The Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd

27 August 2018

GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery

Scripture: John 10:1-5 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)

1 “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.” (John 10:1-5 NLT)

In ancient Palestine, as in some parts of the world today, sheep were grazed in the open countryside during the daytime and gathered into “sheepfolds” for the night. A wall of loose stones and tree branches was constructed allowing enough space for all the sheep to be inside. The shepherd usually spent the night in the fold to protect the sheep from predators, from thieves, and from wandering off and getting lost.

This is the picture Jesus had in mind and that his hearers saw when he told them this story. The sheep and shepherd metaphor was clear in the people’s minds and easy for them to picture. Even with all that, they didn’t understand, so he explained it to them! I plan to take the next few days to dig into this story.

The main characters in the story are: The Good Shepherd; the gatekeeper; the thief; the stranger; the hired hand; the wolf; and the sheep.
• Jesus cares for his flock, us, just as a shepherd cares for his sheep.
• Jesus knows his sheep and calls them by name.
• His sheep know his voice, they trust him, and they follow him.
• I’m glad Jesus sees himself as a Shepherd. I’m honored to be one of his flock!
• For more on leaders as shepherds, check Ezekiel 34:1-16 and Ezekiel 34:23.


1 The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. 6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23 NLT)

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