‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep’ - John 10:11
Seeing the lambs in the fields these past weeks, has been a reminder of the many times we read of the shepherd and his sheep in the Bible. Travelling in the open countryside during an oversees mission trip, it was amazing to observe a shepherd looking after his large flock of sheep.
David wrote Psalm 23 reflecting on his experience of shepherd life.
The teaching in John chapter 10 follows on from the incident with the healing of the blind man in the previous chapter. The Pharisees neither cared for him, nor understood what Jesus was saying to them about their spiritual blindness.
After saying ‘I am the door ‘Jesus now declares that He is the Good Shepherd. Unlike the previous leaders who did not really care for the people, Jesus says in verse 11 ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep’. He loves his sheep so much that he has died for them. In fact, he gives His life to the sheep.
Verse 28 ‘I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand’. He keeps His sheep secure. He is truly the Great Shepherd of the sheep, Hebrews 13:20 …’the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant’. He knows His sheep and they know His voice. He provides for His sheep.
One day he will glorify his sheep, 1 Peter 5:4 ‘And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory’. What a privilege to know The Lord is my shepherd!
I have a Shepherd, One I Love so well
How He has blessed me,tongue an never tell
On the cross He suffered, shed His blood and died
That I might ever in His love confide
Following Jesus, ever day by day
Nothing can harm me when Jesus leads the way
Darkness or sunshine, whate’er befall
Jesus the Shepherd, is my all in all.
Pastures abundant doth His hand provide
Still waters flowing ever at my side
Goodness and mercy follow on my track
With such a shepherd, nothing can I lack
When I would wander from the path astray
Then He will draw me back into the way
In the darkest valley I need fear no ill
For He, my Shepherd, will be with me still.
By Leonard Weaver