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John’s gospel post 51: Good shepherd

January 6, 2014

John 10:11 – 21

Jesus now ceases to talk about being the sheep gate. Now he shifts focus to much more well known picture of himself.

“I am the good shepherd”.

Shepherds look after sheep right? That is a total understatement for THE good shepherd. He doesn’t just care for them. He gives up everything for them. Whatever you think of the sheep, the good shepherd places ultimate value in them. He will even lay down his life for them!

Jesus goes on to say that he is the shepherd of other flocks. Maybe this is a reference to his ministry to non-Jews, or maybe just to his followers in other localities. “This isn’t just for you – I have more work to do”.

There will be one flock and one shepherd – total unity between Jesus and his followers. Sadly that isn’t the impression that Jesus’ followers give nowadays. One day all these differences will be irrelevant. For now we need to break down barriers but recognise that many of our differences are deeply held. Seeking dialogue and fellowship on the things we agree on, rather than trying to iron out all our differences, is surely the way.

Jesus tells his listeners that he lays down his life to pick it up again. Just as he speaks of his death he also talks resurrection.

We have seen two occasions where people have determined to kill Jesus but failed. Now he underlines that it is his decision to lay down his life. And presumably when to do so.

Still the crowds are divided. A mad man? A devil?

But that miracle speaks loudly to others. “Can a devil heal a blind man?”

He heals the blind. And he goes the distance for you and me.

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From → Christianity

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