Who is guiding your life? Consider surrendering to the good shepherd, Jesus, who will lead you in his loving care into eternity. As our good shepherd, Jesus is completely unique in his identity and his commitment to caring for the sheep under his care…
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Jesus continues his revelation that he is the only way. Yesterday we read that he is the gate we must pass through. Today he shares that he is the good shepherd. There are several defining characteristics of our good shepherd, Jesus, which make him unique in his relationship to the sheep.
Jesus the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. He died for us, showing that he is fully committed to each sheep in his care. He is different from a hired hand who is committed to a point, and then eventually is self-serving to save his own life. Jesus is different. Jesus cares so deeply that he sacrifices himself for his sheep.
Jesus the good shepherd knows his sheep. He knows us by name. He knows us because he made us. He knows our pasts and he knows our futures. He wants the best for us. And he is known by the sheep. We have full access and full relationship available with Jesus. He likens our relationship with him to Jesus’ own relationship with his father. That’s intimacy!
Jesus the good shepherd is shepherd to all sheep, including those who are not from the same sheep pen. This is a reference to the amazing truth that although he was Jewish, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross opened up the way for any person of any faith and from any nation to believe in him for eternal life. Jesus is the shepherd of one flock (see Ephesians 2:13-20) and he is our one and only shepherd.
Jesus the good shepherd has the power and authority to rise from the dead. His resurrection three days after he laid down his life for us is amazing testament to Jesus’ identity as the living God. No one else could do that or would do that for the sheep. Only the good shepherd.
Who is guiding your life? Consider surrendering to the good shepherd, Jesus, who will lead you in his loving care into eternity…