The Good Shepherd

John 10: 11-16 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 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. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  “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.

A shepherd who owns his own sheep cares more for his sheep than one who is hired to care for them. He has an investment in their life and has either paid financially, received them as a gift or inherited the sheep through the new birth of young lambs.  He takes pride in making sure all is well with his sheep and will do everything in his power to make sure the sheep are free from danger.

A person hired to tend the sheep on the other hand may care a great deal about the job he is doing but when the ultimate test of danger comes his way, his choice may be different from the owner of the sheep.  He most likely would not die for the sheep he does not own.

Jesus had a lot to say about sheep in John 10. He refers to Himself as the “Good Shepherd” and those who have chosen to accept Jesus as Savior are His sheep. How do these verses apply to us?

1. He owns the sheep: We belong to Jesus.  He bought and paid for us with His shed blood on the cross.  Our choice was to believe in Him.  We did nothing but that one thing to belong to Him.  Jesus did the rest.
2. He will not abandon the sheep: Since He died for our sins and if we made the choice to believe in Him, we belong to Him. We are His not by what we have done or will ever do but by the grace of God. He never abandons us.  He protects us, guides us, feeds us and most importantly loves us. We are with His forever.
3. He knows the sheep and the sheep know Him: As many believers as there are, He knows every one by name.  He knows our heart and knows if we love Him or not. He knows our thoughts, our evil deeds, our wayward ways and yet He still loves us.  We know Him.  We learn everyday more about His love and His grace and we have fellowship with Him as we study His Word, pray and listen to His voice.
4. He has more than one flock but all the sheep listen to His voice and all shall be one flock with one shepherd: Jesus has more than one flock. He has several flocks in your local community, several in mine, flocks around the world, a flock from the followers of Jesus in Biblical times and a flock in times to come.  All of His flocks make up the one eternal flock of His followers in heaven where we will all be forever in His presence.  All of us (red, yellow, black and white, men, women and children) will be one flock with one Shepherd!!
5. He laid down his life willingly for the sheep: Jesus not only was willing to lay His life down for us, He did it!  He took on flesh to become the sacrifice for the sins of the world! He died on the cross conquering sin and death so you might have eternal life.

Do you know the “Good Shepherd”?  Do you belong to Him?  It is your choice.  Accept His love and grace. Do it now!