Jesus is the Good Shepherd – John 10:1-18
Shepherds have always played an important role in God’s plan of salvation. Many of the great men He has called and spoken through have been shepherds. We know that Abel kept his flocks while Cain worked the soil, and the Lord looked with favor upon his offering. Abraham and Lot had flocks and herds. We are told that Isaac became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he had so many flocks and herds that the Philistines envied him! When Pharaoh asked Joseph’s brothers their occupation, they reported that they were shepherds as their fathers before them, and they came to Egypt with Jacob and their flocks. Later when Moses flees to Midian, he tends the flocks with Jethro when the Lord calls him from the burning bush.
Of course, there is King David. Samuel comes to the house of Jesse to anoint the Lord’s chosen. When none of the seven sons are chosen, Jesse reveals that there is one more, the youngest, tending the sheep. When the boy David arrives, the Lord has Samuel rise and anoint him and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. He would be king!
There is the birth of Jesus, announced not to priests or kings, but to shepherds on a hillside by not one angel, but by a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God!
So, it is no surprise that Jesus would use these familiar word pictures to help us visualize the relationship he desires to have with us. As our good shepherd, Jesus would not leave the herd when the wolf attacked. Rather, he would lay down his life to save the life of the sheep. Lay it down of his own accord, only to take it back up again.
Ah, but the wolf never gives up. The wolf is still after the sheep today. Circling the herd. Looking for the weak lamb. The good shepherd calls the sheep by name, but we have to listen! Spend time with the shepherd, so that you will know his voice, and take care of your fellow lambs. God Bless.