Sermon Transcript – The Good Shepherd is So Much Better than the Wolves

Series B – Fourth Sunday of Easter – Sunday, April 25, 2021 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:23The holy gospel according to saint john
0:30the 10th chapter glory to you
0:37Jesus said i am the good shepherd the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep he who is a hired hand and
0:44not a shepherd who does not own the sheep sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees
0:50and the wolf snatches them and scatters them he flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep
0:56i am the good shepherd i know my own and my own know me just as the father knows me and i know
1:01the father and i lay down my life for the sheep and i have other sheep that are not of this fold i must bring them also
1:08and i will list and they will listen to my voice and there shall be one flock one shepherd for this reason the father loves me
1:15because i lay down my life that i may take it up again no one takes it from me but i lay it
1:20down of my own accord i have authority to lay it down i have authority to take it up again this charge i have received from my
1:27father this is the gospel of the lord in the name of Jesus
1:32all right one of my favorite movies uh the legend of zorro i i loved it when i was a kid i mean all
1:38the television programs that i would watch they were always filled with really bad guys and really good guys right right
1:46and there was always this sharp distinction between the good guy and the bad guy the good guy was always
1:51smart he was kind he was looking out for the poor he was looking out for the oppressed he was the guy who stood in the gap to
1:58make it so that the bad guys couldn’t have their way with those who they wanted to oppress
2:04and i would note this isn’t it fascinating that over and again you can tie some of our greatest good guys
2:10all the way back to Jesus in fact i like to sometimes think of Jesus kind of like zorro
2:16there are these evil bad guys oppressing people and then there comes Jesus kind of hidden god in human
2:22flesh and he’s not showing his glory but then he does his swashbuckling thing and the bad guys are shown to be
2:29what they are it’s absolutely fascinating seems like kind of a weird thing to talk about on
2:34good shepherd sunday but i want you to consider the distinction that the juxtaposition between
2:40just how deceived the bad guys are in our stories today
2:46and just how kind Jesus is we’ll start with the later story first and go back to our
2:52gospel text acts chapter 4. the context here is john
2:58and peter they went into the temple to pray and there was a paralytic who was laid
3:04at the beautiful gate and you’re gonna note this fellow uh Jesus overlooked him Jesus never
3:09healed him during his earthly ministry and yet it says he was laid at the beautiful gate for many many years for a
3:14long time he was a kind of a standard feature in the temple at the time of Christ and the time of the disciples and of
3:21course what happens peter sees the fellow the guy is asking for alms and peter says these words
3:27silver and gold i do not have but what i do have i give you in the name of Jesus Christ of nazareth get up and walk and the guy
3:34stands up and walks now a little bit of a note here who is our ultimate enemy the devil right and so you’ll note that
3:42because sin has come into the world well people born with handicaps like this these are all
3:48the consequences of sin and Christ has come to set us free from the dominion of darkness
3:54and hear his disciples being sent out they well you’re going to know they didn’t have any silver and gold you
4:00might want to let kenneth copeland and the televangelists know that peter and john didn’t have any silver or gold but that’s a whole other
4:06sermon but the whole point that is is that what they do with the power of Christ they release this fellow
4:13from his suffering and what should every single god-fearing yahweh worshiping person do
4:21they should cry out hallelujah right that seems like a normal good and
4:28well the expected response but then we come to
4:33our epistle text our first text and in chapter four of the book of acts after
4:38peter gives this wonderful sermon to the crowd that has gathered there you can almost hear like the dramatic
4:45music going on in the background i always like to picture like the darth vader music
4:52here come the sadducees
4:58the whole thing just goes dark so as they were speaking to the people the priests the captain of the temple the sadducees
5:05came upon them and i always have to use this to point something out here the sadducees didn’t
5:10believe in the resurrection can you believe that they didn’t believe in the resurrection at all these are people who
5:16in the ancient world were kind of equivalent to our today today’s progressive so-called Christians who
5:21deny the miraculous and all stuff like this well if you don’t believe in the resurrection that explains the reason why they’re sad you
5:26see so yeah i always have to tell that joke and i never get i never tire of it all right so as we as
5:34we know then here they deny the resurrection and then the text says this they were greatly annoyed
5:43say that again they were what they were greatly annoyed and see this then kind of gets at the
5:51nubbins here who in their right mind would be greatly annoyed
5:56that a paralytic has been given the ability to walk they should be praising god that the
6:03power of god has visited them but no they’re annoyed why are they annoyed because
