13 Mar. John 10:11-18

13 Mar. Jesus - the good shepherd who saves the sheep by giving his life

"'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.'"

"'A worker who is paid to keep the sheep is different from the shepherd who owns them.'"

"'When the worker sees a wolf coming, he runs away and leaves the sheep alone. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. The man runs away because he is only a paid worker and does not really care about the sheep.'"

"'I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, as the Father knows me. And my sheep know me, as I know the Father. I give my life for the sheep.'"

"'I have other sheep that are not in this flock, and I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd.'"

"'The father loves me because I give my life so that I can take it back again. No one takes it away from me; I give my own life freely. I have the right to give my life, and I have the right to take it back. This is what my Father commanded me to do.'"

          (John 10:11-18)



Today's passage is a continuation of Jesus's story/parable about the Kingdom of God that we looked at yesterday. Don't forget it's all about living in the kingdom of God: the sheep are God's kingdom people, and Jesus is the shepherd/king who leads the sheep.

Jesus stated that he's a good shepherd/king who cares for his sheep because they "belong" to him. He isn't a hired man who runs away at the first sign of danger. He "owns" the sheep who hear his voice and follow him. They are precious to him. Caring for them is the whole purpose of why Jesus came to earth. (v.11-12)

He is as close to the sheep as he is to his heavenly Father. And he loves the sheep so much that he will die to save them. And he gives his life freely for them; he isn't forced into giving his life for the sheep - he gives his life of his own free will. (v.14-18)

Jews who live in the kingdom of God follow Jesus's voice and obey his commands. And he leads them into "life in all its fullness". (v.10) But there are also non-Jews (Gentiles) who follow Jesus's voice and follow his teachings, and Jesus also wants to bring these people into his Father's kingdom. There will be one flock and one shepherd - Jews and Gentiles worshipping together and sharing the kingdom of God. (v.16)

As Paul commented later, "God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for ALL who believe in Christ, because all people are the same." (Romans 3:22) "Though there are many parts to a body, all those parts make only one body. Christ is like that also. Some of us are Jews, and some are Greeks [Gentiles]… But we were all baptised into one body [the body or kingdom of Christ] through one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

The photo (by Mahmoud Burnat) shows a farmer leading his sheep in Bil'in, a village in Palestine.

You can read more about Jesus’s parables @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/the-parable-of-the-prodi…/.

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