Day 12

The Good Shepherd

from the John reading plan

John 10:1-42, Micah 2:12-13, Numbers 27:16-17

I don’t know any shepherds. And if I were a betting man, I’d bet you don’t either. Shepherds are long gone. Sure, we hear about them at Christmastime, or we might catch a late-night PBS special on their pastoral ways, but other than that shepherds have no hold in our 2017 lives.

So when Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11), that phrase poses a challenge for men today. We either tap the brakes and go back to a bygone era in our minds and see Jesus in that same vein (somewhat removed from today), or we hit the gas and speed up to hopefully imagine something more relevant for right now. But what if we focused on the adjective in that statement instead of the noun? Not that the noun isn’t important, because it is. But today’s text doesn’t compare a shepherd to a government official, but rather a good shepherd to a poor excuse for one.

“I am the good shepherd.” Whether you lived in ancient Palestine or you currently reside in Austin, Texas, that word good rings a bell.

Just so there’s no confusion, Jesus does us a favor and clarifies things. The shepherd who is good is the one willing to lay down his life for the sheep. The good shepherd puts the sheep before himself. He is ready to sacrifice his own life for those in his care.

Men, in a world that wants and rewards awesome and epic and great men, I challenge you to live and one day die a good man. And to do so by taking your cues from the one and only Good Shepherd who calls and knows His sheep by name, and was willing to lay down His one and only life for them. Whatever vocation you find yourself in day by day, you have the privilege of living your life in the footsteps of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

And just so there’s no confusion, let me clarify: the name of the game here is nothing less than sacrifice. It’s not that you and I are trying to be Christ, but that we’re trying to be Christlike. Live that way and you’ll no doubt be accused from time to time of having a messiah complex. That’s fine, whatever. The reality is that you’re simply a man trying to do the right thing, the good thing, the thing that Jesus would do if He were in your boots or your cap-toe oxfords or your Converse.

Written By John Blase

Post Comments (10)

10 thoughts on "The Good Shepherd"

  1. Forrest says:

    The image of the Sheppard is equal parts familiar and ancient. To be a GOOD “anything” is to strive to be Christlike in that venture. Or atleast should be

  2. Phil says:

    Yesterday in our small group we were tasked with choosing a word that would define our goals for this year and just one word to encompass our vision for the year; I decided that mine was “integrity.”

    Integrity has always been one of the most important values in my life. It is the only thing in life that only you can give up and no one can take it from you. Integrity is doing what is right, even when no one is watching. Doing what it right and honorable even when everyone else is doing the opposite. If we hold integrity at the pinnacle of everything we do in life, wouldn’t things be so much better? If we had integrity in our marriages, integrity in our way of conducting business, integrity in our words and our actions… it’s easy to do what’s right when the river is flowing in that direction; but what about when what is right is swimming upstream and the current is pressing hard against you? Having Integrity can help keep us Christlike and not having integrity, even in the smallest of things, can be so detrimental to our witness and our testimony.

    Changing gears…

    18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

    This has always been such an amazing verse to me.. everyone always is quick to say how amazing it is that God sent His only Son to die for us; but people rarely talk about how amazing it is that Jesus WILLINGLY chose to do it for you and I. “I lay it down of my own accord.” No one forced Jesus to lay down His life or for Him to endure all that pain. He came willingly, from heaven, giving up perfection, so that we might have eternity with Him. If that doesn’t make you feel loved or feel important, I don’t know what will. God sent His only Son, but His Son loved you so much, that instead of saying no, He said “I’ll go, (insert your name here) is worth it.”

    I pray you all have an amazing weekend filled with God’s blessing! You WERE and ARE worth it.

  3. Justin Rigdon says:

    To die a good man. Talk about a goal. So humble and yet so powerful. Words have not rang so true to me in my life in a long time. I am so thankful I started this lesson in John and very happy to have found HeReadsTruth.

  4. Ken Fuller says:

    We all need good leaders. We all have opportunity, from time to time, to be a good leader ourselves. What should we look for in others and ourselves? The same characteristics we see in Christ as He fulfills God’s promise to “assemble all of you, O Jacob” – to “gather the remnant of Israel…like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture”. Jesus says, “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.” Sacrificial service – intimate relationships. The qualities we look for!

  5. Luke Blackburn says:

    Jesus is the good shepherd. The mark of a good shepherd is selflessness. The ability to see beyond one’s own needs and desires, and sacrifice them for a greater good. The good shepherd puts the needs of others before himself. If we seek to be like Christ, God must be first in our lives. If we put Him on the throne of our existence, we will recognize and accept the brevity of our lives on Earth. Knowing this, we will look beyond the scope of conceit and challenge ourselves to live for others even if it requires sacrifice.

  6. Kevin says:

    Being a “good” man is following the will of the lord. However tough that may be…

  7. Joe Lane says:

    I love how there are good shepherds and bad shepherds. It reminds me that Jesus should and needs to be the ultimate provider and protector for us. If we are in his hand then we are definitely guarded by him. Some still did not believe in Jesus and were trying to stone him, yet others followed him to the Jordan and believed in Him. Sacrifice is the name of the game. You have your entire self for us so we should lay down our lives for others. Jesus as I go through that evangelism book. Help me lay down my life for my friends. Help me sacrifice for the greater good of man. I want others to know and trust in you but you have to draw them. All I am is a vessel and a witness.

  8. Ben says:

    It is the most reassuring thing to know that we hear the call of Jesus, and know the sound of His voice. When he speaks, we follow and do not hesitate. We must, however, constantly seek His word every single day. Our prayer must be that we be open-hearted and open-minded enough to hear the call when it comes, because we don’t know how it will. We must also guard against any thieves that may try to jump the fence. Those can take any form… from gambling to pornography to lust to gluttony and anything in between. Anything that can even remotely replace the role of God in our lives is equal to that thief that threatens His flock.

  9. Nate widow says:

    Sacrifice, something I need to live by everyday. I want to be the “Good Shepard”, who is willing to lay down one’ down life for the sheep. I want to be Christlike, just like if he was here. I love this teaching because it was simple but so important.

  10. Nick Crawford says:

    So thankful that Jesus is our good shepherd, who goes before us, protects us from going astray and steers us away from danger. He protects us from the wolves (false teachers) and keeps our path straight. He is with us in our coming and going.
    Our Good Shepherd laid down his life on HIS accord to pay for our sins, so that we could be free by faith in Him, and can know God as Father.
    Our Good Shepherd will return one day and lead His flock home! Hallelujah!

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