Lenten Devotional // Day 33

Thursday, April 8
I AM the Good Shepherd by Peggy Sullivan

John 10:1-18
“I assure you that whoever doesn’t enter into the sheep pen through the gate but climbs over the wall is a thief and an outlaw. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The guard at the gate opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Whenever he has gathered all of his sheep, he goes before them and they follow him, because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger but will run away because they don’t know the stranger’s voice.” Those who heard Jesus use this analogy didn’t understand what he was saying.
So Jesus spoke again, “I assure you that I am the gate of the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and outlaws, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. When the hired hand sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. That’s because he isn’t the shepherd; the sheep aren’t really his. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. He’s only a hired hand and the sheep don’t matter to him.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep and they know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I give up my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that don’t belong to this sheep pen. I must lead them too. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock, with one shepherd.
“This is why the Father loves me: I give up my life so that I can take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I give it up because I want to. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it up again. I received this commandment from my Father.”

The message of John 10: 1-18 is that Jesus is the one true shepherd. He is, as he calls himself, the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd who was not only prepared to die but did die for the people who put their belief, faith, and hope in him.

Jesus explains in this parable that the sheep and their shepherd have a close relationship. The sheep know the voice of their shepherd and they will go towards his voice only. All others that enter into the sheep pen are thieves. They are there to steal, kill, and destroy. The hired hand who watches over the sheep once they are penned will not protect the sheep from danger as would the shepherd.

The robber or the thief who claims to be the Good Shepherd is in fact a false Shepherd.
This is an excellent epistle for those who seek peace with God. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Those that believe in the Good Shepherd know that he watches over, cares for, and protects them.

Question for Contemplation
As one of Good Shepherd’s sheep, are you willing to follow him wherever he may lead you?

God, I am seeking you and I am willing to follow you wherever you lead me. You know me, you provide for me and you care for me. Let your will not mine be done today and everyday. In Jesus’ name, the Good Shepherd, Amen.

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