11 “I am(A) the good shepherd.(B) The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.(C) 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.(D) Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
It’s too bad that the word good has become a pasty word today.
How are you?
How was your meal?
Apply the word good to shepherd and you get both a term we–in the American church–have almost heard so often that we’ve lost the wonder of it. Add to that, the fact the we don’t live in an agrarian society…and no wonder I breeze right on by this without much thought.
But I’m stopping and considering tonight.
Just like in 10:10, contrast is helpful.
The hired hand: not the shepherd, doesn’t own the sheep, abandons the sheep when wolf comes, cares nothing for the sheep.
God: not only the shepherd–but the good shepherd. He owns the sheep. (Did I never notice that sentence before?) He lays his life down for the sheep. (The exact opposite of abandoning the sheep.)
One of the many ways that Christianity is so completely different that the world religions. Who else has a God who owns them, knows them by name, and lays His life down for them?
Oh, He is so good, friends!