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Sunday 26th April,2015 ‘The Good Shepherd’ John 10:11-18

cathyBULLETIN INSERT   Lismore Anglican Parish

Sun 26th April 2015 & Wed 29th April 2015

‘The Good Shepherd’   John 10:11-18

by Cathy Ridd LLM

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.”

 

Some of the earliest images of Jesus found in churches and tombs were not portrayals of Jesus on the cross, or the infant in the manger. Rather, they picture Jesus as the gentle shepherd. And what may be one of the earliest paintings of all is of a very young Jesus, dressed in a short white tunic, who has draped a lamb over his shoulders.

 

On this Fourth Sunday of Easter we’re invited to explore what it means to have the risen Christ as our shepherd. It means that he cares for us. He is the shepherd who not only gives up his own life for the flock, but he has done this willingly.

 

We know his voice and we follow him. And when we wander away, which we know we do all too often, he comes searching for us.

 

These are wonderful, comforting images, but this passage includes a challenging thought. It is the good shepherd decides who is in the sheepfold; we do not. The Pharisees and the disciples alike thought that they knew who the chosen ones of God were. But this shepherd tells them – and us – that it is God, in Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit who brings together that flock.

 

Adapted from “Commentary on John 10:11-18,” Dr Lucy Lind Hogan.

Image: The Good Shepherd was found in the Vault of Lucina in the Catacomb of Callixtus, Rome.

 

John 10:11-18

11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

 

Acts 4:5-12

5 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John,* and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7When they had made the prisoners* stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, 9if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,* whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11This Jesus* is “the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;    it has become the cornerstone.”* 12There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’

 

1 John 3:16-24

16We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? 18Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him

20whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

23And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given