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Sermons and Outlines


Intro: "Two men were called on, in a large classroom, to recite the Twenty-third Psalm. One was a published orator trained in speech technique and drama. He repeated the psalm in a powerful way. When he finished, the audience cheered and even asked for an encore that they might hear his wonderful voice again. "Then the other man, who was much older, repeated the same words--'The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want...' But when he finished, no sound came from the large class. Instead, people sat in a deep mood of devotion and prayer.

"Then the first man, the orator, stood to his feet. 'I have a confession to make,' he said. 'The difference between what you have just heard from my old friend, and what you heard from me is this: I know the Psalm, my friend knows the Shepherd.'"

Of the many images painted by John in his wonderful Gospel, probably the most descriptive is that of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. For like a shepherd, Jesus is concerned with the welfare and the care of His sheep. As Jesus delivered this sermon, on the heels of healing the blind man at the Temple, He clearly declares His identity and plainly states His purposes and plans. In these verses, we can the heart of Jesus on display. Here, He reveals His great love for sinners and His plan for dealing with their sin.

As I bring the message this morning, I want you to ask yourself this question, "Do I really know the Shepherd?" If you do not know Him, then I want you to know this is a message that you need to hear. For during the next few minutes, you are going to hear first hand, from the Bible itself, exactly how you can be saved. My prayer for you is that if you do not know Jesus as you personal Savior this morning that you will before you leave this building today. If you do know Him, then you are going to hear how knowing the Shepherd makes your life more abundant and rich.

These verses teach us that Jesus possesses certain qualities that qualify Him to be called the Good Shepherd. I would like to take a few minutes this morning to look into this passage and see for ourselves why Jesus deserves this title. Please go along with me today as we walk through these verses and discover Jesus: The Good Shepherd.


A. V. 1-3a He Came Properly - (Ill. Jesus uses the imagery of the sheepfold to illustrate His message. A Sheepfold was a circular wall about 10 feet tall with a single opening that served as a door. Several flocks might be placed into the sheepfold at night, with one of the shepherds lying in the opening to serve as the door. Nothing could get into, or out of the sheepfold without having to go through the shepherd. Jesus is telling His audience that only thieves and robbers seek to enter the sheepfold by another means besides the door. The shepherd, however, always comes in the right way!)

(Ill. Jesus proves that He is the Shepherd of the sheep because He came into the world in the right manner. He entered according to plan. He had presented His credentials to His people. Notice the proof that He came in the right way:

1. He had been virgin born - Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:21-23

2. He had been born in Bethlehem - Micah 5:2; Matt. 2:4-6

3. He had come in the fulness of time - Gal. 4:4

4. He had been brought out of Egypt - Hos. 11:1; Matt. 2:14-15

5. His arrival had provoked the rage of the enemy - Jer. 31:15; Matt. 2:16-18.

Ill. He was the right person, born in the right place, arriving at the right time, summoned from the right country, and attended by the right sign. He possesses all the credentials necessary to prove that He is the Good Shepherd! (Ill. Luke 4:18-19; Isa. 61:1-2) When Jesus came with the right credentials, the porter, John the Baptist openly introduced Him to the nation and declared His identity - John 1:29.

B. He Calls Properly - (Ill. There may be several flocks sharing the same sheepfold. However, when the shepherd of the sheep walks up to the door and calls his sheep, they instantly recognize his voice and respond to him. They know his call.)

(Ill. A man in Australia was arrested and charged with stealing a sheep. But he claimed emphatically that it was one of his own that had been missing for many days. When the case went to court, the judge was puzzled, not knowing how to decide the matter. At last he asked that the sheep be brought into the courtroom. Then he ordered the plaintiff to step outside and call the animal. The sheep made no response except to raise its head and look frightened.

The judge then instructed the defendant to go to the courtyard and call the sheep. When the accused man began to make his distinctive call, the sheep bounded toward the door. It was obvious that he recognized the familiar voice of his master. "His sheep knows him," said the judge. "Case dismissed!")

