“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
We have a shepherd, but can he really meet our needs?
This is where I live. I want to believe that my shepherd is good, but when I look at my circumstances and the world’s state of brokenness, he doesn’t seem very good. I struggle with how messed up this world seems. . . conflict, wars, hungry people. . . and how messy my heart feels. . . greedy, self-centered, dishonest, alone. Does my shepherd really care?
In this state of mind, I risk becoming doubtful and cynical. I want to protect myself from being disappointed in all that I’m hoping is true. In this place of skepticism, I try to shepherd myself, leading to fear and self-protection, even putting a wall around my heart to keep it from being hurt. I would rather trust myself and my circumstances to interpret reality than hope in who my shepherd says he is.
In order to move from a place of doubt to faithful trust, I must take a hard look at who my shepherd says he is. This truth has to be my starting point. I must look here before I look at my circumstances. So where do I go for an honest view of who he is?
John 10:11 says that the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. This fact is the most crucial point for my belief and trust.
When Jesus laid down his life and endured the cross, he proved how valuable I am to him. He was willing to become the sheep (the Passover Lamb) so that I can know the shepherd, Jesus’ loving Father. All of God’s promises are demonstrated through Jesus’ willingness to die for my sins.
Second Corinthians 1:20 says that “all the promises of God find their Yes in him.” His sacrifice on the cross shows me that he is indeed good, satisfying the deepest need of his people. Our hearts need rescuing, and the Good Shepherd, has fully saved us.
For Further Reading: Psalm 23, John 1:29