The Good Shepherd

Tuesday: Third Week of Lent
John 10:1-21

What do you do when you feel nervous or scared?

In John 10, Jesus calls Himself the good shepherd. The “goodness” of the shepherd is defined by the comparison that is made to the hired worker. The hired worker is not the owner of the sheep, so when a wolf appears, he quickly abandons the flock and runs away. In contrast, the good shepherd willingly lays down his life for the sheep. It is the shepherd’s response to danger that distinguishes him from the hired worker. The good shepherd is clearly seen when trouble strikes.

Jesus used the image of the good shepherd in part to foreshadow the significance of His death. But the most surprising part of His illustration is the shepherd choosing not to charge after the wolf with weapons at the ready. Instead, the good shepherd protects the sheep by laying down his life. This is noble, sacrificial, and loving, but how will it ultimately help the sheep? A dead shepherd can no longer protect sheep and more wolves are bound to come when they sense a defenseless flock.

Jesus tells us that He will lay down His life only to take it up again. You see, the Good Shepherd cannot be defeated by death. Death cannot overcome Him because the Good Shepherd has resurrection power! And because He has resurrection power, the sheep will never be without a shepherd. When sheep choose to remain with their shepherd, the wolves don’t stand a chance.

An approaching wolf is a terrifying thought for a sheep. But wolves cannot be defeated by worry, nervousness, or fear. Wolves can only be defeated by the power of the Good Shepherd who gave up everything for the sake of the sheep.

What “wolf” is causing you to feel worried, nervous, or fearful?


Keith Reed is Associate Director of MinistryLift at MB Seminary and is a part of North Langley Community Church in Langley, BC.

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