Following the Good Shepherd
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”
– John 10:14-16
In this portion of John 10, Jesus spoke with great intimacy. As the good shepherd, Jesus knew every one of his sheep personally. Not only were the sheep known, but the sheep knew their shepherd. They recognized the voice of their shepherd; thus, they followed him, trusted him, and obeyed his commands. The Apostle John illustrated this imagery through the man born blind. Jesus miraculously healed him of his blindness so that then this man could not only see physically, but he could also see spiritually. Jesus revealed himself as the Son of Man; at that revelation, the healed man believed and worshipped Jesus.
There would be others who would be healed of their spiritual blindness so that they could follow Jesus. Jesus spoke of them as his other sheep who were not of this fold. These others would include many of us – the Gentiles – who would be grafted into the fold through the cross of Jesus Christ. They, too, would have their eyes opened so that they could see Jesus and believe.
The flock of Jesus will multiply through the cross as many will come to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus will still know his sheep by name; there will still be the intimate sense of knowing and being known. Jesus continues to guard his flock, care for his flock, lead his flock, and lovingly provide all that they need.
Jesus wanted his sheep to know that they were cherished by him. As the good shepherd, he would never forsake them. The care of the good shepherd was perfect as seen in his laying down his life on behalf of the flock. There is no love like the love of Jesus. There is no greater gift than what he gave his people on the cross.
May we hear his voice and follow him in faith and obedience. Reflection:
Have you considered the intimacy of being known perfectly by your good shepherd? How does that empower you to walk in faith and obedience?
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