“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
These are not just good-sounding words that Jesus said; he is giving us a depiction of protection, comfort, contentment and his lordship. He comes to us as a shepherd who lovingly corrals his sheep for spiritual nourishment, personal growth and protection. He becomes our sheepfold, where those who desire to hurt his sheep, his people, are thwarted and his people are protected and loved.
He is the God who cares, loves, and leads us to the safety of his arms.
For us to be in the safety of Christ’s sheepfold, we have to cultivate an intimate relationship with him and obey him, as a sheep does the shepherd.
We know him, he knows us, and we do what he says. We are concerned with what concerns him, and we act accordingly. Like sheep, we can’t lead ourselves or others without being forever lost and unfed. We also can’t follow others, as fallen, sinful leaders will just lead us off a cliff, into sin and disobedience. Of course, we are called to lead each other in a church, business, family or ministry setting, but even as leaders, we must remember that only God alone is the good shepherd of our souls. (Isaiah 63:11; Jeremiah 23:1; Ezekiel 34:6-16; Hebrews 13:9-25).
Like a caring shepherd, Jesus asks for our allegiance and obedience because he knows what’s best for us.
He can protect us from the predators in the night, the difficult paths and the rough terrain. He is always with us, guiding us through the storms and difficulties of life, and even though we might feel frightened, like sheep in the dark, he is our comforter and provider.
God wants us to be concerned with his concerns, to follow him wholeheartedly and give him glory by our lives. Other sheep, those without a shepherd, will see our lives, our willingness to follow our good shepherd and the joy we have and might be led to obedience and belief as well. We must continue to be obedient, to recognize his voice, trust in him and follow him, knowing that he is a good shepherd.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness, for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3
Check out an earlier post by Dr. Richard Krejcir here.