“I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” (John 10:14)
We look for and find comfort in these verses, but they are earth shaking! The God of the universe knows you and me, we can know Him, and He cares.
For the first time I noticed that Jesus is saying this to Pharisees (v.1). They would likely have been appalled as he says “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” and a moment later, just in case they missed it, “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” Jesus uses “I AM” which translates “Yahweh”. How would they react to what He claimed to be?”
This links easily with Ezekiel 34 which describes the selfish and wicked leaders of Israel, the coming of a new shepherd (Messiah) and ends “You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.” Also with Micah 5:2-4 as it speaks about the ruler coming from Bethlehem who will ‘shepherd his flock’.Wow! I wonder if Jesus was thinking about Psalm 23 too.
However I feel, wherever I am, whatever I face. Jesus is my good shepherd. He is for me.
My testimony over the last 6 month includes being at times a most reluctant and miserable sheep! A sheep who very much wanted to find a nice warm pen to stay in. Yet I can look back and see that I have been protected and guided. I have even been given stuff to do which I have enjoyed! I may have spent too much time looking at the rocks beneath my feet, yet there are new pastures ahead and I can trust my good shepherd for the future.
Questions to Ponder:
- Looking back, where do you see that Jesus has guided you or protected you?
- Have you asked God for a word or a verse to take with you through 2022? If not, now would be a good time to ask.
Prayer of Response:
Praying Psalm 23 in a new way:
Jesus is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Jesus makes me lie down in green pastures, Jesus leads me beside quiet waters, Jesus refreshes my soul. Jesus guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you Jesus, are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Jesus, you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Jesus, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely Jesus’ goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in Jesus’ house forever.
—Submitted by Elaine Davis
Recently moved nearer to children and grandchildren in the UK and planning a visit to Mexico in February (!) to visit a son, partner and 3 more children. Currently leading the UK satellite to Lifesprings Lyon. For the future: Sharing in the ‘new thing’ God is doing in our local church. A longing to help others (and myself) connect with our God of love.
Featured photo taken by Elaine Davis.