MONDAY, APRIL 12
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
John 10:11-13 (ESV)
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD
In Florence, Italy, a young artist labored long and hard over a marble statue of an angel. When finished, he asked Michelangelo to examine it. No Master looked over the work more carefully than Michelangelo. It appeared perfect in every way. The young artist waited. His heart nearly broke when he heard, “It lacks only one thing.” But the great artist didn’t tell him what it lacked. For days the artist could not eat or sleep, until a friend called Michelangelo at his studio and asked him what he meant. Michelangelo said, “It lacks life.”
In the sermon, Sellers asked, “Why does it matter that Jesus is the Good Shepherd?” In John 10, we learn that Jesus is the Good Shepherd because He laid down His life so we could have life. The opposite of a good shepherd in this passage is a “hireling.” That’s someone who doesn’t really care about the sheep but is just here to take care of them because he’s paid to. Hirelings were the false leaders of Jesus’ day. They sought wealth, office, and ease at the expense of the people. The hired hand loves his life more than the sheep, but Jesus loves his sheep more than his own life. Four times in this passage Jesus says He lays down His life for the sheep.
There are lots of voices trying to give us advice about life today. Who or what are some of the voices that are simply “hirelings” in society today? None of those voices know you and what’s best for you the way Jesus does. Jesus didn’t abandon you when it cost Him His life to pay for your sins. And He won’t abandon you when life gets tough. He’s the Good Shepherd.
Praise the goodness of God in your life. Praise Jesus for His sacrificial leadership and protection in your life.