Day 34

I am the Good Shepherd

from the Lent 2016 reading plan


John 10:11-18, Jeremiah 10:20-21, Psalm 23:1-6

This is part of a 10-day series on the person of Christ in the 2016 Lent study.

Most of the people I know hate waiting in line. When we have to, it seems like we’re always angling for a shortcut or a workaround.

The last time I was in an airport, I witnessed a few passengers trying to circumvent the general boarding lane by attempting to slip into the priority/first class boarding group. I suppose they thought they’d save themselves about 10 minutes of waiting, but what they ended up getting was a firsthand lesson in public shaming. After a bit of a hushed but irritated back and forth, the attendant that scanned their boarding passes announced loudly, “NO, you are not a priority member, you must go to the back of the line and wait your turn.”

I kind of felt bad for these travelers. It’s tough to be so publicly rebuked. However, I’m not sure what they were expecting. Maybe they thought they’d just get lucky and be able to board the plane without having to go through the proper channels. No. The gatekeeper turned them away.

In John 10, Jesus introduces Himself to us not only as the Good Shepherd, but also as the Gatekeeper to the sheep pen. It’s heartwarming to think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd; a guide, a caregiver, and a protector. Such an encouraging image. It’s the Gatekeeper part that’s tricky. Why would Jesus turn anyone away? That doesn’t seem caring, life-giving, or loving in the least.

Well, I suspect that being a Good Shepherd means not only loving the sheep through guidance, but also through protection. Jesus knew then what many of us of have experienced now: there are a lot of wolves that would love to reap the benefits of the sheep pen, and maybe even abuse a few sheep along the way, without having to yield to the call of the Shepherd.

You see, a shepherd is good because he cares for AND protects his flock, even with his life if necessary.  

God’s love for His people includes an invitation from the Shepherd “who laid down His life for His friends.” Everyone is invited to the sheep pen; it’s just that there is a Gatekeeper and only one way to enter. No one can reap the benefit of the Shepherd without passing through the sheep gate. Some may try to slip in another way, but Jesus tells us there is no other way.

The Good Shepherd is for you. He has laid down His life for you. From what or from whom do you need protection? Are you searching for secure shelter? This could be a good day to commit yourself to the care of Shepherd, to admit once and for all that you can’t shepherd yourself. He has already laid down His life for you. All you need to do is enter the refuge that can only be accessed through the sheep gate.

Once you’re there, lay your worries, cares, and fears before Jesus, who loves and cares specifically for you.

Written By Andrew Stoddard

 

Post Comments (10)

10 thoughts on "I am the Good Shepherd"

  1. Isaac Jones says:

    God knows who follow Him, and He cares for them to the point of death. God protects those who follow Him from being taken, because they are His and He has given Himself to them. God is both Shepard and gatekeeper. God does not allow those who are not His into the fold; He protects His sheep by keeping them out.

  2. Isaac Jones says:

    Man is either a sheep or a wolf. We either follow God or seek to destroy and take what is Gods.

  3. Isaac Jones says:

    I will respond by obedience. I am a sheep. In many ways this is not about my response, but shows is Gods response. I do respond with belief and trust. I trust this is true, and God will do as he has said. I trust that He will not lose me or forget me. I trust that He died for me, and He sacrifices for me. I trust that His rod and staff (discipline) will be a comfort to me as it will lead me by the proper medics and waters in safety. Because He protects me I can be unconcerned with passing through the most treacherous places.

  4. Isaac Jones says:

    This teaches me about the separation of God’s people and everyone else. Because God separates people I believe in a eternal Hell. Satan wanted to be God and He is kicked out of heaven. People who do not follow God are the children of the devil and would do the same. This also teaches me about predestination. There are sheep and wolves here. God gathers other sheep into His central flock, but He is not saying He is turning wolves into sheep. There are hrs things on the last thought, but also compelling things worth considering.

  5. Isaac Jones says:

    God,
    I know this world is not the end. If this life was all there was, then you would do more things allowing us to live here forever. You who allow us to get sick, be murdered, and be reviled for your name do so because there is more. The world is more of a valley of the shadow of death compared to a still meadow; Heaven seems to have a meadow and still water feel. I know there are peaceful and life giving times/places in life, and hard times in life. Thank you for giving such potent truth, and thank you for letting me believe it; rather, thank you for teaching me to believe it. Thank you for the cross; you are the perfect Shepard, and all who know you call you “good”. You are good God; amen.

  6. Daniel says:

    God protects us, and serves as the Gatekeeper to protect us from those who would hurt us.

  7. Daniel says:

    I will go through the processes and discipline required to enter in to the sheep pen; I must be in love and connection with Christ, and firm in Him, to fully be able to receive Him and serve as an extension of the shepherding of His sheep.

  8. Daniel says:

    God protects us, but also stands against those who would harm us. The love of Christ is both protector and warrior.

  9. Daniel says:

    God welcomes us, but we must enter in through His presence and His gate. This keeps us from bringing in the wolves and hurts that will harm the other sheep.

  10. Daniel says:

    Lord, give me such confidence, boldness, and peace in you as I undergo these processes and journeys to becoming a shepherd and caretaker, full of your love and grace. Help me to willingly and fully surrender the wolves I have held on to. Amen.

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