The Good Shepherd
Scripture: John 10:1-30
In John chapter 10, Jesus shared with us one of His favorite titles: The Good Shepherd. Jesus says He is the shepherd and we are the flock. But, Jesus is no ordinary shepherd. Let’s look a little closer. Jesus spells out 7 ways that He is the Good Shepherd and what that means for us.
1. Christ has received you as a gift from the Father.
John 10:29-30 “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (ESV)
This is our starting point and is a fundamental aspect of the Good Shepherd. God considers us to be a precious gift from His Father and is invested in our wellbeing. It all begins here because He takes our salvation personally.
2. Christ knows you completely.
John 10:14 “ I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.” (ESV)
Funnily enough, there are times we may be a mystery to ourselves. Yet, Jesus Christ knows us completely. He knows our frame (Psalms 103:14), our mood, what lifts us up, and what gets us down. There is nothing we could ever tell Jesus about ourselves that He doesn’t fully know.
The great part about this is, because He knows us so well He is able to effectively lead us. He gives us precisely what we need when we need it. No one is better equipped to be our guide.
3. Christ chose to give himself for us.
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (ESV)
John 10:18 “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (ESV)
Here is something wonderful: Jesus gave his life for us, His sheep. Everything He endured was for us:
When He gave himself up at the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22), it was for us.
When He was condemned to death, it was for us.
When He hung on the cross in agony, it was for us.
Jesus chose to suffer and die for our sins. He gave himself willingly; no one compelled Him to do it. Jesus accomplished everything He came to do here on earth, then gave Himself to death. He did all of this, just for us. How loved are we?!
4. Christ called you and brought you to himself.
John 10:3,16 “To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out… 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.” (ESV)
Jesus calls us by name. Not only does He know our frame and every aspect of our being, He wants to be close to each of us, personally. He gives us clear instruction and directs us to enter the gate in order to be saved (verse 9).
He did not stand back to see if we would come; like a shepherd he actively and intentionally went out to find the lost sheep and bring them back home.
5. Christ owns you and will never abandon you.
John 10:12-14 “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.” (ESV)
Not all shepherds are made equal. Here the Lord makes it clear: the hired shepherd will leave the flock to save himself in the face of danger. We can’t be too critical of him because that’s our nature. But thankfully, it’s not His nature.
The Good Shepherd who sees his sheep as his own and who is invested in his flock, is not over-powered by self-preservation. Our Lord and Savior is personally invested and He doesn’t want to see us stray.
6. Christ gives you eternal life.
John 10: 28 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (ESV)
He didn’t say He would give us eternal life at some point in the future. This precious gift is already yours.
Notice the word ‘give’ – in other words, you do not have to earn this priceless gift. It is freely given by the Good Shepherd and we, the sheep, simply receive it. Notably, the life He gives is eternal, and by definition that means it lasts forever. Now, we know that we have everlasting life in Jesus Christ, our Shepherd. Amen.
7. Christ guards you and will keep you forever.
John 10:29 – “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (ESV)
What reason do we have to be confident as Christians? Especially when all the pressure stands against us? In Christ we can’t be taken away. Since we are His sheep, we are in His hands. That is the answer.
And, if that wasn’t enough, the Lord added that no amount of strength can snatch us out of His protection. We are safe and secure in Him.
With these promises and with these things we find Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He was willing to give His life for us and we enjoy eternal life. That eternal life has already started and is already ours. Amen!
Happy Resurrection Sunday! We pray you and your family be blessed and continue to put God first. Don’t forget, He chose you.