6:10they are the workers of darkness luther in the large catechism describes how if
6:18you don’t want to hear god’s word and you don’t want to honor those who bring the word of god to you
6:24he’s going to send liars who are going to take you to the devil himself and put them in the church and that’s
6:29what the sadducees are they’re a bunch of liars these are the people who are directly responsible when it comes to the
6:36crucifixion of Christ of being complicit in the whole plan that went down that record that
6:41resulted in him being crucified so now the disciples taking up the mantle of Christ that was
6:49given to them the authority given to them by Jesus they are going and continuing his
6:55saving work so they were greatly annoyed and they
7:00were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead of course they were of
7:06course they had seen the risen Christ on multiple occasions eaten fish with him touched him spent time with him talk
7:13with him of course they were teaching in Jesus the resurrection from the dead which by the way is a great great thing
7:21for us because death seems to be the thing that looms over all of us the idea that we can be saved from death
7:28oh man zaro’s got nothing on Jesus right well what did they do this makes no
7:34sense they called the police and then they had them arrested
7:41what we’re uh we’re sorry um yeah we’re gonna need to uh take you
7:47into custody today and so peter and john spent the evening in the jerusalem jail i’m sure it wasn’t
7:54a five-star resort kind of thing i’m sure they didn’t get a mint on their pillow and that they didn’t get
8:00room service or anything like that far from it so for what ex what was the crime again
8:08isn’t that how evil works evil hates Jesus
8:14evil wants to silence Jesus evil wants us to focus on it not
8:22Christ so the next day the rulers and the elders and scribes that gathered together in jerusalem with anas the high
8:28priest and caiaphas and john and alexander and all who were of the high priestly family we all know that church officials
8:34can never go corrupt so i mean they got to be speaking the truth right sorry my apologies a little bit of
8:41cynicism there so when they had set peter and john in their midst
8:47they inquired and here comes the uh the interrogation by what power or by what name did you do
8:54this this this is just like a bad saturday
9:01cereal i mean these bad guys are just stupid but that’s what happens sin makes us
9:09ridiculously dumb not just them all of us by what power then do you do
9:16this so peter fill with the holy spirit i love what comes next because it doesn’t say then filled with the holy spirit he began to
9:21bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken or roll around on the ground or speak in gibberish no emboldened
9:27empowered by the holy spirit he stands his ground and points out the complete absurdity of
9:34this entire event he said rulers of the people and
9:39elders if we’re being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man
9:47right who is that against the law doing good to a crippled fellow is that is that have we broken some law no so
9:54let it be known to all of you and all the people of israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of nazareth and you
10:00can almost see it in the text that their blood runs cold whenever they mention the name of
10:05Jesus kind of like scar whenever he somebody says mufasa mufasa
10:11right that’s the idea so this Jesus Christ whom you crucified
10:17whom god raised from the dead by him this man is standing before you
10:22well oh Jesus doesn’t even have to be physically present to save people oh what a great savior we have
10:30so this Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you the builders which has become the cornerstone and there is salvation
10:37in no one else for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be
10:44saved i want you to think about this Christ has come to save us he’s come to
10:50save you come to save me set us free from slavery to sin death and the devil to release us from
10:56the dominion of darkness and to take us into his glorious life this is truly salvation
11:01he wills for us to live rather than die and he has promised us all because of
11:06his great love and mercy and inheritance and eternal life completely free
11:14have you ever noticed that false teachers it’s never free there’s a there’s always a price you
11:20have to buy their books you have to make sure to sow a seed you have to you get what i’m saying here yeah that’s
11:25that’s one of the things you get the idea but here’s where we have to pay attention there is salvation in no one else and
11:32when we as Christians speak those words the world well they are repulsed by such a
11:40statement are you saying that there that all the other world religions are false
11:47yes that’s exactly what we’re saying there is not salvation for anyone in
11:52islam there is no salvation for anyone in buddhism jainism hinduism name the ism there is no
11:59salvation for anybody in apostate Christianity either if you have a false Jesus a false
12:06holy spirit and a false gospel can’t be saved either
12:11there is salvation only in the real Jesus well that’s pretty narrow minded yeah
12:18exactly scripture teaches us that there is salvation in no one else oh and by
12:23the way there’s not salvation in your name either so if you’re thinking that you’re going
12:29to save yourself that you’re going to pull yourself up by your moral bootstraps i’m going to get my act together this
