Daily Reflection – 5/1/2023
“I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”(John 10:11-18)
Today’s scripture is one that just about every Christian knows well. In that familiarity, we may overlook the profound messages contained in Jesus’ pronouncement of being the good shepherd.
Being a Good Shepherd takes us deep into the mystery of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Yes, like a shepherd, he leads us, feeds us, protects us, and saves us from death. But there’s one mystery that this statement—or any of the others—doesn’t answer: why does God have such unending and boundless love for us? The answer to this question is both simple and profound.
God is love.
It’s who He is. He can’t stop loving us. We are his children, and he will always care for us. He loves us so much, in fact, that he asked his Son to take on a human body and lay down his life for us.
Even now, risen in glory, Jesus still cares more about us than he cares about himself. He is the “shepherd and guardian” of our souls, He is the “great shepherd” who gives his all to his sheep (Hebrews 13:20).
Jesus knows that Satan, wants to steal, kill, and destroy us. He wants us to know it as well, so that we will cling to him and follow him like faithful, innocent sheep.
Being a child of God is not just a matter of doctrine or intellectual faith but of relationship—a relationship founded on love: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God” (1 John 3:1).
That relationship is more than intellectual. It is a living covenant that we have with God.
Being his daughter, being his son, is a reality that God wants each of us to know intellectually and experience emotionally. Why is that so very significant? Because by LIVING that reality in all that we say and do, we will experience the great reward. He promised us everlasting life.
If we accept Him and follow Him, we will have the life of God in us.
The love that gives us promise should also be the love that guides our daily life. Even during those times when we don’t feel particularly loved—as happens with any child at one point or another—we can still hold our heads up high and smile. Why?
Because we have a Father who loves us not because of how good we are or what we do but simply because we are His. We have a Father who walks with us through every storm, always reminding us of his promises and his provision.
Think for a moment about the two sides of that promise. The first is the promise of unending life. The second is that we will NEVER be alone.
Nothing in life will ever make us look around seeking security or love. Illness will not because we have the hand of the Great Healer. Living a solitary life will not, because we live with the Great Shepherd. Despair, anguish, hopelessness will not because we know that He sees our pain and promise s that He will search for us until we are with Him and he will take care of us as He does every one of us who belong to His spiritual flock.
Our God is the “Father of compassion and God of all encouragement”. How blessed and grateful each of us to have Him in our lives.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, help me to know and love Your gentle voice throughout my daily life. May that voice overwhelm all others that compete for my attention. I choose You, dear Lord, as my one Shepherd and guide. Jesus, I trust in You.”
All things serve God, even in their refusal and obstinacy, such as Pilate. We must choose daily whether we serve God or the power of earthly illusion. We can hearken to the voice of the Good Shepherd or get lost among the wolves. The choice is ours, but the world will not lay its life down for us; only Jesus does that for our salvation. Isn’t the choice clear?