(Ill. So it is with the lost soul. There are many voices which compete for our attention in the world, but there is a special note to the voice of the voice of the Lord. When He calls, everything changes - John 6:44. The lost sinners is dead until he is awakened by the Holy Spirit - Eph. 2:1. You see, the voice of the Good Shepherd is the only one that can awaken the dead heart. The only one that can give us hope. The only one that sounds right to a desperate soul. Ill. All other calls sound empty and frightening when compared to the sweet call of the Lord Jesus.)

C. V. 4-5 He Commands Properly - (Ill. When the shepherd calls forth his sheep, he goes before them and they instinctively follow him. He doesn't have to drive them, that is for goats. He just leads them out and they follow close behind.)

(Ill. What a truth! When a soul is saved by the grace of God, they will have a desire to follow the Good Shepherd! When a person is saved and their heart is right with God, they do not have to be begged to come to worship, to tithe, to share their faith, etc. They have been called out by the Shepherd and have a burning burden to worship Him, 2 Cor. 5:17. Their heart's desire is summed up by 1 Cor. 10:31.)

I. He Possesses The Right Credentials


A. V. 6-8 His Personality - In these verses, Jesus reveals His identity as the Door. If you will remember, there was only one opening going into or out of the sheepfold. It was in this opening that the shepherd lay. Therefore, the shepherd Him self became the door of the sheep. Nothing could enter the fold, nothing could exit the fold without going through the shepherd himself.

(Ill. If anyone desires entrance into the fold of God, there is only one door. That door is Jesus Himself! He is the only way to God, Eph. 2:18; John 14:6; Acts 4:12. This truth is abundantly clear from 1 John 5:12. Jesus is the only way to the Father. Any other way leads to death and damnation - Matt. 7:13-14.)

(Ill. This may seem narrow minded and out of step with our modern way of thinking. However, it is perfectly in line with what God has said in His Word - 1 Tim. 2:5.)

B. V. 9a His Performance - Jesus plainly tells His listeners that He alone is the door into God's eternal salvation. His promise to those who enter is that they will be saved. That is, they will be rescued from the wrath of God and will experience the fullness of God's perfect salvation.

(Ill. Saved = to be rescued from all harm and danger. When a sinner comes to Jesus and is born again, they are forever delivered from the awesome wrath of Almighty God - John 5:24; Rom. 5:9.)

(Ill. It is wonderful to be eternally saved and free from the fear of dying lost and ending up in Hell. I am grateful for the salvation that I have in Jesus today!)

C. V. 9b-10 His Promise - (Ill. The thief is a threat to the sheep. When a thief enters the fold, his primary purpose is to use the sheep for his own personal gain. He doesn't care about their welfare. The Good Shepherd, on the other hand, comes so that the sheep might experience a life that is immeasurably better. He cares about the sheep and He promises them a new and better life in Himself.)

(Ill. Everything changes when a person meets Jesus! When He enters into a life, it cannot remain the same. He gives us the ability to live better, to love better and to do something with our lives that will glorify God. Jesus makes the difference between a life that is lived for the devil and one that is lived for the Lord - Eph. 2:1-4! Ill. "But God!)

I. He Possesses The Right Credentials

II. He Possesses The Right Character


A. V. 11-13 His Concern Is Proven By His Sacrifice - (Ill. Jesus explains the difference between the concerned shepherd and the hireling. The hireling is there only for the paycheck. When trouble comes, he runs away and leaves the sheep to be devoured by the wolves. The shepherd, on the other hand, owns the sheep and has a vested interested in their welfare. Therefore, the good shepherd is willing to pay any price to protect the sheep, even if it means that he has to give His very life for them.)

(Ill. Jesus has proven that He is the Good Shepherd because He saw the danger that the sheep were in and did not run away, but did everything in His power to save them. The Bible says that people are like wayward sheep, Isa. 53:6. This waywardness, or sin, that is in us has separated us from both fellowship and relationship with God, Isa. 59:2. Worse than this, the sin of man has brought him under the wrath of God, John 3:18; 36. This condition will eventually culminate in every lost sinner being cast into an eternal Hell, Rom. 6:23. However, Jesus did something to change that! Since God had said that the wages of sin was death, Jesus came down from Heaven and was born in human flesh. Then, after a sinless life He died on a cross, taking the place of every sinner who would put his/her faith in Him, 2 Cor. 5:21; 2 Cor. 5:15.)

