John 10:2-4,10b, 14-15 (NLT)
“For a shepherd enters through the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.”
In the Bible, I always tended to romanticize the life of the shepherd, imagining being out in the open fresh air away from my cell phone, television, radio, computer, and other distractions. But in reality, I came to understand that the shepherd’s life was very hard. He was always on the go, got very little sleep, and ate simply. In addition, each sheep was very different in temperament. So watching over his sheep was pretty much a 24/7 job without any glamour or material rewards.
In our Biblical passage, we admire the shepherd who trained his sheep well to hear his voice and come to him. They, in turn, have trust him as their leader to walk ahead of them; and they know that he will guide them to pasture and water and be their protector from wild animals and thieves.
Likewise, Jesus makes a beautiful point that he is the good shepherd who knows us all by name and personality. He knows His heavenly Father and God knows Him. He desires that we follow Him because he loves us. We are truly humbled by our great Shepherd who lay down his life on behalf of our sins so that we might have eternal life.
During the Lenten season, let us take time to repent from our sins, trust in Jesus as our Good Shepherd, and follow Him only. Let us allow Christ to lead us to the waters of eternal life and spiritual feeding through God’s Word. May the Holy Spirit tune us in to listen to God’s voice.
Thank you Jesus for being our great shepherd to guide us and lead us beside quiet waters, restoring our souls, and leading us on the path of righteousness. Amen.
Dialog discuss: God uses many instruments and he used Mahatma Gandhi to help Christianize unchristian Christianity… We as Christians saw more in the cross than Gandhi and put it into operation less; Gandhi saw less in the cross than we and put it into a deed. Therefore Gandhi, with his half–light and fuller practice, goes beyond us in power who have fuller light and half practice. E. Stanley Jones, Missionary to India, friend of Gandhi.