Tuesday, 10 April 2012
10th April 2012 John 10:11-18
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own 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. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
I adore the imagery of this passage, that we are sheep who are known and loved and sustained and constantly found by God if we get lost. We are kept safe by God. We are allowed to wander free but are always searched for and found if we get lost.
And of course the passage goes on to explain that Jesus had the choice to lay down his life knowing that he'd take it up again. It tells us that Jesus was not forced to die on the cross, he could have changed the plan, but he knew why it would happen and that he would take back life through resurrection.
Jesus you are a shepherd, a leader, a teacher, a healer; thank you for being all this for us, we don't deserve it and are honoured to be blessed. Amen