“The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the Sheep.” John 10:13

We continue our study of the Gospel of John.  Picking up at John 10: 13, as Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees, He says:

“I am the good shepherd.  The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep.  So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.  Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd.  I know my sheep and my sheep know Me – just as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to My voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
The reason my Father loves Me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from my Father.”
The jews who heard these words were again divided.  Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad.  Why listen to Him.”  But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon.  Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”   (John 10:13-21)
It takes less than one minute to read the words He spoke shown above, and in that one minute the Lord told the Pharisees who He is, and what He was going to do for His sheep.  If they had listened, they would have heard Him say that He is the Son of God.  They would have heard Him say there will be a relationship between Him, and us who believe, that is like the relationship He has with The Father, – His Father – our Father.  A relationship of Love, and respect.  That He was going to lay down His life for not only those who were there, but for all those who would come to believe in Him, and listen to His voice and follow Him.  That there would be one flock and one shepherd – jews and gentiles as one body – His Church…He told them that He would lay down His life of His own accord because of His love for us.  He did not have to.  He had authority from His Father to lay it down, or pick it up.  He spoke of the resurrection, and that He would take up His life again.  That He would defeat death, and bring life to those who believe in Him.
  All of this came to be. Though the Pharisees as a Group would not listen to His words, others did. His words are truth. Spoken then – spoken through His Word, and the Holy Spirit, and in the many ways He speaks to us now. Let us listen. Let us believe.  Let us receive truth:  He loves His sheep – those of us who love Him and follow His voice.  He laid down His life for us on a cross because of that love,  and now lives for us in resurrected power on His Throne of Grace and unconditional Love.   Those who come to Him are all one now – jews and gentiles – one flock, One Shepherd.  He leads us, His flock, to green pastures, and still waters, and paths of righteousness.  As we follow Him, and walk with Him,  we shall fear no evil.  His presence and power protects us, and comforts us.   He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies.  He is our abundant provider.  He anoints us with the power of His Loving Holy Spirit, in us and on us.  Our cup overflows because of His Goodness and Mercy.  He is the Good Shepherd, and He has made this truth reality for us.  Let us rejoice and be glad in that truth every day in every breath.  Let us know in our spirit without question that we shall dwell in His House forever, because He shall lead us Home.

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