Jesus The Good Shepherd John 10: 11
The gospel of John depicts Jesus as the Good Shepherd. According to the Oxford English dictionary, a shepherd is a person who tends and rears sheep. The shepherd moves the sheep from one place to another in search of food and water. Additionally, a shepherd is a person who makes a group of people move from one place to the other in a caring and kind way. In most cases, children and the elderly are the easiest to shepherd. On the other hand, the dictionary defines good as being skillful and successful at something thus a good shepherd. John 10: 11- 18, the Bible says “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” Like a good shepherd rearing and protecting his sheep, Jesus cares for us. Jesus feeds us through the Holy Spirit that He left when he ascended to heaven. He sits at the right hand of the father protecting us from evil and prepared the way for us to meet Our Father when our lives end on earth. All shepherds are the same but only Jesus is the good Shepherd. In verse seventeen, the Bible says, “The Father loves me because am willing to give up my life in order that I may receive it back again.” Jesus died in order for the believers to have eternal life after death.
In most cases, shepherds are hired by farm owners and are given daily or monthly wages for taking care of the sheep. Jesus, on the other hand, does not shepherd His flock as the hired men. He loves them and is willing to die on the cross and give up His life for the believers. A hired shepherd cannot give up his life to face a wolf that attacks the sheep while in the field. Correspondingly, the children of Israel suffered from bad leadership. The leaders were not good shepherds. They oppressed the people of God and God was willing to punish them for their actions. The book of Jeremiah 23: 1-4, talks about how the rulers scattered the people of God and drove them away. The leaders acted like the hired men or shepherds that Jesus talks about in verse twelve (Van Egmond, p 15). Therefore, the people of God longed for a good shepherd as stated in Isaiah 40: 11. “He will take care of His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs together and carry them in His arms; He will gently lead their mothers.” The verse shows that God was preparing Jesus to take care of his people as the good shepherd. Therefore, when Jesus came into the world, He was fulfilling the prophesies made.
Jesus says in John 10: 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” The verse shows that Jesus had a clear understanding of the flock He leads and is ready to meet their needs. Ability to meet their needs is depicted by the phrase that His sheep know Him. Therefore, they have a relationship with each other unlike the shepherds during Ezekiel’s time. Ezekiel in the Old Testament was told by God to prophesy for the bad leadership the leaders then had towards God’s people. Due to the cruelty and bad leadership the rulers had, God asked Ezekiel in Ezekiel 34: 2 to prophesy against them (MacArthur, p. 151). God was angered by their behaviors towards His people. The prophecy came to be in the New Testament with the acts of the Pharisees and the Scribes. Therefore, Jesus was the only Good Shepherd who truly reared the flock according to God’s will.
The term good shepherd depicts Jesus as sympathetic. He lays down His life for his flock. Despite being the Mighty Son of God, He sympathizes with the human nature and is willing to die in order to save them. He uses the terms “I know my sheep” in verse sheep showing His direct relationship with His people. He says in verses twenty-seven and twenty-eight that “they follow me… no one can snatch them.” These terms show his sympathetic nature which is His love for His children (Chorpenning, p 118). Therefore, He cannot relax while his flock is scattered in the field. He willfully leaves the throne of power to bring back the lost and confused sheep. Jesus does not want His people to perish in the fire of hell but instead, he wants them to enjoy eternal life and that’s what makes Him a good shepherd.
Jesus compares the love and relationship He has for his sheep with that of Father and Son. The comparison cannot be comprehended since the Father-Son relationship is perfect. Catholic Christians must, therefore, learn to love each other unconditionally. They should not be like the Pharisees in John 9 who rebuked and expelled the blind man who asked Jesus to heal him. Jesus shows a love that cannot be defined with words. His mercies for the human nature surely endure forever. Catholic Christians should learn to emulate His good leadership behaviors and love each other unconditionally. Moreover, the term good shepherd shows Jesus as a person willing to sacrifice His life for His sheep. John 1: 29 The Bible depicts Jesus as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the word. Jesus is the lamb that sacrificed His life in order to save other lambs from evil (MacArthur, p. 179). Hired shepherds run for their lives when they faced with danger but the Good shepherd sacrifices to save the flock. His love is eternal and Catholic Christians should learn from His footsteps the act of sacrificing for their fellow Catholic Christians.
A good shepherd title portrays God as accessible and any time Catholic Christians can call out for Him and He will answer. Therefore, during hard times, when a Catholic Christian may feel abandoned and neglected, he or she can turn their face to the good shepherd for comfort and relief. Additionally, when Catholic Christians establish a good relationship with Jesus, He will always be ready to meet their needs. The relationship shows a bond like that of father and son. Moreover, Christians belong in body and soul life and death to Jesus Christ (Chorpenning, p 120). Thus, Jesus will always catch and restore the lost as He says in verse twenty-eight that no one can snatch His flock out of His hand. they sympathetic heart of the good shepherd makes Him leave ninety-nine good flock for one lost sheep. Therefore, developing and keeping good relationships with Jesus will help Christians achieve the gift of eternal life after death. Good shepherds ensure the safety of their flock just like Jesus does with his followers. Catholic Christian leaders who believe Jesus is the good shepherd should treat other people like Jesus does to them. In their day to day lives, their behaviors should be Christlike. They should love and treat others fairly and always look out for their needs.
In lesson week two, we explored God as the creator and maker. Therefore, as the creator God sustains the life of the Catholic Christian. Christians also believe that God creates good thus as part of His creation we are good. Furthermore, this may be one of the reasons God sent the good shepherd Jesus so He could redeem us from sin. The lesson also taught us that the word Good is repeated seven times in Genesis 1. Everything that God created was good and He was satisfied by it. He therefore sent His only begotten son to save the human race. God became human and came down from Heaven to interact with us and rebuild the relationship that was once perfect before sin. All these circumstances show the goodness and the love of the Lord for His people.
Therefore, Jesus is a good example of a good shepherd. He does not let anger get the best of Him. When Catholic Christians go astray and backslide, he is patient enough to nature them again into His kingdom. Jesus as a good shepherd is full of unconditional love for the flock He is guarding. He is merciful and His sacrificial acts show the goodness in Him. Therefore, Catholic Christians should learn to embrace Him and act like He wants them to so as to keep a good relationship with Him and enjoy eternal life.
Jesus The Good Shepherd John 10: 11