Bible Devotion Week 12

“Never forget that you are a sheep” so begins a book I have on pastoral burnout. It is a needed reminder for pastors - don’t forget you are a sheep. In ministry, we get so focused on being under-shepherds of the Good Shepherd that we can forget that we aren’t the Shepherd. John 10 is famous for being the chapter on Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Of course, this is an old metaphor to describe the people of God. In Psalm 100:3, Israel is described as “the sheep of His pasture.” 

There are many comforting words in John 10, “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…the sheep follow him, for they know his voice…I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.” (10:3, 4, 11, 14). 

Why do sheep need a shepherd? Jesus tells us it is to protect them from wolves and thieves (vv. 10 and 12). Also, a shepherd is better than a “hired hand”. He cares for the sheep where as the “hired hand” will flee because he does not care for the flock. The Shepherd is willing to lay down his life for a poor, defenseless, and not all-that-intelligent sheep. Why? Because he loves them and they love him. When you are frightened when the thief comes to steal or destroy, search out the voice of the Good Shepherd. He will be close at hand to deliver you from every trial and affliction.

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