Sheep Without a Shepherd
A Sermon on Matthew 9:36
36Seeing the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd.
36¶ But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
What are the essentials of the Christian gospel? In this sermon on Matthew 9:36 titled “Sheep Without a Shepherd,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones analyzes this passage in which Jesus sees a multitude of people and has compassion on them. Dr. Lloyd-Jones recognizes the unique authority of Jesus, the truth of the sinful disposition, and the comfort that only Christ can bring as essentials of the gospel. He examines the human condition and finds that all are still sheep without a shepherd. Despite the appearance of development and progress, life is the same. The multitude is rightly related to sheep in the way they are fainting, scattered abroad, harassed, mangled, and distressed. They are sheep at the mercy of thieves and robbers, dogs and wolves. Men and women are in a state of bewilderment and all have gone astray. The world is without a shepherd—no politician, no statesman, no philosopher, or thinker can give rest from this bewilderment. Yet, Jesus Christ looks upon humanity and is moved with compassion. Jesus does not belong to the multitude, so He can be the Good Shepherd that is needed. He is the only hope for the world. Listeners are encouraged to follow the voice of the Good Shepherd so that they may find rest and peace.
- Dr. Lloyd-Jones is addressing the congregation from Matthew 9:36. Jesus saw the multitudes and was moved with compassion because they were faint and scattered like sheep without a shepherd.
- The passage shows the essence and purpose of the gospel. It reminds us of the fundamental truths of the Christian gospel.
- Dr. Lloyd-Jones aims to show why we should preach and listen to the gospel. There are great essential truths in the passage.
- Jesus looked at the masses of people and saw them differently. He was moved with compassion. The service is being held because of this. There would be no Christian church without this.
- Jesus is unique. He looks at the world's problems unlike anyone else. Though he appears as a man, he is the Son of God.
- The passage shows the only true understanding of the human condition and situation. The gospel tells us the truth about ourselves and the world.
- The gospel provides the only comfort and hope. It helps in times of trouble and despair.
- Jesus diagnosed the whole human situation. The condition of mankind is like sheep without a shepherd.
- The world today is like the multitudes Jesus saw - fainting, scattered, harassed, helpless. The descriptions show the human predicament.
- The descriptions show people are bewildered, harassed, attacked, lack nourishment, restless, and hopeless. This is the human condition without God.
- The ultimate reason for the human condition is being without a shepherd - without guidance, leadership, or help. The world lacks answers and comfort.
- No human leader can truly help or guide us. They cannot solve problems, explain the world, give meaning, or provide hope. They are lost themselves.
- Jesus is the good shepherd who gave his life for the sheep. He came out of compassion to rescue, redeem and shepherd us.
- Jesus died to buy us back from condemnation and the devil. He leads us to nourishment, rest, and peace. We have eternal security in him.
- We can test if we know Jesus as the good shepherd. Do we hear his voice calling us? Do we know him? Do we follow him? He leads to nourishment, rest, and peace.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.