January 31, 2024

Bob Maas
“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.”
John 10:11-15

One of the first passages of Scripture I can remember learning as a child was Psalm 23. One of the first religious pictures I remember was of Jesus carrying a sheep with his legs draped around Jesus’ shoulders as he held the feet. The symbolism was graphic.

How do we know what love is? Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. The hired hand flees when there is danger, but the Good Shepherd fights for the sheep to the point of death. That is what Jesus did for us, and we are encouraged to lay down our lives for one another.

Shortly before Jesus went to the cross He gave a new commandment to all who would follow him. He told us to love one another the same way He loved us. One of the ways people will know that we are His disciples is when they see us loving one another the way Jesus does.