Monday, April 7, 2008

I am glad to be a sheep John 10:1-10 and Psalm 23

I am glad to be sheep. I am glad to put faith in Christ and know that eternity is in His hands and not mine. Christians have a unique blessing in the world. We don't have to become little gods because we have a God. Or rather God has us; and we are free to be creatures. We are sheep with a shepherd and a door, a way to eternity. God's care for the world, revealed in Jesus, opens up eternity because it rests in Jesus and not in ourselves. Sarah Dylan observes wisely,

...if Jesus is Lord, then the position is filled; no others need apply. If Jesus is not Lord, then there are countless others who will try to take that position in your life: bosses, politicians, parents; acquisitions, ambitions, causes; always just one more favor to do, one more promotion to get, one more enemy to defeat, before you can rest secure.

Jesus' telling us that he is the shepherd and the door for the sheep helps us see God, our need for God, and God's compassion.

Jesus' poetic sounding claims of power and significance frustrated the religious establishment in Palestine 2000 years ago. He was killed, in no small part, because of what he said. His death ended all his earthly claims until the morning when he rose from the dead.

Is it real or is it metaphor.

Jesus' story-telling revealed glimpses of God's hidden dimensions through what Pat Keifert called the poetry of metaphors. If anybody else spoke like Jesus I wouldn't trust them. The difference between Jesus, and another story teller, are his cross and rising. Jesus' words might sound like any other poetic metaphor; but dying and rising changes everything. Gehard Forde used to say, “Jesus didn't look down from the cross at his friends saying, 'Don't worry its only a metaphor'”.

The Psalms, much like Jesus' teachings, invite us to glimpse God at work. We see God in Psalm 23 as the Shepherd who makes us, leads us, comforts us, pours a cup overflowing before us, annoints us and allows us to dwell in his house forever. Some might say these are mere poetry; in these words are glimpses of God at work in the person of Jesus Christ.

  • I am the Messiah John 4:26

  • I am the bread of life John 6:48

  • I am the light of the world John 8:12

  • I am the door for the sheep John 10:7

  • I am the good shepherd John 10:11

  • I am the Son of God John 10:36

  • I am the resurrection and the life John 11:25

  • I am the way, the truth, and the life John 14:6

  • I am in the father and the Father is in me John 14:10

  • I am the true vine John 15:1

  • I am not of the world John 17:14

Christians, who live with Jesus as Risen Lord, have a promise from God in Christ. In Christ we behold our Messiah; bread of life; light of the world; door for the sheep; Good Shepherd; Son of God; resurrection and life; the way, the truth and the life; one who is in the Father, true vine, and ultimately the one who is not of this world. In this life we catch glimpses of the hidden God; and then he fleets away.


Diane said...

very good.

Ivy said...

Amen. It's a good place to be.