I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The 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. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.
Contained in the Gospel According to John are a series of “I AM” statements. In several places, Jesus gives good news to people by claiming that what they need – He is.
In the stories told about Jesus and the disciples in the pages of scripture, it’s easy to see how they were sometimes in need of guidance – like sheep needing a shepherd. Jesus said that he was the good shepherd. When we (and I) seem lost, the shepherd nudges us (me) back on the path.
And it is comforting to know that the shepherd loves the sheep. Jesus is there to guide not just as His job, it is what He has given His life for. He is willing to lay down His life to keep His sheep safe.
As I am wandering through life today, am I drawn to the path that was marked out by the One who was willing to lay down His life for me?
God, You gave me life and You have given me an opportunity for life abundant as I follow my loving Lord Jesus. Nudge me along that path today, I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.