The good shepherd

women-478133_640John 10:14: I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, (ESV)

Jesus tells us who he is so that we are not confused about him. The people in his time confused him with some prophets of old, but he is the Son of God. That was the way Peter by revelation referred to him (Matthew 16:13-18).

John the Baptist also by revelation called him the Lamb of God (John 1:29), and the one who baptises with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11). God the father from heaven called him in the hearing of Peter, James and John that: this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17).

He said to the disciples: I am the way the truth and the life, no one came to the father except through me (John 14:6). Paul said he is Jesus Christ the righteous (1John 2:1).

In the chapter where Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd,” he also reveals some other things about himself and contrasted who he is with others. He said that the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy, but I come that we may have life adequately. He said that is he different from the hired hand because he lays down his life for the sheep. He holds nothing back (John 10).

The devil wants to cause harm and more of it, but Jesus is about doing us the greatest of good. Jesus said that he is the door, when we come through him we will find pasture. He is the access into everything good, he is our access to the very presence of God.

The bible says that through his flesh we have a new a living way into the very presence of God and can thus come boldly to the throne of grace to receive help and to find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

In the previous chapter Jesus calls himself the light of the world (John 9), and without him we walk in darkness, our hearts will be full of darkness, empty of God’s light, regardless of how intellectual you are, or the light in your room.

As the baptiser in the Holy Spirit it is through him that we contact the Holy Spirit, any other spirit we contact via any other means is a demonic spirit.

In him was life and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-6). Apart from him there is death, apart from him, there is bondage, there is darkness, there is loss, and there are lies.

Paul calls him wisdom and power of God (1Corinthians 1:24). He calls him our peace. He is the prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6). He also said while standing before the grave of Lazarus: I am the resurrection and life, if anyone believes in me he will not die, and anyone who dies that believes in him will live again (John 11).

Paul called Jesus: wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption (1Corinthians 1:30). He is all we need. He advised us to beware of those who espouse some special knowledge (apart from Christ) in the name of peculiar light, and that comes handy in Satan’s deception arsenal (Colossians 2:8-10). Another deception weapon comes as a question: must it be Christ, there must be other ways to God? But the bible says that there is no other way except Jesus.

How Jesus defines himself as the good shepherd is that he knows his own and his own knows him.

I know my own

There is no hiding from Jesus. To be Jesus’, is to have him as master. That is part of the salvation experience in which we are asked to confess with our mouth the lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead to be saved (Romans 10:9-13). So inherent in the salvation arrangement is the acknowledgement of the Lordship of Jesus.

We are his known because he laid his life for us, and we are also meant to lay our lives for him and his cause.

He said if anyone wants to come after him he must deny himself take up his cross and follow him (Matthew 16:24, 9:23). We take our cross because takes his own cross. His cross was on our behalf, out cross is on his behalf. He said you cannot even claim to follow him without your cross.

In the wilderness the children of Israel, were always looking back, saying they want the food of Egypt, they want the protection of Egypt, and eventually they died in the wilderness having rejected the plan of God which was to take them to the Promised land. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that he is assured of better things about his readers, because they are not among those that draw back to perdition but who move on to the saving of the soul (Hebrews 10:38-39).

My own know me

The knowledge of Christ is the primary pursuit of those who are being actively shepherded by Jesus.  He leads us on from glory to glory (2Corinthians 3:18), from faith to faith (Roman 1:17), from one level of spiritual empowerment to the next, from one level of impact to the next, because it is those who know their God that will be strong and do exploits.

He wants those who believe in him to have his glory, his power. He went through all he did from incarnation to crucifixion for us, he is now in the right hand of the father interceding for us. We should know that.

Knowing him also means we live by his tenets, obeying him. When Paul had an encounter with Jesus he called him lord (Acts 9).

Before that encounter, he was persecuting the church. When Isaiah saw the glory of God he repented (Isaiah 6:1-11). The life of wrong-doing cannot continue with the revelation of Jesus. Knowing Jesus is to love him, it is to appreciate the sacrifice he made, which will spur us to make sacrifice for him also, seeing the sacrifice he made of us.

Paul said that in view of the mercy of God that we have received, we should offer our bodies as living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1-2). To know him is to also serve him in all things.

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