Monday, April 16, 2012

John 10:11-21

In case anyone was wondering where I’ve been, last week was my spring break. It was not relaxing in the least, but it was filled with family gatherings! On Good Friday we had the burial service for my mother-in-law. It was a beautiful time of paying honor to the woman who raised my wonderful husband. Then we enjoyed a great Easter day with our girls and their families. All of us went out to Palm Desert for three days of cleaning out Evelyn’s home and getting it ready to put it on the market. We are so grateful for our sons-in-law who gladly spent their own vacation time helping us with our daughters and grandchildren (everyone pitched in). The rest of the week Don and I took care of paperwork and phone calling and bill-paying as we tried to figure out all of his mom’s financial stuff! Mixed in with that, though, were great times with the grandchildren. I’m amazed at how God stretched that week and our energy to get so much done!  Thank you, LORD!

I’ve got an update on baby Royce for you. His grandmother, Pam sent out the following prayer request yesterday:

Please pray for Royce.
This Tuesday he is having surgery to have a feeding tube put in his little stomach.
Jesus is taking such good care of our little miracle baby.
And we are so blessed by his presence daily. I love you dear Friends and pray many blessings for each of you.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer!

Today we look at such a treasured, encouraging passage from John 10! Jesus continues to teach his audience about just who He is and what He had come to do for his flock:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:11-18)

Do you find as much comfort in these verses as I do? Our Good Shepherd knows who we are! He can pick us out of the flocks in the pen! He is the watchman guarding us from the false shepherds (and there are many) who seek to destroy us. Although He was speaking to a Jewish audience, he refers to the “other sheep” who He would be gathering. That’s us Gentiles! :)

In addition to knowing His sheep, Jesus also said that His sheep know Him! How well do you know the Great Shepherd? Do you hunger for His Word so that you may know Him better? Note that no one killed Jesus against His will. It was the Father’s plan and Jesus makes another remarkable claim here: He has the authority to lay down His life and to raise it again! Only God can do that! This claim outraged many of the Jews, but there were some who considered his claims logically:

At these words the Jews were again divided. Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” (vs.19-21)

The signs and wonders that Jesus did were to validate His message. He was proving His authority to them when He healed. He obviously did not appear demon-possessed or crazy.

Jesus has much more to tell us about being our Shepherd! He is not finished with this analogy yet! Tomorrow we’ll see my favorite part of John 10!


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