Thursday, June 16, 2011

Comfort in Knowing

“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 10:14-15

            I must be honest; it has been a while since I have written down my devotional. It has honestly been a while since I even had one. I read this verse last night and it was really soothing. Throughout Jesus’ teachings, he keeps referring to his followers as sheep. Sheep are probably one of the dumbest creatures on the planet. I remember when I was helping an elderly person with his farm he had a group of my friends take care of his sheep. They are really stupid animals. I remember a few in particular that got their head caught in the fence. The animals also only look at the ground; consequently, they ram their heads into everything.
            Jesus constantly talks about these animals. He speaks about them needing a Shepard. Once they have a one, they will only follow his/her voice. Jesus claims to be a Shepard to a flock of sheep. His sheep are his followers. It might at first sound like an insult due to the belittling statement; however, it is actually a blessing. The Shepard cares for his sheep because it is his livelihood. John 10:14-15 takes this occupation even further. Jesus knows us on such a deep level. He compares knowing us to his knowledge of God. Think about that last statement for a second. This Jesus claimed to know what his Father was doing at all times. He even claimed to be God. If he knows God, think about the depth of how he knows us. He knows everything about us. He knows our sins, motivations, flaws, struggles, heart, hurts, etc. When we walk away from God or struggle with some closet sin, Jesus still knows. Our Shepard knows who we are and yet he lays down his life for us. He is there for us and calling for us. When a sheep is sick, its Shepard takes care of it. When it is lost the Shepard will go out of his way to find it.
            There is this story of this guy in the Old Testament about losing 2 of his sheep, he traveled from town to town to find it. King David used to be a Shepard and he fought off bears, wolves, and lions for his sheep. Jesus does even greater things. This might sound awkward, but the bond between a Shepard and his sheep is something incredible. Likewise, the bond between Jesus and his followers is so immense and so intertwined with love and longing that it is almost impossible to describe. So take heart everyone. Your Shepard understands; he is with you and is always ready for you to call on him. He will travel to the ends of the earth and back just for you. I hope this encouraged you today. Don’t forget.