I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 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.
Written by: Marshall King
As children, most of us learned to play the game follow the leader. One person is chosen to be the leader and they stand in front of everyone. The rest of the children line up behind the leader follows whatever the leader does. Anyone who fails to follow or do what the leader says or does is out of the game.
As adults, we all choose to follow someone or something. Whether it is at our job or serving at church or in our home, someone is the leader and our job is to follow or obey what he/she asks us to do. Sometimes the leader does not say or do what is right. We are to respect authority, but if the leader asks us to do something that is against the law or is sinful, we should not follow. Who we follow determines what direction we go.
In John 10, Jesus was speaking to the Jewish audience about being the good shepherd and tending and caring for his sheep. Jesus told them that He knows His sheep and His sheep know him, listen to Him, and follow Him.
Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
The other sheep Jesus is referring to in verse 16 are the Gentiles. Jesus’ message is that all of His sheep, Jews and Gentiles, will be united as one flock and He is the shepherd of that flock.
We are all sheep. We all need a shepherd to follow. His name is Jesus. Unfortunately, we are prone to wandering. The desires of our hearts can take us off the path. This happens when we are not focused on following Jesus. God loves us during those times, but we suffer the consequences of making bad choices. He disciplines His children in love and for their good with grace and mercy.
Thought of the day: Do you find it difficult in your daily life to follow and trust Jesus? Following Jesus comes at a price. It requires that you die to your sinful nature and sinful habits. The only way to follow Jesus is to surrender and abide or remain in Him. In John 15, Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” How is your fruit basket?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your unconditional love for me and for continually pursuing me when I wander from the path of righteousness. You are the good shepherd and the only one worthy to be followed and praised. Help me to remain focused on your truth, to abide in You, and to follow and obey Your commands so that I may bear much fruit and live a life that glorifies You. Amen.