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FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (Good Shepherd Sunday)
This is the day the LORD hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
 
Acts 2:42-47
1 Peter 2:19-25
John 10:1-10  (1)
Psalm 23
 
This is the first in a series of John 10:1-10   The purpose of the entire parable is to point out to you the Pharisees' sin of leading people astray and to try to lead those same Pharisees to repentance. The entire week forms a beautiful picture of Jesus' work for us as our Savior, being the One who truly gives us life.
 
Sheep were a common sight in the Israel of Jesus' day: grazing on hillsides and valley floors. The sheep were . . .

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (Good Shepherd Sunday)
This is the day the LORD hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
 
Acts 2:42-47
1 Peter 2:19-25
John 10:1-10  (1)
Psalm 23
 
This is the first in a series of John 10:1-10   The purpose of the entire parable is to point out to you the Pharisees' sin of leading people astray and to try to lead those same Pharisees to repentance. The entire week forms a beautiful picture of Jesus' work for us as our Savior, being the One who truly gives us life.
 
Sheep were a common sight in the Israel of Jesus' day: grazing on hillsides and valley floors. The sheep were vulnerable to loss and at risk anytime. Being so defenseless the owner had to protect them. A fence enclosure to protect them at night when they needed to rest was important and seemed to put an end to the threat of violence.
 
Unless the threat to the sheep came not from the outside but from the inside. How frightening if within the very place one had been led to expect safety and rest from the predator one let down his guard, only to meet a robber.

Jesus speaks in this text of predators inside the pen. The thief may come on two legs instead of four, but the result is the same. Satan engineers the deaths of sheep outside the pen. He also sends false shepherds into the church to tell his lies, to lay his ambushes, to lead away from the forgiveness only by grace, faith and messages from Scripture. These penned sheep might not wind up broken heaps in a wild place but end up in a butcher shop or on a banquet table. The result is the same; the killing of sheep.

Where is a sheep to run? Is there to be no rest?, only constant anxiety and fear? What kind of a world is it when outside forces create a climate of anxiety, and when a person comes inside the sheep pen, the church, another threat lurks? Whom are we to trust.?
 
Christian friends,  Turn to our Good Shepherd and trust Him to "seek, gather, and direct us, bind up our wounds, watch over us, and strengthen us against the devil"
 
There's victory over Satan and freedom from shame;
Look only to Jesus, there's power in His name.
The devil can't harm you nor cause you to sin;
When you trust the Savior, the victory you'll win.
 
PRAY with me: Almighty God, merciful Father, since You have wakened from death the Shepherd of Your sheep, grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may know the voice of our Shepherd and follow Him, that sin and death may never pluck us out of Your hand.  In Jesus name, Amen 

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