The Good Shepherd
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.”
John 10:11-13 NLT
Jesus draws on the beautiful picture of a shepherd. Throughout the Old Testament, there were great shepherd leaders such as David who was a shepherd who became a king. The ultimate shepherd of the Old Testament was Father God described in Psalm 23. Now, Jesus identifies Himself as the fulfillment of God as our Shepherd.
As our shepherd, Jesus “sacrifices his life for the sheep.” This idea was a strange concept for the disciples to understand. They liked the idea of the Messiah being a shepherd, but they envisioned a shepherd king—not a shepherd who sacrifices his life. They wanted the warrior to conquer their enemies, not a shepherd to die on their behalf.
There is an intimate relationship between the shepherd and his sheep. Jesus continues this passage by letting us know that He knows His sheep and His sheep know His voice.
Jesus knows us. He knows our needs, wants, dreams, desires, hurts, and pains. He knows what makes us laugh, cry, hurt, and rejoice. He knows our deepest desires.
And Jesus wants us to know His voice. He wants us to follow Him as He leads us. He is not forcing us, pushing us, and dragging us. He is simply leading the way to provision and protection. We have to choose to follow.
Holy Spirit, please help me follow Jesus. Help me learn to discern His voice above all the other voices in my world. Help me walk after Jesus in every area of my life.
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