Some people say sheep are stupid animals. Personally, I have never been around sheep long enough to make that assessment. I am not sure what more one expects of sheep, other than to graze on the side of a hill. Today, we are going to talk about sheep and the shepherd that looks after them.
Our verse of the day comes from John 10:10-14.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.”
Let’s dig in.
The disciples were familiar with sheep herding as it was one of the major occupations of their day. Sheepherding involved both a protective concern and a sacrificial attitude.
Jesus says in the above passage that the good shepherd lays down his life. It means a voluntary sacrificial death. The good shepherd stands ready to sacrifice his total self for the sake of the sheep.
When we look at the hired hand, we see that their main concern is pay and not the sheep’s wellbeing and safety. When the wolf appears, the hired hand takes off, leaving them alone.
Jesus reaffirms that he is the good shepherd and he knows his sheep. To know the sheep would indicate a relationship between the sheep and the shepherd.
Do you know the good shepherd intimately?
Father, thank you for the reminder that the good shepherd knows his sheep intimately. I pray, Lord, that if folks are reading this that do not know the good shepherd, they will change that today. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received; that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”