The Shepherd God
During our All Ages service on Feb. 26th we discussed The Shepherd God as well as the beginning of Lent. It was a brief homily with our children sitting at the front, focusing mainly on our Gospel reading of the day, John 10:1-5, 11-18. Special emphasis was given to John 10:3 in which Jesus declares that He calls His sheep by name, and they listen to Him because they know His voice. Tying this all together with Lent was the lesson that we ought to use this time before Easter to rid ourselves of that which distracts us from the voice of our Shepherd.
There was obviously much, much more to be said on any one of these verses, so thanks to this blog I am able to expand a little more!
Q: What are the jobs that Jesus does as our Shepherd?
A: Thank you, anonymous submission! This was a big area I was tempted to get into on Sunday and I am grateful for the question. When we think of God as our Shepherd, we may naturally turn to Psalm 23 to read about the way He tends His flock; specifically the first 3 verses in which He:
We read on from there that He watches over us even in places of darkness and death, promises us His comfort and protection and glorification in front of those who oppose Him, lavishing His blessings upon us and securing us a room in His house for all eternity.
This Psalm has so much that we can unpack, however I’ll leave that part to you, your small groups, and personal meditation and continue on – for this is a wonderful picture of our Shepherd God, but by no means is it comprehensive. All of scripture teaches us of our God as our Shepherd and how He looks after His sheep! Let us turn to John 10 and continue our search for His hand in our lives.
Right off the hop we can note a few things about this lowly flock of sheep. I’ll list a few of the first I note and follow them up with a question for your own considerations. I would encourage you to take some time and go through this chapter verse by verse and consider their implications, what is said or unsaid, and explore for yourself the ways in which God has revealed Himself as our Good Shepherd:
There is a vast amount of symbolism here and the time it would take to properly unpack this would take me beyond the scope of this blog. For now, I pray I’ve given a bit more of an understanding of God as our Shepherd as well as a helpful direction in which to take your study! Let me close by saying that I absolutely love this parable; the fact that little ol’ me has been welcomed into the fold of God’s flock, that He knows my name and cares for me is absolutely staggering.
We are more than likely going to lose our wonder and awe at this fact, so Jesus’s words in John 10 (well, all of them to be honest) need to be mediated upon and taken to heart. Not only will we become more secure in Him as our full and total identity, but we’ll become more and more sensitive to hearing His voice!
Lord Jesus, thank you for your humility and sacrifice. Thank you for emptying yourself, laying aside your glory and coming to this broken world. Thank you for laying down your life on the cross, the names of all your wayward sheep written on your heart. Thank you for calling us by name and teaching us to follow you. We want more of your presence and less of our own selves. Please teach us to deny ourselves this day and to follow you. Help us hate the sin to which we cling, not just in this Lenten season but forever. Most of all Lord, refresh us today with your joy, the joy in knowing our God knows our name and we know His! Let us sing and dance today, like a lamb in the safety of the fold, knowing all things are secure in you. Amen
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.