THE MYSTERY OF THE SHEPHERD
“My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” —John 10:27-28
Today is traditionally called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” The image of God as a Shepherd is ancient and powerful. People of almost every culture have been and are profoundly inspired and consoled by the image of the Good Shepherd. Millions of people have prayed with all their hearts: “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want” (Ps 23:1).
Nevertheless, some cultures look down on shepherds (see Gn 46:34). In fact, the traditional conflict between shepherds and farmers is the context for the first murder in history (see Gn 4:2ff). Even Jesus’ apostles, who heard Jesus’ revelation of Himself as the Good Shepherd, had difficulties relating to this image (Jn 10:6).
The image of God as the Good Shepherd should not be thoughtlessly accepted nor carelessly dismissed. Let’s delve into this major revelation from the Gospel of John about the dynamics of our relationship with the Lord: the image of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Hardly ever do we give homework in this book. Today, however, your homework is to read John 10 and Ezekiel 34. Look up the cross references. Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach about the truth and the mystery of the image of the Good Shepherd.
PRAYER: Father, make me a sheep by Your standards.
PROMISE: “Never again shall they know hunger or thirst, nor shall the sun or its heat beat down on them, for the Lamb on the throne will shepherd them.” –Rv 7:16-17
PRAISE: “Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord. Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to His name!”