25th June 2019

I Am The Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
John 10:14-15 (NKJV)

In establishing His identity as God, Jesus called Himself the good shepherd. This is interesting because shepherds were despised at that time, even though they were the first, after Mary, to be given news of his birth! Here is a twofold reminder that He too would be despised and rejected, but also that He is the only true shepherd who would lay down his life for the sheep.

The contrast here is between Jesus, the God who laid down his life for humanity, and the many false prophets who would follow him. John 10:12 records, “But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.”

While the people of that time could understand the difference between an owner and a hireling, it is doubtful they would understand the real meaning of Jesus’ words. To understand the full meaning we need to read from John10:14 to John 10:30. To summarize this passage, Jesus told them that they were wrong and He was right. That he was God, and they were not accepting Him as God, but his followers, his sheep, would. That includes us today! He promised his sheep eternal life because He would lay down His life for us. It is impossible to consider the full implications of Jesus identifying Himself as the good shepherd in this short study. But it means we are absolutely safe in His hands no matter the trials and storms of our lives.

The dedication of a good shepherd to his sheep is that he lays down his life for them. What more can Jesus do for us individually and for all of humanity? His message here made the Jews so angry that they wanted to stone him to death (John 10:31). Being in the care of the good shepherd, which we are, is a priceless blessing!

Loving Father, we are so grateful that we have Your Word, the Bible, and now can understand the true identity of Jesus, as the good shepherd, in whose loving care we can rest and relax, knowing that He has already laid down His life for us. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Keith Hartrick

About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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