By Emma Danzey, Crosswalk.com
I Am the Good Shepherd
By Emma Danzey
John 10:11 says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
What Is a Shepherd’s Role?
Jesus is the Shepherd, and we are the sheep. He says that He lays down His life for us. This is not because we deserved it but because of His great love for us. It can be very easy to try to be independent from God. We so often get into our own mindsets in thinking we are in control and we do not need the Lord. However, this verse makes it clear that we not only need Jesus, we cannot survive without Him. We are called in Christ to be dependent as sheep are on their shepherd.
Our great Savior, Jesus, calls Himself our Good Shepherd. A shepherd’s main role is to love the sheep, protect them, guide them, and care for their needs. Sheep are completely dependent upon their shepherd. Sheep are helpless without the guidance of a shepherd.
The Love of our Good Shepherd
Jesus loves us individually. We might be our own persons among many sheep; however, we are specially known and loved by our Good Shepherd. Scripture tells us in Matthew 18:12 that if one sheep wanders from His flock, He goes after that one and leaves the ninety-nine to rescue that particular sheep. This is the love and care that our God has for us. He values each person in His family of faith.
We live in a society where numbers matter and people are often seen as just faces in a crowd or on a social media app. Luke 15:7 says, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” When we ponder Jesus as our Good Shepherd, we need to remember that He truly cares about us individually. Just like a Shepherd knows His sheep by name, our God knows us each by name, thinks about us, and desires a relationship with us. This love is truly amazing.
An Enemy Is After the Flock
Matthew 7:15 says, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
The Bible warns us of wolves that try to disguise themselves as sheep in God’s family; however, they are deceivers and false prophets. Our Good Shepherd is aware of our weaknesses and our susceptibility to deceit, so He reminds us constantly that His voice alone is the One we are to ultimately follow. There are many voices in this world; some will direct us to the Lord in Scripture, but others will twist the Word of God just like Satan did when tempting Jesus in the wilderness. It is our responsibility as sheep to always go back to what our Good Shepherd says. We can fully trust in Him and know that He has the best plan for our lives. We can confidently test the teachings of pastors, the health of a church, and the authenticity of a person with the Bible in our hands and hearts.
The Good Shepherd Leads Us Daily
Our Good Shepherd leads us each day. He meets our needs and walks with us. He shows us the best path. Psalm 23:2-3 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
Jesus leads us down the best paths for His glory. This does not say the easy path or the popular path, but it is that path of blessing and the journey of walking closely with our Savior. It can be very challenging to walk the narrow path of faith and not stray from it. However, our Good Shepherd is always there to guide us. When a question comes up or we are seeking direction in life, we can pray with confidence and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us in the way that we should go. No, this may not always be the easiest route, but it will always be the best one when our Shepherd is leading.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
How is remembering that you are a sheep helpful when thinking about Jesus as your Good Shepherd? How does this parable teach you about the great love that Jesus has for you? How can you be more careful to listen to the voice of God in your life rather than the world around you?
Photo credit: Unsplash/Jaka Skrlep
Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and mom to Graham. Emma serves alongside her husband in ministry, she focuses most of her time in the home, but loves to provide articles on the Bible, life questions, and Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 on Crosswalk in 2021. Most recently, Emma released Treasures for Tots, (Scripture memory songs) for young children. During her ministry career, Emma has released Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness, two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, and ran the Refined Magazine. You can view her articles on her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com and check out her Instagram @Emmadanzey.