The Good Shepherd

Cecil Martens

READ : Psalm 23:1-6
John 10:11-18

Voltaire, a well-known atheist, believed there was no god and there was no need to believe in a higher power or influence. However, when he faced death he was filled with fear. He needed a Leader to lead him to the other side. In pathos, he cried, “You have conquered, O Galilean!”

In Jesus’ day there were many leaders: Caesar, King Herod, Pontius Pilate, scribes, Pharisees. Some were good. Some were not. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd.”

Jesus, like the shepherds of his day, knows us, his sheep, and we know him. Sheep then were raised primarily for their wool and milk. Because shepherds would stay with their sheep sometimes as long as ten years, they would develop a close and tender relationship. The Good Shepherd leads us too (through the Word and Holy Spirit) as the shepherds then led their sheep daily, through perilous dangers to safe places. A rod was used to fight off the sheep’s enemies. The staff was a long, crooked stick which the shepherd would gently place on the back of the sheep to keep them from straying. Jesus does that for us. We are prone to wander, but he draws us back. In the valley he will be with us. Ultimately we will live in our Shepherd’s house forever.

PRAYER

Good Shepherd, lead me through this life and finally to your house. Amen.