John 10: 10-21 The teaching today comes directly from the lips of Jesus as he instructs his followers about his very inner nature. Do you remember Philippians 2 where we learned that Jesus was the very form of God but he emptied himself and humbly came to earth in human form? As a result, we know that the teaching about the Good Shepherd applies to Jesus in his earthly form and to the Lord God Almighty in his divine form. They are one and the same. The result is complex but very straight forward. We might say that the description of the Good Shepherd always teaches us that God never gives up. God is faithful. The promises of God are sure. And the purpose of God will ultimately be fulfilled. We even discover that Jesus would even lay down his life for the flock. Ultimately, his life is sacrificed so the resurrection can unfold. He said, “I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” We clearly celebrate the gift of resurrection at Easter but the season of Advent always brings us back to the beginning. The season calls us to reflect on the divine birth and the humility of the manger. We remember the cattle lowing, the shepherds gathering, the star pointing the way, and the sheep who draw close in silence. Years later, the simple faithfulness of a shepherd and the image of a lost sheep will provide a beautiful portrait of the heart of God. Have you ever been lost? Advent is a wonderful time to respond to the call of the Good Shepherd. Why not release the ‘lost’ features of your spirit to the love of the Lord today?
John 10:1- 10:21
10“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. 7So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.” 19Again the Jews were divided because of these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is out of his mind. Why listen to him?” 21Others were saying, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”