Easter 4C 2016 (Jn 10:22–30)

April 17, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!



The crowd of Jews wanted to know, “Are you the Christ? Tell us plainly!” “Don’t be shy Jesus. Just tell us already! How much longer will you keep us in suspense? Inquiring minds want to know!” Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the whole world, and He is the Good Shepherd. Today, we hear what Jesus does as the Christ, what He does as the Good Shepherd. He tells us Himself! Jesus wants you to have comfort and consolation. He wants to give His sheep good things. He wants to lead them, to lead you by the still waters and green pastures. Let’s see what Good Shepherd Jesus is up to for you.

(2. Jesus proclaims His Word.)

Jesus is all about proclaiming His Word. It’s why He would go to synagogues. It’s why He would go to the temple. He went to preach. He went to teach. Large crowds would gather. They wanted to hear Him. On this occasion, they were asking Him, “Are you the Christ? Tell us plainly!” The problem was Jesus already had! Since He’s all about preaching and teaching His Word, He’s all about preaching and teaching about Himself. His Word is a witness to who He is. That’s what He tells them, “I told you, and you do not believe.” But it’s not just His Word that bears witness. What He does bears witness to them. It confirms His Word. “The works that I do in my Father’s name,” He says, “[they] bear witness about me.” He heals the sick, raises the dead. He fed thousands. He cast out demons. All Jesus does is preach and teach Himself as the Messiah, the Savior of the world. He said He’d come to die and rise from the dead. He prophesied that He’d be crucified. That’s what happened! Good Friday and Easter happen just as Jesus said. His preaching and doing prove Him to be not only the Messiah but also the Good Shepherd. For, you see, Jesus’ Word and Work create His sheep. “My sheep hear my voice,” He says. He calls, He creates His sheep—His disciples. That’s what He’s done for you. He baptizes you “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” He teaches you “to cherish all that He’s commanded.” In these ways He makes you His disciple. Now, as His disciples, as His sheep we hear His voice. We want to listen to His voice, hear His Word, study His Word, cling to His Word, cherish it, hold it dear. We make any and every opportunity to have Him come to us with His Word because that’s just what we do as Jesus’ sheep. It must be this way, as Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” How can you follow Him, if you’re not hearing His Word? And so wherever Jesus places His Word, there His sheep gather, and they’ll always seek more Word for the Shepherd’s Word calls them, sustains them, protects them. Those who don’t want anything to do with such things, well…aren’t His sheep.

(1. Jesus gives His sheep eternal life.)

But Jesus is the Shepherd who always clung to God’s Word, always cherished it, always did it, always took any and every opportunity for it. He did that for His sheep. He shed His blood to ransom His sheep, to pay the price for their wandering. Jesus still calls His sheep to His Word. His sheep know His Word. They hear His voice there. But that’s not all He’s about. He’s got more for His sheep. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Jesus gives you eternal life. Nothing can snatch you from His hand. Not even death! You will live. You will not die forever. Your flesh will die. Your spirit will live with Christ, your Good Shepherd, but death won’t snatch YOU from Him. You! As you are now sitting here. Your body will be raised again. The grave won’t snatch you from Jesus’ nail-scarred hands. He’ll send the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, and your body will live again. You can’t be snatched from Jesus’ hand or the Father’s hand. Not death, sin, hell, devil, or grave will separate you from Jesus and the Father. If any of those things try, they don’t just have Jesus or the Father to mess with. They’ve got both Jesus the Good Shepherd, who took on those things and won, and also the Father to contend with. The Spirit given you in Baptism is the guarantee and down payment. This resurrection on the Last Day is the promise of your Baptism. You will be raised up. You are a sheep. It’s also the promise of the Supper. As Jesus says, “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” And you will “dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

Good Shepherd Jesus cares for you, for your body and your soul. Nothing will snatch you from His hand. Not even a casket and grave will do it. Sickness and death have no chance! Good Shepherd Jesus has already died and risen. He died and rose for His sheep. He’s all about the Word that proclaims this. It makes sheep. It keeps His sheep. It’s what Jesus does. He also gives life, eternal life. He delivers it to you. Water, Word, Body and Blood. It’s all yours. You will never perish. You will live even though you die. Not just your soul will live but body too.


That’s the comfort and consolation Good Shepherd Jesus want you to have. He wants to give you good things. He wants you by the still waters and green pastures. Not just now but forever. That’s what Good Shepherd Jesus is all about!

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!



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