Here is another example of what Bearfield church was looking at over the Summer: a very familiar story often read to us who were blessed to grow up in Christian families and yet when read again as adults is found to have deeper meanings.
I would like to point out that Jesus revealed here that He knew not only that He would die, but that it was inevitable He would be raised again (v 17).
For those who would say that Jesus was a good man, but was unfortunate to come up against the Romans and be killed prematurely; look at Verse 18! Jesus is adamant that He sacrifices His life voluntarily and, when we read through John's report of His trial and crucifixion, we can clearly see that here was someone who was fully in charge of the situation, even when He is tortured and brought before Pilate.
Although Jesus may have used the comparison with sheep for His followers due to the fact that they could been seen on neighbouring pastures, it is a very accurate assessment of human nature! I remember a farmer friend telling me about the time when he had flooding on his land and when he got to the field where his sheep were, they were all in a small area above the flooded field. However, when he approached them to rescue them, they would run into the flooded area to escape him! Unfortunately, a few died. What a picture of us as fallen humans rejecting every gentle approach by our Saviour to rescue us, preferring to die than be taken to safety!
If you have a couple of minutes spare, read this passage aloud slowly...