I Know My Sheep
30 August 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 10:14-16 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. (John 10:14-16 NLT)
Yesterday we looked at the difference between the shepherd and the hired hand. The hired hand is working a job for the pay, and has the attitude, “I’m not getting hazardous duty pay, so I’m out of here!” when the wolf raids the flock. The shepherd puts himself, herself, at risk to protect the sheep because the care of the sheep is more than a job, it’s caring for those you love! We’ll talk more about this in tomorrow’s GraceNotes devotional “I Lay Down My Life.”
Jesus says, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me!” The Good Shepherd has a relationship with the sheep. Early in this story, he says, “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” This is perhaps the essence of the difference between practicing religion and living a relationship with God. As Jesus began to minister, to teach and to heal, people followed him. Some followed him in gratitude for what he had done for them. Some followed him in hope of what he would do for them. Some followed him because they felt his genuine love and care and just wanted to be with him. As the relationship grew stronger, he called them his friends.
Jesus said of the Good Shepherd, “The sheep hear his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” After James and John and Peter and Andrew had been following him off and on for a few months, he called them from their fishing to be his disciples. He gave James and John a new name, “The Sons of Thunder!” He called Simon by a new name, “Rocky.” He knows your name too!
He knows our strengths and weaknesses. He knows our likes and dislikes. He knows our joys and our sorrows. He knows our fears and our confidence. He knows us intimately and he loves us unconditionally. I remember a children’s song we used to sing, “Jesus loves me, this I know.” Here’s something else that’s just as true: “Jesus knows me, this I love!”
Father, Thank you that you sent a Good Shepherd to lead us and not a cowboy to drive us where you want us to go. Thank you that you know me and know my name! Amen!