October 31-November 1
The Lord, Our Shepherd
In the ancient world, the man who held the lowest position in the household was given charge of the flocks. The shepherd had responsibility to lead the sheep to new pastures and fresh water, defend them from predators, and find the lost ones when they strayed. But it was a humble job because it was dirty. The shepherd lived amongst the flock and slept across the doorway of the fold to keep the sheep in and the wolves out. This was filthy, smelly, and thankless work.
Yet Jesus sat among His followers in the thick of ancient culture and said, "I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11, 14). The modern church misses the impact of those words. We have a rustic but rosy view of Jesus as a shepherd. The Sovereign of the universe humbled Himself and got His hands dirty working directly with errant, willful, and sometimes dumb humans.
Remember you read a moment ago that the shepherd lay across the doorway of the sheep pen? Well, Jesus did exactly that—He became the door for us. He sacrificed His life for the great flock of humanity so that anyone who chooses to believe in Him may enter God's fold (John 3:16). And once inside, we are provided for, sought when we wander, and protected from enemies.
Jesus sees Himself as mankind's Shepherd. Thankfully, we are more than just a herd to Him. He knows everything about each one of us—our name, character, and flaws—and loves us with all of our imperfections. What better way to show love in return than to know His voice and follow where He leads?
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.