John 10:11: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
My only experience with sheep has been in petting zoos. When I was really young, there used to be a petting area at Six Flags over Georgia, and I recall laughing when the goats would chew on my clothing. I remember how “fluffy” the sheep were and how my parents explained that their wool was used to make clothing.
Much of the shepherd and sheep imagery in the Bible is foreign to me. As a “city boy,” I know little to nothing about it. In my studies, however, I have read much about the relationship of God and His people. Followers of Jesus are often referred to as “sheep” and Jesus called Himself the “good shepherd”. What He implied, of course, is that are bad shepherds.
We need to be aware of “bad shepherds”. Bad shepherds are those who do not lead or protect their “flock”. They are selfish, destructive and “scatter” God’s people, instead of keeping them safe. Bad shepherds are leaders who do not love the ones they lead, Rather than “give their lives” for the sheep, they would rather steal from them, destroy them and even kill them.
Jesus is the good shepherd. According to the Bible (1 Peter 5:1-4), God gives us good leaders who love His people and are earthly examples of the “chief shepherd.” As “sheep” it is important that we listen to the voice of Jesus and only follow the shepherds that work for Him.
Dear God, I thank you for leading me and feeding me through Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Thank you for the godly shepherds that you have sent into my life. Teach me and guide me through their faithful service. In Your Holy Name, Amen.