Jesus tells the religious leaders, “The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep. I’m the Good Shepherd. I lay down My life for the sheep!” The fact Jesus said He would die for His sheep must not be isolated from the rest of the Bible’s teaching about His sacrifice on the cross and what it means for all humanity (John 3:17, John 6:51)! When Jesus died on the cross He died for every person, not just the sheep, because His blood was sufficient for the salvation of the entire world. However, as He implies, “It is only effective for those who He knows and who know Him as their Good Shepherd!” The word knows means much more than an intellectual awareness “Oh yeah, I know him.” It speaks of an intimate relationship and knowledge of the inner soul. As sheep, we all have our peculiar little idiosyncrasies. Some like it hot, others cold, some are afraid of heights, others love’em. He knows our nature! Because He knows our nature, He knows our individual needs and how best to meet those needs and when to meet them even when we haven’t a clue! The Good Shepherd cares for His sheep and knows them. As the sheep get to know their shepherd, they grow used to His voice and His daily care of them! Then before you know it, the sheep follow the Shepherd everywhere because they have learned to love and trust Him as the Shepherd pours out His love daily upon His Sheep. Have you ever been loved like that where you just melted because you felt so loved? That’s the kind of love Jesus wants to show you, the relationship He wants with you, and the abundant life He has for you if you will hear His voice, respond, and follow Him!
Lesson4Life: Abundant life awaits all who hear and follow the Good Shepherd Jesus!