Our Gospel lesson this week is John 10:11-18, taken today from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).
I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.
Jesus tells us “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd” (v. 16). This points to the Great Commission, by which we are instructed to bring all the world to Christ. No one is to be left out.
While Jesus appeared at the time and place appointed by God, His message is to all people across time. Everyone is blessed by Jesus’ teaching and His sacrifice for us. It is our task to share His love with all people, no matter their location or situation.
Jesus told us it wouldn’t be easy, that we would face opposition just as He did. However, that doesn’t change the call He has placed on our lives. We are the living story of Christ’s love in the world and it is up to us to bring His love to all.
Wise and wonderful God, You sent Your son to save us and make us part of Your kingdom work. Help us to live in faith and love each other as we love You. Amen.