I am the Good Shepherd

I am the Good Shepherd

The picture of Jesus as the good shepherd who lays his life down for the sheep in John 10:11, 14 has provided countless people of faith much comfort and confidence down through the ages. Most likely biblically literate Jews and Christians automatically think of Psalm 23 whenever they hear the language of shepherd and sheep. Jesus too certainly knew the other shepherd-sheep passages from the Hebrew Bible, where shepherds represented the political and spiritual leaders of Israel and the sheep all Israelites. As our Good Shepherd, Jesus provides for our physical and spiritual needs; protects us from danger and harm; and preserves life through the forgiveness of sin made effective through the laying down of his life—his atoning work on the cross. One of, if not “the” most moving, tender passages of the New Testament is Luke 15. Here Jesus our Good Shepherd is prepared to seek out and save a single lost sheep and leave his whole flock behind. Each sheep/person is extremely valued by Jesus—hence the feasting when the lost are found.

 

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