Marbury Church of God » Blog Archive » The Church’s ProvisionSermon notes from April 29, 2007 at the Marbury Church of God.
• The source of the church’s provision is Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. The church is unlike any other organization in the world, in that it lives under supernatural protection and guidance.
• In our passage in John (10:30), specifically when speaking of his role as shepherd, Jesus identifies himself with God the Father in the strongest possible terms. His questioners, the Jews (actually the leaders: Pharisees, teachers of the law, chief priests and elders) have challenged him to say plainly whether he is the Messiah.
His difficulty is a simple one, though. He is the Messiah, but he is not the kind of Messiah they are looking for: they want a nationalistic leader who will unite their people politically, organize them militarily, resolve their disputes judicially, enforce right behavior autocratically, purify the occupancy of the land ethnically, and restore the kingdom of Israel to the prominent place it had under David and Solomon as a wonder of the world. But none of those things are on his agenda.
Today we still have those who look for a messiah to do all of those things, and are in danger of failing to see that God does not provide the followers of Jesus a role greater than or different from what we saw in him the first time.
• If Jesus simply announced “yes, I am the Messiah,” without radically redefining for their understanding what the Messiah is and what the Messiah’s purpose is to be, they would remain deceived and would expect many things of him which he had no intention to deliver. He has already refused a popular call to take him by force and make him king. So he has used other words to describe himself and the way in which he has received God’s anointing as David’s heir: he is the light of the world, the good shepherd, the bread of life, the source of living water.