Bible Society of South Africa

The Good Shepherd – 26 October 2021

By Carina Francke

Bible text(s)

9I am the gate. Whoever comes in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life — life in all its fullness.

11“I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep.

John 10:9-11GNBOpen in Bible reader

Recently, I saw a video of a herd of scabby, bleating sheep standing close together in a dry field under the scorching sun. Others lay down, too weak to even lift their heads. No water or food was in sight. A close-up camera shot revealed sick and injured animals. Wounds that were congealed with blood – probably caused by small predators – were open and untreated. Tufts of wool clumped together everywhere on their neglected bodies. No herder or shepherd in sight.

Without beating about the bush, the Word tells us that the Father, Jesus Christ and the prophets had to address similar events. No wonder then, that the sheep and shepherd metaphor is discussed in the Word so often. The Father especially detests worthless shepherds who desert the flock (Zechariah 11:17), lead them astray (Jeremiah 50:6), and scatter and drive them away (Jeremiah 23:2). The nation of Israel was like sheep without a shepherd. Sometimes their leaders kept the fat of the land for themselves – at the expense of the herd of lambs and sheep that were wasting away and were torn apart by wild animals. No one could (or would) lead the sheep onto the right road. Virtually, the same scenario that plays itself out in our modern, broken world.

Your hope and mine does not lie in earthly leaders or shepherds. No, our hope is in him who declared, ”I will tend my sheep and have them lie down. … I will shepherd the flock with justice.” (Ezekiel 34:15-16) Do you understand what is being said here? God himself is willing to be our Shepherd! He searches for his sheep, rescues them, brings them back and looks after them. And your responsibility and mine? We must respond to his godly love.

How can we not respond if Jesus gives the following revelation about himself? “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:9,11)

Who brought this to pass? “… the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep.” (Hebrews 13:20) He did this so that you and I could become part of his herd and have access to life and his pantry of blessings.”

Prayer: Father, I declare and accept that your shepherding over my life will equip me with all that is good, so that I can obey your will. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.15
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