12:34year i’m going to lean into being obedient and i’m gonna go and volunteer at the soup kitchen
12:40and i’m gonna say something nice to somebody therefore god’s gonna save me that’s called salvation in your name and
12:47you can’t save yourself it don’t work that way and so we need to
12:52understand that when we are talking about salvation and no one else Jesus
12:58is the savior not you not me not anybody else full stop end of sentence
13:05end of discussion if you don’t like it get over it and if you’re repulsed by it then you can clearly consider yourself not worthy
13:12to be saved that’s just the hard reality of things so in that context then with
13:20Christ being our good shepherd Christ being our good shepherd and him being our savior
13:26consider then the fuller context of our gospel text i always like to point this out because
13:32it’s it’s another one of these stories where the juxtaposition between good and evil
13:37is so stark that evil looks the way it is stupid absurd
13:44and like completely out of touch with anything even remotely approaching biblical reality think of it
13:51this way in the gospel of john chapter 9 which is the beginning of the context of what we see in john 10
13:57Jesus and his disciples were passing along through you know through some town and there was
14:03a fellow who was born blind and what did the disciples do they took up in their mouths the false doctrine
14:10taught by the pharisees because you’ll note that the pharisees were very much akin to the prosperity
14:16preachers of today the prosperity preachers of today god wants to give you divine health god
14:21wants to give you divine wealth he wants you to be the head and not the tail and he’s going to make you the bee’s knees
14:28and if you’re ugly and if you’re sick and if you’re oppressed and you’ve got problems well it’s your fault because
14:34you just don’t have enough faith and the reason why i fly around in three private jets is
14:39because i have strong faith and you don’t
14:47covet 19 anyway anyway [Laughter]
14:53all of that being said you’re going to note the pharisees are that exact kind of thing so when
15:00there’s a fellow who’s been born blind according to their false theology well it’s because he sinned or maybe his
15:08parents did and so the disciples asked him Jesus who sinned this guy or his parents that he was born blind
15:13and then Jesus gives an answer that no one saw coming he said it was not that this man sinned
15:18or his parents he was born blind so that the works of god might be displayed in him
15:24wait what that that’s an option the pharisees aren’t aware of this
15:29so what does Jesus do he spits in the dirt makes the mud puts it on the guy’s
15:34eyes sends him to the pool of siloam and this fellow hasn’t even seen Jesus and he comes back seeing and then
15:43well the soundtrack goes dark again
15:48he’s going to be arrested and interrogated for what crime being healed by Jesus now who’s the kind
15:56guy here Jesus is the kind one here i cannot imagine what kind of religion this
16:02is that claims to worship the yahweh the god of israel who is slow to anger
16:07abounding in steadfast love pardoning sin and iniquity and what do these fellows do they’re
16:13going to interrogate this guy because they’d already determined anybody who confesses that Jesus is the
16:20messiah in the synagogue you’re going to be excommunicated makes no sense they became kind of like
16:26the synagogue nazis like the soup nazis from seinfeld you believe in Jesus no synagogue for
16:32you right that’s how they did it so what ended up happening is is that
16:39they brought the fellow in to interrogate him how were you made he how were you made whole how were you given sight
16:45and they thought the whole thing was a joke okay you guys are just punking us you weren’t really born blind so what
16:51they do is they pull his parents in and interrogate his parents and his parents their knees are knocking
16:56together because of how nervous they are and they said yeah he was born blind he’s our son
17:01but how he sees we don’t know what kind of church is this what kind of
17:09religious leaders are these and you’re going to note something we have a lot of religious leaders like
17:14this today a lot so now they bring them in for the
17:20second time and now they’re going to really put the thumb screws down on this guy so they bring them in and they say all
17:26right give glory to god we know that this man’s a sinner really really did the cdcr get together
17:32and determine that Jesus is a sinner what’s going on here
17:37right uh-huh so the guy you’re going to note what happened to him he was healed by
17:44Jesus but we see in what follows next not only was he healed by Jesus Jesus
17:50gave him saving faith and he stood his ground and refused to
17:55deny his savior that’s what was happening here
18:01so he said well whether Jesus is a sinner i don’t know one thing i do know i was blind now i
18:07see so they said to him what did he do to you how did he open your eyes and you could just hear the venom in their mouth
18:13so he answered them i’ve told you already you wouldn’t listen you can’t reason with people who are
18:19unbelievers who are false Christians you can’t reason with them at all especially biblically you start making sense biblically well those are
18:25just hate facts so what do they do so he said why did you want why do you want to hear it
18:30again do you want to become one of his disciples and you can hear this the people standing by going
