The Good Shepherd is an iconic image from the Gospel of John. Israel has long waited for its Good Shepherd according to Jewish Messianic tradition. The current shepherds of Israel, are much more interested in their Office privileges and burdening their sheep with Jewish Law deduced from human traditions. Jesus, the Good Shepherd is a class apart from any shepherd throughout time.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd:
What makes Jesus a better Shepherd? – It’s LOVE. Unlike the hired shepherd who cares more about himself than his sheep, Jesus is in love with His sheep. He knows all His sheep intimately. His love for His sheep highlights a deep relationship between Jesus and His flock. The Sheep know Jesus, they recognize His voice and they follow Him with trust even through difficult terrain. Jesus leads his flock to nourishing pasture, strengthening them and protecting them from harm. The Good Shepherd fights the evil wolf by laying down his life for His beloved sheep on Good Friday. Evil is defeated and every sheep that belongs to the Shepherd is saved.
The love between the Good Shepherd and His flock is an effect of the deep love between Jesus and His Father. It is the love of the Father that makes Jesus’ sacrifice possible. The Good Shepherd is Victorious on Easter Sunday because the love of the Father makes His resurrection possible. Jesus receives His authority from the Father. It is with this authority that Jesus will bring into the fold other sheep that do not belong to this fold. The mission statement is that the Good Shepherd has fought the good fight not just for Israel but for all of humanity.
The Good Shepherd’s Gift
Besides protecting His flock, Jesus the Good Shepherd offers His flock to feed on love, joy, peace, hope, freedom and an abundant enriched quality of life. The Deceiver offers a mirage of greener pastures that sets an ambush of unsatisfying greed, lust, hopelessness with bondages that are abusive, ugly scary, repulsive and disgusting. A living corpse drained of life is hardly living.
Do we recognize our Good shepherd? Can we discern His will? Do we trust Him and follow His voice? Your answer depends upon your intimate relationship with Him. Whatever your answer may be, know that He is faithful. He loves you and even if your answer is rejecting Jesus, He will not give up on when you are surrounded by many wolves. Jesus awaits your return and He will rescue you from every harm if you humble yourself and call out to Him. What do you choose? Life in abundance or Living among the dead?