“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.”

Jesus teaches that He has come to guard and guide us as a shepherd cares for the sheep. He will protect us from evil if we stay close to Him. We are His flock and He is willing to lay down His life that we might be saved.

Unfortunately, comparing us to sheep is accurate but not very complimentary, although He isn’t insulting us. Sheep tend to be self absorbed, worrying only about themselves and this lack of attention sometimes gets them in trouble. Sadly, this sounds like a description of us much of the time.

If we give up our selfish ways and look to Jesus in faith, we can be redeemed and restored. We are called to be an active part of God’s plan for us, caring for each other as Jesus taught. As members of His flock, He will lead us to our eternal home which He has prepared for us.

Loving Lord, we are thankful for Your gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. May we follow Him through this life that we may be together with You forever. Amen.

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