18:37so the text says they reviled him that’s the word used reviled by the way
18:43i don’t know if you know this reviling is a sin it is a breaking of the eighth commandment
18:48here these fellows in the name of defending whatever their religion is and the pharisees by the way are not
18:55biblical jews they’re not get that out of your head they’re not when you read from genesis to malachi
19:02the italian prophet there is no mention in all of the old testament of any pharisees they came up during the
19:10inter testament inter-testamental period they didn’t exist before the end of the old testament and
19:17these are people who usurped the rightly ordained and called people to teach the people of israel
19:23who were the levites and they took their seats in the synagogue they created their sec they claimed that
19:30they had they had a second torah that god gave to moses on mount sinai but it was never written
19:36down of course they were the guardians of it and could tell you the details of it they were flat-out heretics
19:42and you’re going to note this that those who do not believe rightly are incapable of producing the fruit of
19:47the spirit they are absolutely incapable of it they might
19:52put a nice paint job on the facade but as soon as you get them annoyed
20:00out come the fangs
20:05so they reviled him you are Jesus’s disciple we’re disciples of moses we know that god has spoken to moses but
20:11as for this man we don’t know where he comes from that’s an argument so the man said well
20:18this is an amazing thing you don’t know where he comes from yet he opened my eyes we know that god does not listen to
20:24sinners but to anyone who is a worshiper of god and does his will takes their theology and shoves it right
20:29back in their face so never since the world began has it ever been heard that anyone opened the
20:34eyes of a man born blind if this man were not from god he could do nothing that’s some good
20:41theology right there right could he deny the one who gave him
20:47sight of course not do you not get this guys i was blind
20:55now i see what is wrong with you well they answered him and here it comes
21:03now they’re false theologies like like like a stomach sickness they just vomited up
21:09you were born in utter sin and you would teach us and so they cast him out
21:16no synagogue for you he’s excommunicated
21:22the juxtaposition between evil and good is stark and we have to see it even
21:28in settings like this and it’s in this context this this fellow who woke up that morning
21:35brushed his teeth combed his hair did his normal routine maybe had an egg and a bagel you know
21:42went to work begging for alms doing everything he normally does and Jesus finds him and gives him his
21:49sight and now he’s excommunicated from the synagogue what just happened but here
21:57now zorro comes to the rescue right now now the beautiful thing happens Jesus heard
22:03that they had excommunicated him and having found him he seeks him out
22:08they excommunicated that guy i need to go find him and so Jesus goes seeks him out and when
22:15he sees him he says do you believe in the son of man interesting question and he answered who
22:21is he served so that i might believe in him it reminds me of the legend of zorro you know do you believe that zoro will come
22:28zorro is asking the question right yeah and then the mask comes off and shh right but so something amazing happens
22:35Jesus said to him you’ve seen him it’s he who’s speaking to you and i don’t know what transpires
22:41but at that moment this man who was blind just a few hours ago looks into the eyes of the man who saved
22:48him the god who saved him and you can almost see Jesus give him a
22:54little wink it’s me and the guy says yes lord i believe
23:01and what does he do next he worship Jesus this man does the most amazing thing
23:08ever and worshiping Jesus here requires him to then bow down
23:15and get down on his knees on his face to the ground and worship Christ his savior
23:22and then Jesus now speaks against those who oppressed him those who cast him out of the church
23:28it is for judgment that i came into this world so that those who do not see may see
23:33and for those who see that they may become blind so some of the pharisees were nearby and
23:38they said well are we also blind and watch where Jesus goes if you were
23:44blind you would have no guilt but because you say we now see your
23:50guilt remains this is the context then of where Jesus
23:55then launches into this discourse about being the good shepherd the good shepherd encountered
24:02distinction from the wolves and the hirelings who care nothing for Christ’s sheep
24:07who have no love no mercy no pity nothing they are all in it for only
24:14themselves and they will attack and destroy anybody who opposes them
24:20Jesus says this truly truly i say to you he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way
24:27that man is a thief and he’s a robber but he who enters by the door he is the shepherd of the sheep to him
24:33the gatekeeper opens the sheep hear his voice he calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out what a beautiful picture
24:41this faithful loving shepherd who cares for his flock so much so
24:46that each and every sheep isn’t called hey sheep you sheep over there you sheep no every sheep he knows them by name he
24:54knows you by name he knows me by name when he’s brought them all out he goes before them
25:01and the sheep follow him and they know his voice a stranger they will not follow but they will flee from him for they do not know
