“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”
The big issue in John’s Gospel, as in all the Gospels, is to answer one big question, Who is Jesus? Knowing the answer to that question is absolutely essential. For at the very heart of this thing we call eternal life is the knowledge of God. Jesus said in John 17:3, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” So we must know Him! That is both our goal and our privilege in faith. We must come to know Him! And we must come to know Him as He reveals Himself in Scripture!
In John 10:11-15 Jesus reveals Himself to us as the Good Shepherd. Now what does that mean? Do you remember from last time? We saw that it means,
(1) He is the God Shepherd – These words “I AM” are in a form that identifies Him as the God who met Moses in the burning bush in Ex 3:14. “I AM,” Jesus says. “I AM the promised redeemer who’s come to rescue His sheep.”
(2) He is the Beautiful Shepherd – The word translated “good” (kalos) doesn’t just mean capable and kind – an able shepherd (though He certainly is). It means perfect and desirable – beautiful in His character and attributes. Trustworthy in all things.
(3) He is the Sacrificial Shepherd – He gives his life “for” the sheep. He willingly puts himself between us and the wolves. This word carries the idea of a substitute sacrifice – one who ides in our place – for that is how he saves. We the sinners deserve to die. He our shepherd takes our place under the penalty of our sin! He dies in our place that we might live in His!
This is who Christ is for us who believe! This is what He’s done! This is why we trust Him. And now He invites us to know Him (Jn 10:14), to fellowship with Him, to walk with Him in newness of life! So at the very heart of what it means to be a Christian is a growing knowledge and trust of God through faith in Christ.
My prayer is to see each of us growing in this knowledge of Christ.