Our Good Shepherd

November 16, 2018

John 10:10… The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

             I have heard many people use this verse to describe Satan’s antics. That is probably a good translation but it requires taking the verse out of context, which is unacceptable for a diligent student. In context, this section of scripture is about hirelings as opposed to shepherds. Hirelings are paid to watch sheep. In contrast to that, shepherds own the sheep. Jesus calls himself the “Good Shepherd.”  We, as sheep, belong to Him. His death on the cross showed His devotion to us… not just His obedience to a task.

   Verse 8   “All who came before me are robbers and thieves.”

            Be cautious of ministers who claim to come in the name of the Lord. They are not all from God. Jesus calls them robbers and thieves.  They will run away when they aren’t sufficiently paid. What does it mean to come “in the name of the lord?” One can be in the name of the Lord or one can just say it. We, as humans, can’t know the difference. Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.” We follow a voice that never changes. His words are always the same words. As sheep, we know the voice of our shepherd. To spot counterfeit money,  bank employees are exposed exclusively to the real thing. Eventually, they spot anything that is not real. That is our path to knowing the voice of our Lord. Saturate your life with the words of Jesus… don’t study other words to learn about Jesus. I have known people who say they study other religions in order to be persuaded about Jesus. That path is muddy and slippery. Follow Jesus, only. He never tells us to look around and compare His words. He says, “Follow Me.”

A good Shepherd is necessarily possessive. Jesus will not hand us off to a  hireling… He has sheep dogs to help Him keep the sheep moving in the direction He wants. We call those dogs, pastors and teachers. Legitimate pastors are hands and feet for Jesus; they have His goals as theirs. Today’s verse tells us that Jesus’ goal for us is abundance. He is our shepherd for our benefit… not His.

Abundant life, according to the whole Bible, is not more of what the world has to offer ; It is more righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom.14:17)