The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
Scripture reading for April 20th: John 10
Tending sheep and caring for them is an occupation that is common in most places around the world. Sheep are very docile animals that cannot defend themselves and sometimes they wander off. They need someone to care for them and protect them. They will willingly follow a shepherd and get to know his voice. The shepherd also knows his sheep and calls them by name. Jesus took this very common job and applied it to His own life and ministry.
The Jews who saw the healing of the man blind from birth asked Jesus if He thought they were blind too. In response to this question, Jesus told them about sheep and shepherds and gates, making some strong statements to help them understand who He was.
“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:7-10)
“I am the good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me–just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father–and I lay down My life for the sheep.” (John 10:14-15)
At these statements, the Jews were divided. Some said Jesus was demon-possessed or mad, but others recognized the miracle and were wondering. Jesus had said that only “His sheep” would recognize His voice and follow Him! Have you heard the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for “His sheep?”