November 10, 2009

November 10–The Gate, The Watchman and The Shepherd-Part 5: a study of John 10:1-18

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

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 10:11-15

The line made famous by Kojak, a TV character played by Telly Savalas, is running through my head: “Who loves ya, baby?”

Well, when it comes to being the sheep of the Living God—the answer is: God loves us! “Who loves ya, baby?” The answer is: Our Lord Jesus Christ—the good shepherd! It is He who loves us and is the Only One who will lay down His life for us. To protect us. To save us. To rescue us from certain destruction.

No one else—no other belief system—proclaims what Jesus claims: “I lay down my life for the sheep.” No one but God—our Creator, our Life Giver, our Savior—has made such a claim…or has done such a deed!

Jesus, our Holy Lord, knows that, as His sheep,  our lives are completely dependent on His good care—that our lives are completely dependent on Him being our good shepherd.

Everyone else will fail us and hurt us and abandon us in some way at some level—in order to save themselves. Because we don’t belong to them. We belong only to our God.

Everything else that we would put our trust in to take care of us—our wealth, our jobs, our intellect, our education, our reputation, our charm, our fame, our wisdom, our will power—can never give us the security that only Jesus Christ is able to give—right now and for all eternity. Because only Jesus Christ offers what we truly need—a relationship with Him the Eternal God Most High!

No one else loves us (baby!) the way our God does! And our God loves us completely—even though we are His straying, questioning, direction(obedience)-challenged little sheep! Our Lord Jesus loves us and knows us. And, as His sheep, we know Him—just as He and the Father know each other. It is in these intimate loving, knowing relationships that we may rest fully secure and put our trust fully in our good shepherd, Jesus Christ, alone!

Because the good shepherd alone lays down His life for us! Because the good shepherd alone truly loves us, baby!! Amen!

In love, peace and purposeful passion,                                                               Sylane