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14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16
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 shall be one flock
and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18
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."
religious leaders of the time had failed to shepherd the people of
Israel. They did not know them; they exploited them; they didn't care
for them or defend them or sacrifice for them. Jesus, on the other hand,
listened to people; he understood them and loved them. He knew them
by name, and they recognized the truth of God in his voice. He was
willing to lay down his life for them.
Christ's sacrifice for us
was his own choice. No one took his life from him; he laid it down of
his own accord. God gave him the authority and power to raise it up
Response and Action:
recognize the truth of God in Jesus. I believe he is the good
shepherd who can lead me to life, hope, and purpose. I give thanks to
God for the sacrifice Jesus willingly made for me. I believe that
Jesus laid down his life and raised it up again on the third day. I
will follow in his steps and listen to his voice. I will do my best to
be help others to find and follow him.
God, thank you for Jesus, the good shepherd. Thank you that he knows
my name and has called me to follow him. Thank you for his selfless
love and the sacrifice he made to reconcile humanity to you. Give me a
responsive and thankful heart, and help me to help others hear the
voice of Jesus and come to find life in him. Through Christ, I pray.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Hebrews 13:20-21
May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant
brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the
sheep, 21 equip you with everything good
for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him,
through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
They Smell Like Sheep: Spiritual Leadership for the 21st Century
by Lynn Anderson