I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:11
Recently, the question was raised to me, "Why is Jesus called the good shepherd?" As a Christian I never gave it much thought. I simply accepted what I was taught as a child, but I thought it was an intriguing question, so I did a little research. I found out that a good shepherd takes care of and protects his sheep at any cost. In John 10, Jesus calls Himself the good shepherd many times. Today I'd like to explore four of the different aspects of what Jesus was talking about.
1. Jesus is the door.
Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. John 10:7
Jesus is the door that we must enter through. If we want to see the Father, then we must first believe in his Son. Jesus said in John 14:6 "No one comes to the Father except through Me.".
In ancient times, the shepherd keep the sheep safe by would laying down in front of the door of the sheep's pin. He would do this to keep the sheep inside of the pin and to keep predators out. Jesus keeps us safe by keeping us where we should be and protecting us from the predators of a Christian life.
2. Jesus is the Leader
...and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. and when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them: and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:3-4
A shepherd doesn't follow his sheep, he leads them. The shepherd would always go out in the front of the herd and the sheep would follow behind their shepherd.
Jesus has lead the way for us. His life is our example and we as Christians must follow our leader and shepherd, Jesus.
3. Jesus is the One We Know
Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. John 10:5
I am the good shepherd, and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. John 10:14
Sheep are timid and scared animals. They will run and hide from someone that they don't know. Even if a stranger calls them the same way that their shepherd would, they won't come to him.
We can recognize our shepherd, Jesus, because we know Him and His voice. Because we have accepted Him as our Savior, we have an intimate relationship with Jesus and can easily recognize Him. Just as the sheep wouldn't follow a stranger we shouldn't listen to or follow anyone but Jesus.
4. Jesus is the Savior
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. John 10:11
Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself, I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power take it again. John 10:17-18
A shepherd protects his sheep no matter what. He will go out to find just one missing sheep. And the shepherd will put his own life at risk to find his sheep.
How fortunate we are, that we have a Savior and Shepherd who died for us! Jesus willingly gave up His life as a sacrifice for us. Then He took it back up three days later because He has the power to do so!
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that You are the Good Shepherd and the Savior of my life. I love You and give You all of the praise! Please care for me and protect me because I am Your sheep. Amen.
Do you have a story to tell about how Jesus has been the Good Shepherd of your life? Then, please leave a comment below. God bless!
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Connie Rowland is the creator of Master's Hand Collection, A series of Christian digital artwork that depicts God's hand in our lives. Each picture features an inspirational word spelled out in American Sign Language with a corresponding Bible verse. Join "In the Studio" for your Free Printable Artwork.
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