Our Good Shepherd

Read Through the Bible in Two Years: Psalm 8; Proverbs 1:20-33; John 10

"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" - Psalm 8:1a and Psalm 8:9 ESV

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" - Psalm 8:3-4 ESV

Yesterday we read John 9:35, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Jesus is the Son of Man and Son of God. Fully God and fully man. How awesome are His works – to create the heavens for man to see – and also to create man to see them!

"So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.... The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:7, 10 ESV

This reminds me of when I was a child and our house was broken into. A thief took a baseball bat from our front porch and smashed the panel of glass in our front door so he could enter. Thieves come to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came that we may have abundant life. Jesus is Himself the door for the sheep. If we want to meet the Father, we must come through Jesus, the only door. We can’t break our way in. There is no secret back entrance. Jesus is the only way. No man comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)

"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." - John 10:11-15 ESV

Jesus isn’t just any ol’ shepherd. Jesus is the good shepherd. Jesus isn’t just a hired hand who is getting paid to watch the sheep like “Little Boy Blue” or “The Boy who Cried Wolf.” Jesus is the good shepherd who willingly laid down His life for His sheep.

One of the most compelling reasons I have to believe that the Bible is true is that Jesus’s disciples were willing to be martyred for their faith. If they had known they were preaching a lie, would they have been willing to die for their faith? I don’t think so.

Jesus, too, was willing to die for His testimony that He was the Son of God, and Jesus was willing to die for us, His lost sheep who needed a good shepherd to rescue them.

Jesus is such a good shepherd. He doesn’t drive His sheep; He leads His sheep. He goes out front and says, “Follow me.”

Are we good shepherds of our children and those we are shepherding? Do we go first and say, “Follow me?” Or do we stand in the rear (or sit on the couch) yelling and pointing, “Do this! Do that! Don’t go that way! You’re doing it wrong! Don’t you hear me?”

"Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." - John 10:25-27 ESV

Jesus both spoke compelling truths and did compelling signs in the presence of thousands of witnesses, so that His sheep would believe that He truly was the Son of God and Savior of the World. Yet, many did not believe? Why? Because they were not among Jesus’s sheep. They couldn’t understand what Jesus was saying. They couldn’t believe what Jesus was doing. They weren’t His sheep.

It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

So, just like you don’t expect a chicken or a hamster to understand you, don’t be surprised when some people don’t understand God’s Word – or you. If someone is still in the darkness, they truly can’t see what you’re talking about. Like those Jewish men who heard Jesus’s words, “I and the Father are one,” and rather than worshipping Him they accused Him of blasphemy, saying “you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John 10:30, 33). It’s like Proverbs 1, which I also read today, wisdom cries aloud in the streets and markets, yet the people do not hear. Instead they close their ears and scoff, ignoring wisdom’s counsel and reproof.

Instead of being angry with these simple scoffers and fools, let’s humbly pray for them, remembering that we once we blind, too. Just like you shouldn’t be angry with a chicken or a hamster when it doesn’t do what you tell it to, don’t be angry when a friend can’t understand what you’re talking about. Instead, let’s always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks, correcting our opponents with gentleness and respect. (See 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and 1 Peter 3:14-17)

Will you pray with me?

Lord God,

Thank You for opening my eyes and calling me into Your flock. Help me to always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in me and to do it with gentleness and respect. Help me to be patient and kind to those who are still in the darkness. Give me a humble and grateful heart.

Help me to hear Your voice crying above the noise of the world saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.” Give me eyes to see the door and the straight and narrow path to it.

Thank You for sending the Good Shepherd, the Perfect Shepherd, to lay down His life for me. Help me to be willing to lay down my life for my friends – and for my enemies. Give me the wisdom I need to discern the enemy’s voice and let me not be deceived by the devil’s lies and schemes.

Help me to remember that Jesus who is my Good Shepherd who says again and again, “Follow me.” Jesus came to earth, taking on flesh, being the Son of God and Son of Man, that we could know You and follow You because we know Him and follow Him.

In the Name of Our Good Shepherd I pray. Amen.

2 thoughts on “Our Good Shepherd

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