“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep”. John 10:11
Jesus drew a distinction between Himself as the “good” shepherd and others who claim to be shepherds. He goes on to explain that the essential character of the good shepherd is that he gives his life for the sheep.
The word for “life” refers to much more than physical life. It carries the idea of essence, or all that makes us who we are. The same word is used to describe the greater love: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). He demonstrated this greater love by suffering death on a cross for the forgiveness of all our sins.
Jesus was declaring that He was the ONLY one to be followed and trusted because He was the only one who cared for the sheep and loved them as His own. In every flock there are those who seek destruction and self-gratification. They try to lead us away from the Word of God.
We should aspire to be like Jesus and be shepherds who truly love their sheep and are prepared to make sacrifice for those entrusted into their care. Jesus gave of Himself in ways we can’t even understand. We humbly receive His gift. “For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand” (Psalm 95:7). Let’s give our all for our fellow sheep and bow down and worship the Good Shepherd.
We thank You, Good Shepherd, for making us Your sheep. May we always remember how many benefits that brings us. Amen.