I am the Good Shepherd
Open Your Bible
John 10:11-18, Jeremiah 10:20-21, Psalm 23:1-6
BY Debbie Eaton
Text: 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.
After ten long years of infertility, I learned I was pregnant with our son.
The day I found out, I began praying for him, talking to him, and reading to him while he was in my womb. He was born on a beautiful May morning, and I was over-the-moon excited to see him. What I did not expect was the undeniable awe I would experience that first time when the sound of my voice turned his head and our eyes locked. He knew my voice.
As we got to know each other, I learned his voice too—his cries for hunger and pain, discomfort and contentment. I could then interact with him intentionally, attending to each cry and coo. My heart was flooded with love, and I knew without a doubt that I would lay down my life for this precious bundle of joy if I had to.
God knew this parental love firsthand with Jesus (Matthew 3:17). He also gave us a tangible picture of what love, care, guidance, and protection look like in the image of a Shepherd taking care of His flock.
“I am the good shepherd, I know My own sheep, and they know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father.”
This verse paints a beautiful image of the relational significance between the Father and the Son, and between the Shepherd and His flock. It is a relationship of complete dependence, one begun by relying upon the sound of the Shepherd’s voice. A sheep need only follow His voice and stay in His presence to be in a place that’s safe where it can thrive.
It is the same with us and Jesus.
Unfortunately, the voices of everyday life compete for our attention and can easily drown out the sound of the Good Shepherd’s voice. The voices of false shepherds speak in smooth, deceitful tones for self-gain and self-promotion. They care little about the safety and wellbeing of their sheep. When danger comes, these heartless shepherds will flee, protecting and preserving themselves over their sheep. And should one of their flock become sick or somehow undesirable, it will be cast out or altogether forgotten (John 10:12-13). Their flock will lose their way (Jeremiah 10:21).
When we trust and follow any other voice but the Good Shepherd’s, we’re easily led astray to be left utterly alone, rejected and dejected. But do not be discouraged: even if you’ve been taken advantage of in the past by deceitful shepherds, there is good news because of Jesus.
Jesus is the long-awaited, true Good Shepherd, who does not lose sight of His sheep (Ezekiel 34). He knows the heart and condition of each one in His flock. He searches for them and inspects them, just to make sure there is no disease within them (Psalm 139:23-24).
He heals the sick, injured, and brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). He protects them against danger, goes after those who wander away, and pursues those who are lost (Matthew 18:12-14). Above all, the Good Shepherd laid down His life for His flock, once and forever, to rescue them from the jaws of deceit and captivity, so that not even one would perish (John 10:11, 3:16). He did that for me, for you.
This is our Jesus, the Good Shepherd of our souls. He hears each beat and cry of our hearts, and He knows exactly what we need.
Do you know His voice?
I don’t know what you’re facing right now, but the Good Shepherd knows. His voice is gentle, and soothing, leading each of one us to quiet waters where He waits to revive us. He protects, comforts us, and guides us along the right path—even when we go through the darkest of valleys. His goodness and faithful love pursue us each and every day of our lives (Psalm 23).
“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.”