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Shepherd of the Sheep

Growing up in the hills of Pennsylvania, we would travel by car to my grandparent’s house every Sunday. Along to way one of my favorite highlights was seeing a hill with three crosses atop of it. Scattered on the grassy hill were sheep grazing. I was always drawn to how peaceful they looked. Though I attended church, I didn’t grasp the significance of this sight. Today it’s a beautiful picture of Jesus as our Good Shepherd who laid down his life for His sheep.

I’d like to share some passages from John 10:1-5 with you about the relationship Jesus has with His sheep. In this section Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees. “Anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters the by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all of his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” The Pharisees hear this message from Jesus but don’t understand what it means.

Let’s break this passage down. A sheep pen or sheepfold was a place where the sheep could sleep at night . Each night this would be guarded and protected by the gatekeeper. In the morning the shepherd would come and call his sheep to himself. An interesting note, a sheep pen would be a good shelter for many flocks of sheep that belonged to a variety of shepherds. Though the sheep know the voice of their shepherd and follow only him.

So what is the meaning of this passage. Jesus did a wonderful job explaining it in verses 7-16. We know the shepherd as Jesus. Any other person besides Him is a robber or thief. The sheep are those who are believers in Jesus. Jesus is our Good Shepherd because he laid down his life for those who believe in Him. (John 10:17,18)

Jesus wanted to make it clear that there are false shepherds out there. “This was a powerful message to the Jewish religious leaders who considered themselves to be the true shepherds of God’s flock.”

Jesus is our true shepherd and we can know His voice. If you have His Word them you know what His voice sounds like. His voice is truthful yet filled with grace. His voice is strong yet gentle. His voice is hopeful and life giving. Take some time to listen and be still and listen to His voice today. Let His Words wash over you and fill you with the fullness of joy!

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Great Shepherd

Jesus is the Great Shepherd of the sheep 🐑.  I love this photo of Jesus holding a lamb.  It reminds me of how intimate and personal He is with each of us.

This makes me think of our dog Daisy.  I tend to hold her a lot.  Whether it’s just to pick her up to let her know I love her or to comfort her in a storm.  Jesus does the same for us.  He holds each of us close too his heart through the chaos we face and the times of great joy.  He nearer to us than we could ever imagine.  

Jesus not only is near but He equips us.  I needed to hear that truth today!  He equips us for everything good for doing His will.  What do you need to be equipped for today or in the weeks to come?  Tell Him about it and ask Him to reveal to your heart how he is readying you for what is ahead.  Draw near to Jesus today and see what He can and will do through you. 

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Our Great Shepherd

Jesus is our Shepherd!  Hebrews 13:20 says that Jesus is the great shepherd of the sheep.  John 10:11 tells us that He is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.  Though we see in the Old Testament as God as our Shepherd too in Psalm 23 and Isaiah 40:11.  Jesus claimed to be the Good shepherd was putting him in equal status with God.  This would have been evident to the Jews who studied the scriptures.  Thus, pointing them to the Messiah!

Not only is Jesus our shepherd, but Revelations tells us that the He is our Lamb.  This just hit me today as I read it.  Jesus identified with us as sheep by becoming a lamb, He became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14 “He is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” 

“He will lead them to streams of living water”  This living water is available to all who thirst. (Rev 21:6) In John 4:13, Jesus is speaking to woman at the well.  “Whoever drinks the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 

“God will wipe away every tear” Isaiah 25:8 tells us that “God will swallow up death forever and wipe away all tears.”  How comforting our Father is with his children.  He is so tender and compassionate that he would take time to wipe our tears.  Let’s extend that same love to a hurting and grieving world.  Let us too embrace Jesus as our Shepherd and Lamb and drink deeply in the springs of living water.