(Ill. The terrible death Jesus was called upon to endure for sinners. There is no more horrible death known to mankind than that of crucifixion, Isa. 52:14; Psa. 22:14-22. He was beaten, mocked, spit upon, slapped, had the beard plucked from His face, was whipped with a cat-o-nine tails, was forced to wear a crown of thorns which were driven deep into His head by His tormentors with a staff. He endured all of this simply because He loved you and me. Yet, beyond this, He endured the awesome wrath of Almighty God against all sin. When Jesus was on that cross, He literally became sin and was judged in our place. By this priceless sacrifice for the sheep, He deserves the title Good Shepherd!)

(Ill. Some might ask, "Why did Jesus have to die?" The answer is simple! Blood is required to redeem the soul from sin - Heb. 9:22. When Jesus died, He shed His blood, and later, after His resurrection, He ascended into Heaven with the blood and offered a perfect sacrifice on the mercy seat in Heaven, Heb. 9:12; 24-28; 10:12. Thank God for the Blood of Jesus! It is the sinner's only plea - 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5; Rev 5:9. He had to die so that you might live!)

B. V. 14 His Concern Is Proven By His Sheep - (Ill. Jesus speaks of the bond that exists between the shepherd and his sheep. They know Him and will not follow another, and the shepherd knows his sheep. Ill. The individual sheep in a flock all look alike to the untrained eye. A good shepherd, however, can tell them apart--often because of their defects and peculiar traits. A man who was tending a large flock explained this to a Christian friend who expressed surprise at his familiarity with each animal. "See that sheep over there?" he asked. "Notice how it toes in a little. The one behind it has a squint; the next one has a patch of wool off its back; ahead is one with a distinguishing black mark, while the one closest to us has a small piece torn out of its ear." Observing all of them, the believer thought about Christ, the Chief Shepherd, who also knows the individual weaknesses and failings of His flock and watches over the members with discerning love and sympathetic understanding. With infinite concern He notes the doubts, fears, trials, conflicts, and defeats that disturb their peace, and He swiftly comes to their aid.)

(Ill. May I remind you with morning that the Good Shepherd knows His sheep? He knows everything there is to know about you - Matt. 10:29-31; Matt. 6:8. He knows every strength and every weakness. He knows every joy and every burden. He knows every mountain and every valley. He knows every victory and every battle and He stands ready to help you in your times of need, Heb. 4:15-16. He is your Good Shepherd and He will look after you - Psa. 23:1-6) (Ill. He is still Jehovah-Jireh - "The Lord will see to it!", Gen. 22:14.)

C. V. 15-16 He Proves His Concern By His Salvation - (Ill. Jesus makes it plain that there will be other sheep that will come along afterwards. These sheep can be assured of being saved just like those who were there to hear Jesus speak. You see, He came the first time to the nation of Israel, John 1:11, but when they rejected Him, He turned to the Gentiles. Therefore, anyone who needs salvation can rest assured that Jesus will provide that salvation when faith is placed in Him - John 1:12.)

(Ill. When faith is placed in Jesus Christ, salvation is always the result. This salvation is complete, Heb. 7:25; and it is eternal, vrs. 28-29. The good news is this: Jesus died for every person in the world, including you. If you will come to Him right now and will place your trust in Him, He will save your soul. You see, the salvation that Jesus provides is open to all. He is still the Door and He is still the Good Shepherd. Like the shepherd of Luke 15:4-7, He is still out on the mountains of sin searching for those who are lost and away from the fold. All who will respond to Him in faith will be brought into the flock and will be saved, Acts 16:31.)

Conc: There is no question that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. The only question that remains at this point in the service is this: Do you know the Shepherd? How you answer that question determines where you can expect to spend eternity. Your answer to that question will make all the difference between Heaven and Hell. If you know the Shepherd, then you can rejoice in the fact that He will ever be with you and that He will ever watch over you. If you do not know Him, then I invite you to come to Him right now. You do not have to, nor should you want to wait. Delay is dangerous! Come to Jesus today and He will save your soul. He will place you in the flock of God. He will save you from the wrath of God. He will give you a new life and a new birth. Will you come to Him?

Sermon By Alan Carr


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