"Shepherd and Sheep: Their Relationship"
July 25, 2005Email to a FriendPrint
“I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me.” John 10:14
In John chapter 10, Jesus spoke of His relationship to the sheep, and the sheep’s relationship to Him. It is a close union.
Jesus declares what He, as the Good Shepherd, does and has promised to do. First, He has a most effective knowledge of the members of His flock. He knows us personally, individually, by name. This is more than an acquaintance with a few vital statistics. Christ’s is an effective knowing – a knowing that is equal to a complete inventory of our needs together with a love-prompted know-how, ability, and willingness to help us.
As already implied, the Good Shepherd’s knowing leads to giving. He states, “I give them eternal life” (John 10:28). He laid down His life on the cross that we might receive forgiveness, have the joy of living in Him and serving Him, and even now enjoy the foretaste of life everlasting.
What is our response to the Good Shepherd’s knowing and giving? As His sheep we hear and heed His voice as it resounds in and through the written Word. Quite often others who know this Word speak to us informally. Our Lord addresses us “through the mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren” (Martin Luther). All who take Christ’s Word and work to heart are spiritually enriched. “Blessed,” said Jesus, “are those who hear the Word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28).
The above points to a further aspect of our relationship with the Good Shepherd; hearing, as a first step of obedience, leads to following, as sheep follow their shepherd. This is the characteristic mark of true Christian discipleship. We accede to the Savior’s call to walk in His footsteps, to come after Him as obedient followers. It means that we believe in Him for our salvation and then do His works.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, my Good Shepherd, thank you for knowing and caring for me. Help me to keep Your Word. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)