WHI-1474 | I Am the Good Shepherd

Sunday, 07 Jul 2019

PROGRAM AUDIO & RESOURCES

On this program, the hosts arrive at John chapter 10 as Jesus claims to be the Good Shepherd. But when we compare this claim to various Old Testament promises, we see that this is actually another clear reference to Jesus’ divinity, since Yahweh himself is frequently described as the shepherd of Israel. Furthermore Jesus says that he—unlike all the unfaithful shepherds throughout Israel’s long history—has ultimately come to lay down his life for his sheep.

 

Show Quote

Shane Rosenthal: “As people increasingly adopt the dogma that “above is only sky,” they begin to see themselves either individually or collectively as the ultimate source of authority. In such a world, there can be no ultimate standard of truth, goodness, or beauty, but only subjective preferences which is why many have come to believe in our day that truth is relative; that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that there are no objective moral standards.”

 

Term to Learn

“Body of Christ”

The metaphor of body is used in two New Testament passages concerning the church, Ephesians 5:25 and Colossians 1:18. This image must be interpreted in relation to the more basic paradigm of the covenant. The meaning of the “body of Christ” metaphor is to be found in the concrete historical contexts in which it was given. The church as a holy commonwealth exceeds common communities by virtue of the fact that it alone is elected by the Father in the Son through the work of the Spirit. It is held together by the sinews of covenantal love, not simply of friendship; it is the fellowship of brothers and sisters (a family) and not simply neighbors who share the same racial, ethnic, national, socio-economic, or cultural affinities.

The body of Christ is found in union with its head, the Lord Jesus, and in communion with other Christians, the church. Chosen in Christ, redeemed in Christ, sealed in Christ by the Spirit, the church is the one place where worldly divisions no longer take place. Paul links this ecclesiology to the ascension of Christ, as the source of the gifts that he now pours out lavishly by his Spirit to his saints through the ministry of Word and sacrament. It is this ministry alone that creates, sustains, unites, and brings maturity and health to the body of Christ. Each member (or body part) is useful for the whole and in need of each other, as Paul stresses in 1 Corinthians 12. The body of Christ is likened and explained by the marital metaphor in Ephesians 5, where Paul says that Christ is one with his body (the church) in a way that is similar to the union of husband and wife as “one flesh.”

(Adapted from Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, p 733-36)

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