The Good Shepherd
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep.” John 10:11
I recently heard a sermon about the Good Shepherd, and I was struck by the distinction made between a hired shepherd and a shepherd who cared for his own sheep.
Both look upon their sheep as companions and income. They care for the physical needs of their sheep, feeding them, tending their wounds, and protecting them from themselves and predators. Shepherds also know their sheep. They know their peculiar little personalities and their disposition to wander. Shepherds know they must lead their absentminded little creatures. Sheep need strong shepherds who will remain close and watchful.
The great difference between a hired shepherd and the “good” shepherd who owns his flock is the issue of sacrifice. What is a hired shepherd willing to sacrifice for the life of one sheep? When danger comes, will he run to save his life leaving his sheep unprotected?
A good shepherd lays down His own life for His sheep. When danger comes, the good shepherd runs to the threat and attacks it head-on. Each lamb’s life is precious.
We have a Good Shepherd who loves us with a powerful, protective love. Our Shepherd is committed to us, caring for us, leading us and loving us to the point of laying down His own life for us. He chose death in order to keep us with Him…forever.
Jesus, thank you.
Thank you for taking such tender care of us. Thank you for tending to our battered hearts and protecting us. Being part of your flock is the sweetest privilege. Your Word tells us that Your sheep know Your voice. Your voice, as our Good Shepherd, keeps us close and we know we are never alone. Amen.
Spend some time pouring over the 23rd Psalm today. The Lord is my shepherd…