25:08the voice of strangers and then Jesus says i am the door of the sheep and all who came before me
25:14they are thieves and robbers but the sheep they don’t listen to them i’m the door if anyone enters by me he
25:20will be saved and i will go in and out and find pasture the thief comes only to steal
25:26and to kill and to destroy and who are the thieves the wolves the false teachers
25:32the people who are in it for themselves i came though that they might have life and have it abundantly what a thing
25:40right and you’re gonna note then that the thieves and the robbers what are they doing they’re taking away
25:45people’s hard-earned money and hard-earned resources and ingratiating themselves with other
25:51people’s money all in the name of god and all done falsely and this takes away from people and is a
25:59breaking of the commandment you will not murder you are taking their resources and making their lives more difficult
26:06and endangering them in all kinds of ways in order to ingratiate yourself on their fleece
26:14or on their meat but Jesus isn’t like that he doesn’t want anything from you he
26:20wants you he wants you to live he doesn’t want you to die
26:25this good shepherd has come to protect you from those wolves and those hirelings he was the hireling and not the shepherd
26:32who does not own the sheep he sees the wolf coming he leaves the sheep and he flees and the wolf snatches them and scatters them he flees because he’s
26:39a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep but i am the good shepherd i know my own
26:44and my own know me and just as the father knows me and i know the father i lay down
26:50my life for the sheep scripture admonishes us in the book of romans as Christians
26:57to overcome evil with good and how did Christ overcome the dominion
27:05of darkness how did he do it in his great love he laid down his life for his sheep
27:12it makes no sense if you think about it but he was willing to die even for his sheep so that they can live
27:19so that he can take them from the troubles of wolves and hirelings
27:24and lead them to places where they can rest secure where they can live where they can be
27:30happy sheep what a thought what a loving caring shepherd we have
27:36and Jesus says i have other sheep that are not of this fold talking about norwegians because they’re gentiles right yeah
27:43right and i must bring them also they will listen to my voice so there will be one flock there will be one shepherd
27:49and for this reason the father loves me because i lay down my life that i might take it up again
27:55and listen to what he says next no one takes my life from me i lay it down of my own accord in other
28:01words everything that Jesus suffered on the cross although there were human instruments that led to the kangaroo court trial
28:07that led to him being crucified Jesus willingly wanted it that way
28:13i lay down my own life of my own accord my own will i have the authority to lay it
28:20down and i have the authority to take it up again this i have received from my
28:25father so you’ll know your great Jesus your savior the one
28:30who saves us from the oppression of the darkness that is around us of our own sin our own
28:36false ideas ah those who oppress us with false religion and false ideas as well
28:42he has come to save us to set us free and you’re going to note then that in our psalm today psalm 23
28:50a psalm we all know this is one that oftentimes comes out at funerals and things like this
28:55but you’re going to know consider in this great context of Christ our good shepherd and our savior that it this is
29:02a wonderful text that teaches us that we are saved by the mighty works of Christ not by our own listen to the words again
29:09the lord is my shepherd and i shall not be in want he is the one who makes me lie down
29:16in green pastures who’s in charge here the shepherd Jesus he is the one who
29:22leads me besides still waters he is the one who restores my soul and
29:27he it is Christ who has led us to the still waters of baptism so that we may be washed of the filth
29:35and grime of sin he is the one who led us today to the green pastors of this church
29:40to feast on the green nibbles of his word so that we can be sustained and he is
29:47the one who restores our souls he is the one who leads us in paths of righteousness all for his name’s sake
29:54and even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death indeed we are doing that because our shepherd is
30:00leading us through this veil of tears but because he is with us we will fear no evil
30:07he is with us his rod and his staff they comfort us and he even has prepared before us in
30:14the presence of our enemies a table the table of his body and blood given and shed for the forgiveness of
30:20our sins and because he anoints our heads with oil our cups overflow
30:25and because we have such a great shepherd in Jesus surely goodness and mercy will follow us
30:30all the days of our lives and then when we finally draw our last breath the wonderful promise here and we shall
30:37dwell in the house of the lord forever man
30:44what an amazing savior what a powerful savior what a loving and kind savior
30:51the juxtaposition between him and our own evil the him and the false teachers is so
30:57stark we praise you lord Jesus that you are a kind and loving shepherd who overcame
31:03evil by going to the cross and laying down your life for your sheep in the name of Jesus amen
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