I Am The Good Shepherd
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 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. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares noth- ing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd
(John 10:10-16 ESV)
It’s a pretty safe bet that very few people reading this have ever spent time as a shepherd. Maybe some of us have spent time on a farm. My father-in-law grew up raising and racing quarter horses. On the nights before races, it was his job to stay in the stables with the horses to make sure no one got in to harm the horses before the big race. This is the sort of picture Jesus is painting here.
Even in that day, it was not a glamorous thing to sleep among animals. It wasn’t pleasant and it wasn’t something people wanted to do. But it was necessary for the shepherd to be with his flock. He would set aside the comforts of home, set aside his own hygiene, and spend time sleeping on the ground and stinking of livestock. It wasn’t because of the honor; it was because the sheep needed him.
Jesus left the riches and comfort of heaven to live with us because we needed him.
Jesus, I need you today. I know that you have every comfort and luxury available to you in your kingdom, but I need you to come to my neighborhood. You are a good shepherd, and I know you will be with me today.
- What is Jesus’ goal, opposed to the enemy’s?
- What about Jesus makes him “the good shepherd”?
- How do we know Jesus cares for his sheep?
- What does Jesus mean when he says he has “sheep that are not of this fold”?