In John chapter 10, Jesus defines His relationship with His sheep precisely in this way: as a relationship. He shows Himself to be the shepherd of the sheep and He gave ways that define His relationship with His sheep.
His sheep hear His voice
He calls His sheep by name
He leads them
He brings out all His own
He goes before them.
His sheep follow Him because they know Him (v. 3-4)
If Jesus then defines us by our relationship with Him and to Him, He then defines Himself as the shepherd who came to give life, and not just any old life, but life abundantly (v.10)! In fact, He is the Good Shepherd (v.11). The Good Shepherd is the One who lays down His life for the sheep. As we know, this is what Jesus did for us and is why we celebrate Easter so much, because He is risen! He had the authority to lay down His life on behalf of the sheep and the authority to pick it back up (v. 18). He was not coerced or forced into this laying down of His life but He willingly and lovingly saw our need for a savior and obeyed the Father as the only plan of salvation. Which, then, brings us full circle back to the thought we began with, in that we have a very special relationship with The Good Shepherd. Here’s why: because He did lay down His life for us— because He died in our place— and because He rose again:
We can trust what He says to us!
We can trust His voice!
We can trust His leading!
And we know that He goes before us!
Truly He is the Good Shepherd!
He is Risen!
Please read John Chapter 11 for Sunday.