Sermon for Easter 4 – April 25, 2021

+ Easter 4 – April 25, 2021 +

Series B: Acts 4:1-12; 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA


“The Good Shepherd”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


A few years ago there was a show on the Discovery Channel called Dirty Jobs. Every episode, the host, Mike Rowe, would travel around the country getting to know various people and their hard-working jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us.


Most of the time these jobs weren’t particularly glamorous or glorious. Poultry farmers. Road kill collectors. Garbage men. And so on.


One of the recurring themes of the show was the self-less, humble, sacrificial work ordinary folks would do on behalf of others.


That’s the theme of today’s Gospel reading as well. Jesus’ whole life and work is summarized by that title – the good shepherd. The humble, selfless, self-giving, good shepherd.


I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.


“I am the good shepherd,” Jesus says.


In the first century, as in the 21st century, being a shepherd was a dirty job. Nothing glorious or glamorous about it. Just good ole fashioned hard work. The shepherd lived with his sheep. Slept near sheep. Talked to his sheep. They knew his voice like an infant knows the voice of their mother. The sheep know the shepherd. Trust the shepherd. Follow the shepherd. And for all that hard work, shepherds were still considered the lowest of the low in society.


Of all the daily occupations Jesus could have used to reveal his goodness and gracious care why a shepherd? Why not choose something a bit more popular or powerful? No. Instead, our Lord chooses the image of a lowly, selfless shepherd because this is the kind of savior he is.


I am the good shepherd. Jesus is not in it for the paycheck like the hired hand. He’s not the kind of God that reveals his power by glamor, wealth, or fame, but in humility, sacrifice, and selflessness.


The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 


Jesus is the good shepherd, not for his own sake. But for yours. Jesus is the good shepherd we need.


For, as Isaiah says, all we like sheep have gone astray, each to our own ways. If the image of Jesus as the good shepherd is comforting, it’s also uncomfortable reminder that we are sheep. Not exactly flattering.


Sheep are stubborn, self-centered, high maintenance creatures. Without a shepherd sheep wander. Sheep get lost. Sheep are easy prey for the wolf. We’re no different. Like foolish sheep we wander off in our own sinful, selfish ways. We butt heads with one another, stubbornly insisting on having things our way.


Thankfully we have a good shepherd who is greater than all our sheepish sins. For all the times we are selfish, Jesus the good shepherd is selfless for you. For all the times we demand to get our own way, Jesus the good shepherd goes the way of the cross for you. For all the times we wander and are lost, Jesus the good shepherd lays down his life to rescue you.


I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.


The image Jesus delivers is a powerful one. In Jesus’ day, it was common for the shepherd to gather his sheep for the night in a pen or a holding area, then lay his body down in the opening. That way, if a wolf or thief would try and come for the sheep, they would have to go through the shepherd to get to his sheep. It’s as if the shepherd is saying to any predator, “sure, you can have my sheep…over my dead body.”


Jesus is the good shepherd. Our enemies of sin and death and the devil are no match for our good shepherd. He will not abandon you when the wolf comes prowling. Jesus is the good shepherd who lays down his life for you. He steps into the jaws of death and the grave for you. He lets the hound of hell devour him on the cross. He lays down his life for you his sheep. Jesus is no hired hand. He takes no days off. No breaks. No vacations. Jesus is the good shepherd for you.


And in Jesus your good shepherd, you lack nothing. He knows you. Loves you. Cares for you. You belong to him.


Jesus our Good Shepherd leads you beside the still waters of holy baptism where he restores your soul. He daily leads you in the path of righteousness by his holy word. You hear his voice and know him He walks with you and ahead of you into the valley of the shadow of death. By his rod and staff he protects and preserves us.


And today, Jesus the good shepherd prepares his table for you, bread that is his body, a cup that overflows with the goodness and mercy of his blood shed for you.


Surely the goodness and mercy of Jesus your good shepherd will follow you, hound you like a sheep dog, all the days of your life.


And you will dwell in the house of the Lord, Jesus your good shepherd, forever.


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

By appointment only June and July


2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
(253) 922-6977
(253) 922-6977