressed it brought it home to us that we're living in a time when the most fearful evils are coming into our society. And then I thought, that the Lord is still our Shepherd. And just as He has led His people through all the troubles and trials of history, He will surely lead us and our children through these evils of modern society. So we must balance the difficulties with the comforts of knowing that He will guide us through. Let's not panic. Let's not imagine some impossibility lies before us. God is well able, Christ well able, to steer us through even such a society, and bless us and our children. Well, this is one of the lessons our Lord, I think, is bringing home to us here.


And there's another one. You know, the shepherd, who is wise, brings the changes on the pasturage used by His flock. In some countries like, let's say, Switzerland, in the wintertime they're down in the valley, and then when the spring and summer comes the shepherd takes his flock to the mountaintops - there he leaves them till late autumn and brings them down again. He changes the pasturage. In this country, I suppose, it would mean he would bury the sheep's use of one field, and then he would take them to another field, and he would rotate them from field to field.

Now, our Shepherd does that with His people. Sometimes we're in the pasturage called ease and comfort. And then sometimes our great Shepherd sees that it is best for us that we should go through a time of tribulation and trial and sifting and difficulty. We must take it from Him that He knows what He is doing. We've all experienced in the last few weeks and months (years, indeed) this very thing; we have been through a most trying time. But the Shepherd knows what He is about. There's nothing's happened to us, or to our brethren throughout the land, but what He Himself as the Shepherd found and decided was the best: it was the best thing for His flock. I'm not presuming to say anything about those who differ from us. I long to believe they are equally the Lord's people. I am happy to be told, if need be, that they are the best Christians in the country. I am happy to be informed that I, and others, are very second rate by comparison with them. That would give me no surprise at all. But, my friends, we've had to part company in terms of the principles of the Word of God as far as we understand them. We must follow the Lamb, we must follow the Shepherd as "He leads us in paths of righteousness for His own name sake" (Psalm 23,3).

And then, of course, there is also this teaching here that He has a hidden plan for His sheep. He puts it like this: "other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd" (John 10,16). What does it mean? He's referring there to the Jews. He was saying that He did not simply come into the world to save the Jews. Other sheep I have which are not of this Jewish fold. His eyes were looking toward Scotland, and America, and Australia, and Russia, China, and Korea. He saw with that prophetic knowledge of His, that divine understanding of His, He saw the purpose of God stretching out to the ends of time. He saw that He must "sprinkle many nations" (Isaiah 52,15) and gather into one the children of God that are scattered abroad throughout the world (John 11,52). And each of these countries, so to say, is a sheep-fold for Christ. There are sheep in every nation. All the nations will bring their tribute of converted men and women into Christ's church and kingdom.

And in the end of the day, He tells us what the conclusion of this purpose is: I must bring them all, all that the Father has given me, I must bring them all, and there shall be one flock, and one Shepherd. Now, our English Authorized Version is a marvellous translation and, in my view, the best translation in our language, but at this point it could be just improved upon a little. Our version says there shall be one fold and one shepherd. It would be still more accurate if we translated it 'one flock and one Shepherd', because all the folds are the individual churches throughout the world, including (pray God) the Free Church of Scotland Continuing. All these are His folds; they contain His sheep. But in the end of history there will be one flock, and one Shepherd.

Now, my friend do you see that vision? Do you see that as the goal of all that we do? Why do we preach? Why do we have communion services and prayer meetings? It is with this in view: to gather out of the world those who belong to Christ, those for whom He laid down His life, and to preserve, and to keep, and to cherish, and to look after His flock until He takes them out of this world, and brings them safe home to glory. There are some of His sheep who can no longer come to the services of His house. We think of them in old people's homes, hospitals. They'll probably never be here again, but they are His sheep, and I'm sure we remember them. Oh, what precious conversations you can have with His sheep as they're in hospitals or in homes for the elderly. What spirituality they sometimes show; what prayerfulness; what love of the things of God. They're getting close to their eternal home, and one day you and I will be very close to it.

And I have to ask you, my dear friend, Are you preparing for that great change? The Shepherd is not going to keep us in this pasturage forever. He is going to take us to far better pastures beyond and above, where we shall see Him Himself, and we shall be in His nearer presence. And even in Heaven itself, you know, even there too He will still be our Shepherd. The Book of Revelation, referring to Heaven, describes His relation to His people like this. It says, "The lamb in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters" (Revelation 7,17). We shall be following Jesus forever - forever and ever. That is eternal life! to follow Him. He will feed us with knowledge, and understanding. He will feed us with love. He will show us the Father. He will show us the Holy Spirit. Oh how I long to meet the Holy Spirit! the One who changed my vile heart, and gave me grace and repentance! How we should love the Holy Spirit for all that He has done in our lives. And He hides Himself, as it were, behind a curtain all the time; never speaks of Himself, but points us to Christ. But in Heaven Christ will show us the Father, and the Spirit, and we shall adore all three Persons in that happy world above.

