Monday in the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time

John 10:11-21

The Good Shepherd

Yesterday we learned that Jesus is the door to the sheepfold, the only way into the fold.  All others claimed to be the way in, but they were pretenders.  And if anyone tries to go in by a different way (that is, other than by faith in Jesus Christ), he is a thief and a robber who foolishly thinks he can enjoy the privileges of being in the fold without being one of the Shepherd’s sheep.  But he will soon be found out, for when the Shepherd calls, he will not recognize his voice so to answer.

Today, Jesus turns from the analogy of the door and emphasizes instead that he is the Good Shepherd.  And what distinguishes the Good Shepherd from all other shepherds (the hired hands) is that the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand won’t do this.  He sees the wolf coming and flees.  But not the Good Shepherd.  Pastors are to give everything for the sheep, for they are in the service of the Good Shepherd.  And the sheep must also learn to lay down their lives for the Good Shepherd.  After all, he laid down his life for theirs, so they must learn to take up their cross daily and follow him (Luke 9:23).  This way, you can tell the Good Shepherd and his sheep.

Another mark of the Good Shepherd and his sheep is that they know only his voice; they do not know the voice of others.  It’s not only that they will not listen; they don’t even recognize their voice.  We must know our Master’s voice so well, we must be so knowledgeable of his will and ways, that we instantly know when a hired hand calls out to us to deceive us.  And Jesus adds that he and the sheep know one another, just as he and the Father know one another.  To know our Shepherd is to know his Father, who so very much loves his Son, and who so very much loves us as well.  And the Good Shepherd has other sheep that are of his fold – gentiles as well as Jews, sheep of today, yesterday, and tomorrow – they are all one to the Shepherd, for he gives his life for them all, that they might all be of one fold.

One final note about the majesty and authority of this meek Shepherd – no one can take his life from him; he gives his life willingly.  It is a rather stupid notion that men could kill the Son of God, that they could forcibly place him on a cross to die.  No.  The Son came of his own will and the Father’s will, for He sent him.  And so he dies of his own will and of the Father’s will – which is why it is all of grace.  No one forces God’s hand; no one makes the Shepherd do anything.  He shepherds the sheep out of sheer love.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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