Jesus the Good Shepherd of his Sheep January 2022

 

This article can be read stand alone, or, as the next in a series on ‘sin and it’s consequences’ which can be found immediately below the present one if you wish to read them first.
You will see in this article references to earlier subjects,  They follow in date order

In our previous article we looked at how Adam and Eve brought death into the world by not obeying God’s simple command.

17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.              Genesis 2

When God speaks, it will happen or He would make Himself a liar which He is not.

19  God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?         Numbers 23

So, as we saw last time Adam and Eve had decided their future and ours.  As God explained to Adam … …

17  Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, … …  19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.                Genesis 3

And so all Adam and Eve’s descendants inherited their mortal nature.

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.                Romans 5

Eventually, the day came when the angel appeared to a virgin called Mary and spoke with her as recorded in Luke 1:26-38 which we recommend you read as it says so much about the mission of Jesus.  Some key extracts are …

31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32  … the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33  … of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Here, Mary interrupted to ask,

34  …, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

A wonderful miracle – God’s power the Holy Spirit was to cause the conception. But what would her fiancé, Joseph, think about it?  God had anticipated his reaction as Matthew informs us..

20  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.                        Matthew 1

So much Information is contained in these verses that we must pause and take stock.

Jesus was Son of God, uniquely, miraculously conceived by the power of God, and Son of man through Mary.

4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.                     Galatians 4 

This meant he was born to carry out his Heavenly Father’s purpose to “save his people from their sins.” AND he had the nature of man being “made under the law”meaning he lived under the same condemnation as Adam, Eve, and all men and women.  Let’s be clear what that meant for Jesus.

 14 Since then we have a great high priest, … … Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.                                                                                                                   Hebrews 4

It means that Jesus was a man a mortal being.  He had the same nature as all of us, being subject to temptation, pain and suffering, and he would in due course die.  And he born with a unique mission.

19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.                 John 5

This meant that whatever he said – all his teachings – he had learned from his Heavenly Father.

49  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  50  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.                                                                                                                                John 12

We hardly need remind you of the contrast between Jesus and other men and women, but I will to emphasise the contrast.  Firstly the universal situation.

12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:                 Romans 5

You might think to yourself, it’s one thing to say such words came from God, but how do we know that is true.  The Apostle Paul writing to Timothy, was inspired to write to a young, but fellow teacher.

16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.                       2 Timothy 3

Inspiration is how God breathes into the minds of His writers what He wants them to set down in His book, the Bible.  Therefore God was  in control of all those who wrote His important message to man kind.  (We have two articles in this series that demonstrate the truth of the Bible. See the end of this presentation.)

The Apostle Peter informs us how it happened.

20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (better ‘Spirit’).                    2 Peter 1

Therefore, they cannot write their own ideas because God’s Holy Spirit is their guide, as you see in the quote above.   God’s power will not let them write anything except His true message.

Now let us think about Jesus and compare him to all other members of the human race.

 

 

 

 

 

JESUS                                  MEN and WOMEN

Why subject to death?       Because he had Adam’s         Because they had Adams                                                                       mortal nature.                         mortal nature.

What was the                      “Tempted as we are,                     ALL HAVE SINNED
fundamental difference      YET WITHOUT SIN.           and all short of the glory of God
between them?                       Hebrews 4:15                                 Romans 3:23

Law: “the wages
of sin is death”                     NOT AN OFFENDER                   ALL ARE OFFENDERS
Romans 6:23

Law: “God, that                   Whom God hath raised up           
cannot lie, promised …”     loosed the pains of death                Therefore all die                              Titus 1:2                            not possible he holden of it.                                                                     

Before Jesus was born all who worshipped God were governed by the law of Moses or it’s earlier equivalent. But that law only contained rules about how to live and the punishments that went with them if they were disobeyed.  So, as Paul wrote to the Galatians2:16,  “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law,” he went on at length in his epistles to describe how God made it possible for men and women to escape from condemnation under the law.

Reading all of the quotation above from Titus, it is easy to understand why God, seeing, a man or woman who was really working hard to please God, could not just say, “I’ve changed my mind about sin and death, I’ll give you eternal life.”

2  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;   Titus 1

God’s promises are precious.  He promised Adam and Eve death if they broke His law.  We have already seen that God has promised that eternal life is something that He will give to certain men and women.  So, we can see that if God could just change a promise He has made about death, He could change His promise about a way to receive eternal life. That would mean that future life and all things are uncertain.  So we need to know precisely how the life of Jesus changed things.

In our table above we can see clearly man stays in his final resting place because of his sins. Jesus, as he lay in his tomb had nothing to condemn him except his inborn nature as Paul tells us,

3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:                         Romans 8

Jesus, in the same body of mortal nature as we have, overcame sin in a unique victory.  He was tempted precisely as we are and yet totally sinless, in thought word and need.  He obediently gave to his Heavenly Father his human body as a perfect sacrifice despite false accusations, unjust punishments and the most severe physical and emotional pain and suffering we can imagine.

Jesus submitted to death because He had mortal nature.  But he was not personally worthy of death.  He was a righteous man.  He died to destroy temptation and condemn sin.  He was the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice, therefore His Father could not justly allow his to remain in the tomb and he was resurrected to eternal life.

18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:                1 Peter 1

So Jesus has redeemed us.  He gave his life for sin to save those who are striving to overcome sin in their own lives, and in that way has brought the hope of life and immortality to light through his Gospel.

10  But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:             2 Timothy 1

This information was not new when Jesus was born into the world. Those who listened to the prophets knew he was coming.  We would recommend reading Isaiah 53.  For instance, speaking of our redemption he wrote,

4  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. … … 11  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.                             Isaiah 53

What an amazing man Jesus was when we consider what he was willing to do to make possible the forgiveness of our sins and give us a hope of life.  Surely, that thought alone makes us want to follow our shepherd as obedient sheep that we may share with him the joys and wonders to come when Jesus returns. See what encouragement the apostle Paul gave his friend Titus and is willing to give to all men who read his letter.

14 … … Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.                 Titus 2(NKJV)

A people who are,

13  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Titus 2

We look forward, God willing, to explaining  how we become faithful followers, and disciples of Jesus whom he will bless with the marvellous reward of eternal life in his glorious Kingdom in our February Rugby Register message and linked article on this website.  If you wish to contact us before then on this subject you can do so on our contact us/ask questions panel at the top right of every webpage.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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Please bear in mind  that these are short articles designed to whet the appetite of the reader for deeper study.  So please be ready to ask questions in the Comments Box at the top right of this page using the arrow on the right. We only respond to questions and comments and will not approach you again unless requested.

1. Why does God allow suffering? – October 2021
2. Remarkable Changes are coming – November 2021
3. He is risen (Resurrection) – December 2021

PLUS two reasons why we know THE BIBLE IS TRUE.

Who knows the future? – February 2021 
How can Israel be God’s witnesses? – April 2021

Happy and contented reading.  But if not content, please remember our   Comments Box   and if Happy, tell us that too.