Christ Our Good Shepherd
Samenvatting: Lessons from 'The Living Christ' #8 - Pictures 10, 61, 62, 64, 66, 96, 108, 120.
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What is God like? Does He care for you and me? Jesus Christ shows us what God is like. He cares for us like a shepherd who cares for his sheep. Listen while you look at these pictures and you will see how much God loves us.
Look at picture 10. Luke 2: 8-14
In the picture you can see some men with their sheep. They are shepherds. They lived in the land of Israel many years ago. The people of Israel were waiting for God to send them a great leader. They wanted someone to save them from their enemies. One night these shepherds were guarding their sheep. Suddenly an amazing thing happened. An angel from God appeared in the sky. Bright light shone all around them. The angel spoke to the shepherds and said, "Do not be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. Today in the town of King David, a Saviour was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. You will know who He is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay." Suddenly a great crowd of angels appeared. They were all praising God and saying, "Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God." Immediately the shepherds went to the town of David. They found Joseph and Mary in a stable. Mary's newborn baby was lying on hay in a feeding trough. The baby's name was Jesus, which means "Saviour". It was just as the angels had said! God announced the birth of Christ to those humble shepherds.
Now look at picture 61. Matthew 18:1-6
Jesus grew up and He travelled around Israel. He taught the people about God and His kingdom. You can see Him in this picture with a little child. The men in the picture are the followers of Jesus. He is saying to them, "Unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of God." God is very great and holy. But many people refuse to honour God as they should. They are proud. However, little children are not proud. They believe in God. To be in God's kingdom, we must trust God and believe what He says, just like children do.
Look at picture 62. Matthew 18:10-14; Luke 15:3-7
God loves little children. Jesus told a story. It shows how much God cares for them. Jesus said, "Don't be cruel to any of these little ones! I promise you that their angels are always with my Father God in heaven. What would you do if you had one hundred sheep and one of them wandered off? You would leave the ninety-nine and go to look for the one that was lost. When you found it, you would be happier over that one, than over the ninety-nine who were not lost. That is how it is with your Father in heaven. He does not want any of these little ones to be lost." Men and women are also lost. We are all sinners. We have all disobeyed God. We have wandered away from Him and we are like lost sheep. Jesus is like that shepherd. He said, "There is more happiness in heaven because of one sinner who turns to God than over ninety-nine good people who don't need to."
Look at picture 64. John 8:1-11
The woman in this picture lived a sinful life. She was lost from God like a sheep which is lost from it's shepherd. The religious leaders brought her to Jesus. They said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught sleeping with a man who is not her husband. The Law teaches that a woman like this should be stoned to death. What do you say?". Jesus said to them, "If any of you has never sinned, then go ahead and throw the first stone at her." The religious leaders did wicked things. None of them could throw one stone at her. So one by one they went away. Jesus had never sinned but He had pity on the woman. He said to her, "I am not going to accuse you. Go and do not sin any more." Jesus cared about that woman. He cares about all people. He does not want us to be lost and to die like sheep which have gone astray. He came to save us from sin and from the punishment for sin.
Look at picture 66. John 10:1-21
Here we see sheep in a sheepfold. A sheepfold is a place to keep sheep safe at night. You can see the wolf coming. He wants to kill the sheep, but he cannot come near if the shepherd guards the sheepfold. A man may be hired to care for another man's sheep. But a hired shepherd may run away when the wolf comes The sheep are not his own so he does not care for them. Jesus said, "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives up His life for the sheep." Many leaders are like hired shepherds. They do not care about people. They only care about themselves. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. We are His sheep if we follow Him. He will not leave us when trouble comes. Jesus said, "The man who enters by the gate of the sheepfold is the shepherd of his sheep. The sheep listen to his voice. His sheep follow him because they know his voice. I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever comes in through me will be saved. The thief and the wolf come only to steal and to kill; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." Satan is like that wolf. He wants to destroy us. We must ask Jesus to be our Shepherd. We must listen to His voice. We must follow His ways.
Look at picture 96. Matthew 25:31-46
Jesus told another story about a shepherd. It tells us what will happen in the future so listen carefully. He said, "When the Son of Man comes with all the angels, He will sit on His throne. The people of all nations will be gathered before Him. Then He will separate them one from another. He will be like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left." Who is this 'Son of Man' It is Jesus Himself. He is the Good Shepherd who will judge all people. The sheep are the people who have obeyed God and cared for others. They will be with God in Heaven. He will take care of them forever. The goats are the people who do not obey God. They will be sent away to eternal punishment. So let us be warned.
Look at picture 108. Mark 15:25-39
Many people rejected Jesus. They did not believe that He came from God. They did not believe what He said. Instead they wanted to kill Him. They killed Him by hanging Him on a wooden cross just as you see in this picture. The people who killed Jesus sinned. We have sinned too. The Bible says, "The payment for sin is death" We have all wandered away from God like lost sheep. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gave His life to save His sheep. Jesus took the punishment for our sins. He died in our place. He died to save you and me.
Look at picture 120. Revelation 1:5-7; Psalm 23
Jesus died but He did not remain dead. He came back to life. Many people saw Him alive again. They saw Him go up to heaven. Jesus is alive in heaven today. One day He will return to earth. The Good Shepherd will come and take His sheep to be with God forever. In the Bible King David said, "You, LORD, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. ... You lead me along the right paths. Even though I die, I will fear no evil, because You are with me. ... Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life, and I will live for ever in your house, LORD." David's Shepherd was Jesus Christ. Is He your shepherd too? He wants you to follow Him. So speak to Him in prayer. Ask Him to forgive your sins. Do not be afraid. Jesus the Good Shepherd, will guide you in this life and be with you in death.
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