But now briefly, and finally, our Lord's illustration of the shepherd and the sheep contains elements, too, which speak about the way in which He protects them and enriches them. Let me just take out some of the strands of His teaching before we close.

First of all, here, He says, "I am the door" (John 10, 7). Now it's very difficult to see how Christ describes Himself both as the Shepherd and the Door of the sheep. And it has been plausibly suggested that what He meant was this: that in the sheepfold (this enclosure of stones), that there's one door, and at night the shepherd would take it in turns with other shepherds to sleep in the doorway, so that any marauder or robber who came in to steal the sheep would have to climb over the body of the resting, or the reclining, or the sleeping shepherd. And he was, therefore, with his colleagues, he was watching all the time over the sheep, night and day. Maybe that's the thought: he was in that sense the door.

In any case, our Lord means He is our protection in all the circumstances of life. And in that regard, He speaks of two great dangers in this passage.

The first danger is from the wolf. The wolf, He says, catches them and scatters the sheep (John 10,12). Now that's one of the dangers, and the reference is very easy to interpret. It is a reference, of course, to Satan. My friends, Satan is absolutely and perfectly wicked. And Christians pose a threat to Satan's work in this world. The holy life, the godly Christian, the preaching of the truth, all of these things are poison to the Devil and his work. He hates the light which Christians represent in their holy lives and their loving attitudes. He hates the truth of the gospel. He will do anything to destroy the people of God and to scatter them! Well, our Lord says that He will protect His sheep from the wolf.

But I have to say to you that we must do all in our powers to protect ourselves as well. No wonder the Bible says we are to "put on the whole armour of God" (Ephesians 6,11), which involves, every morning and evening: prayer, vigilance, reading the Scriptures, watching, watching our own hearts, watching against the temptations that the Devil will bring across our path. Don't forget how he tripped up King David in an unwatchful moment when David was 'at ease in Zion' (Amos 6,1), saw the beautiful woman, and ruined his testimony. Many a Christian has done similar things. In many different forms of temptation the Devil will find our cracks or weaknesses, if he can. We are, therefore, to realize that he will 'sift us like wheat' (Luke 22,31) if he gets a chance. So we are to watch, and we are to flee to our Shepherd for our protection.

Then, there's a second danger mentioned in the chapter: it is the hireling, "he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not...fleeth and leaves the sheep", He flees "because he is an hireling and careth not for the sheep" (John 10,12-13). The second reference to danger (this hireling) is a reference to preachers who are not called by God, and they don't really love the people of God. They're in it either because it's a profession, to make money, and when they're not making money they're dissatisfied, or else they're in it for some personal reasons of self-aggrandizement, or promotion: they're after the popularity, they're after the acclaim, and the praise. But they don't love the souls of the people, and the effect of their ministry is they scatter the Lord's people, they drive them away, they make them unhappy, they disrupt and destroy the unity, and the love, and the harmony, and the happiness that God's people should have one with another.

There's a well-known article of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, which has a marvellous title fully worthy of that great man. He puts a question mark at the end of the title of his article: "Feeding sheep? or amusing goats?" He's talking about preaching and worship. You see there are some preachers, and they're not so much concerned about feeding sheep, as amusing goats, and our Lord warns us against that. We are to watch against those who do harm to our souls by lies, and levity, and novelty, and teaching which is not four-square grounded upon the Word of God.

But then, as I close, our Lord speaks about the blessings He comes to bring to His people, and with this I shall close. "I am come that they might have life," He says, "and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10,10). What does that mean? Well, my friends, I have to confess I have no idea what it means! Do you know what it means? Have you got a book on your shelf, which you can tell us what it means? But it must mean this: it must mean foretastes of Heaven now, for godly people who are His sheep: "Joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1,8). It must mean "the love of God shed abroad in our hearts" (Romans 5,5), the experience of a sense of acceptance with God. And it must mean a whole lot more than that: it must mean entering in at last into that place which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (1 Corinthians 2,9) - all of this because Christ is His people's Shepherd.

Don't you sometimes wonder why it is that all the world does not follow Jesus Christ our Lord?

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