The Good Shepherd

Jesus announced that he is the Good Shepherd. He describes how the Good Shepherd would die for the sheep because of the love He has for them, in contrast to the hired hand that would flee because he does not care about the sheep. “The hired man looks like a shepherd and sometimes even acts like a shepherd. But in times of danger, he cannot be relied upon. There is no protection or security for God’s flock apart from the protective presence of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who loves the sheep.” 1 Jesus is the Good Shepherd that loves and cares for us. He came so people could have life more abundantly, by giving them a hope and a future because of the eternal life that can only come through Him.

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

J. Carl Laney, Moody Gospel John commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992), 190.

Press On

In Genesis, chapter thirty-seven, Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit, out of jealousy. Joseph was sold to traders that were passing through on their way to Egypt, for twenty shekels of silver (v. 28) Chapter thirty-nine picks back up on the narrative of Joseph’s success as a slave in Potiphar’s house. Potiphar was an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard (v. 1). Joseph was purchased to work as a common slave. Potiphar noticed Joseph’s work and showed favor to him by promoting him from an ordinary slave to one with power and high responsibility. Everything was entrusted into Joseph’s hands, so Potiphar did not worry about anything except the food he ate.

While Potiphar is gone, his wife starts tempting Joseph to lie with her. She was very persistent and continued to plead with him to “lie with me”, but Joseph continues to avoid her. He could have had the thought that if he did this it could affect his job or his masters trust, but Joseph’s main concern was “how then could I do this great evil and sin against God?” (v. 9) Joseph made the mistake to be in the house alone with her. She tried again to seduce him but he refused. She grabbed a hold of his garment and pleaded the more, “lie with me”, but he fled leaving his garment with her. She held on to it and screamed for the other servants. ‘That Hebrew came to lie with me and to make sport (laugh) of us, but instead I screamed and he fled.’ (v. 11–16) She held on to the garment until her husband came home. Having no witnesses there, it came down to her word against his.

When Potiphar heard this, he was hot with anger. It does not really direct who he was mad at. Was it Joseph or his wife? Potiphar had every right to have Joseph killed, but it seems that Potiphar knew that it was his wife’s fault. So Joseph was thrown it prison instead, but it seems that it was not long before God allowed Joseph to find favor with the chief jailer.

Joseph pressed on; refusing to let any past events in his life to control his future. In the same way, Christians should forget what is behind them and press on forward to what lies ahead (Phil 3:13). If anyone had the right to be tempted with bitterness about the past, it was Joseph. (brothers hated him and sold him, wrongfully accused by Potiphar’s wife, cup bearer forgot about him, seems like God abandoned him,…) Dwelling on past misfortunes takes one’s eyes off what God is trying to do in the present and future. Joseph’s eyes were so fixed on God, that when temptation came, he was focused on the consequences of his sin and the potential damage to his relationship with a holy God.

All of Joseph’s troubles were all part of God’s sovereign plan to preserve Israel from a future famine. As Joseph was in this prison, he was able to interpret a baker’s and cupbearer’s dream, with God’s help. Accurately interpreting these dreams allowed Joseph the opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dream warning of the future famine that was coming to the land. Throughout all the misfortunes in Joseph’s life, he did not let them control how he was going to live in the present. Joseph pressed on through the misfortunes instead laying around in his own self pity.

The Argument of the book of Romans: Vindication

Though Israel was God’s chosen people, when Israel rejected God, it did not frustrate his sovereign plan (Romans 9:1–29). Paul expresses a lot of grief in this section (9:1–5). He argues that the promise is not for all of Abraham’s descendants. The proof of this is that the child of the promise, Isaac, was the one that was chosen and not Ishmael. Even with Jacob and Esau, who had the same mother and were born at the same time, God chose to show mercy to Jacob (9:6–13). What it comes down to is that God can choose to whom he will grant or withhold his mercy (9:14–18). Israel has been rejected at this time. God is now pursuing others and is providing salvation for them (9:30–10:21). However, God has not cast out Israel, and there is a future for Her (11:11–32). Though this does not make sense to man now, he will in the future see the depths of God’s wisdom and knowledge (11:33–36).

The Argument of the book of Romans: Salvation: Sanctification and Glorification

Sanctification is the process of living a holy life (6:1–14). Once one is justified, he is now dead to sin (6:1–2). He needs to realize that he is a new creation (6:3–10). His desire to live in his old ways should be gone, and he should consider himself dead to sin (6:11). Absolutely, one must present his body to God as an instrument of righteousness (6:12–14). There should be a contrast between one’s new life and his old life, since he has a new Master to serve (6:17–23).

There is a future glorification that a believer is guaranteed, and the present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to it (8:18). All of creation, including believers, groans because it is awaiting the future glorification of God’s children (8:19–25). Even the Holy Spirit groans and intercedes for the believer (8:26–27). Since God is in complete control, the believer has the assurance that God’s plan can not ever be interfered with. Even if the believer has to go through suffering, it is part of God’s plan to bring glory to himself (8:28–30). The one who is justified can not ever be separated from God, because no one can bring a charge against God’s elect. (8:31–39).