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Revd Sara's Reflections - w/c 30th April 2023

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." - John 10:11 The term “Good Shepherd” is highlighted in the passage of John 10. We read this work as one of many authored by John, a former fisherman who became an apostle of Jesus. Here specifically, we receive a retelling of a conversation with the Pharisees and another particular person. This person refers to themself as the “Good Shepherd.” In conversation with the Pharisees, this man gives them an analogy of a flock of sheep and a shepherd. The sheep who belong to the man, the good shepherd, enter through his gate and into his pen. Anyone who tries to bypass the gate by climbing over does not belong to this shepherd, in fact, they are regarded as “a thief and a robber” (John 10:1). On the other hand, those familiar with the shepherd, those who belong to his flock, know him and he knows them. He is so familiar as to call them by name and they respond (John 10:3). The love and intimacy in this metaphor is expanded upon when this person says that anyone trying to stir the sheep away will fail. Instead of the sheep being lured, they will turn and will flee. They only know the shepherd, not any stranger trying to lead them astray (John 10:5). The shepherd cares so much for his flock that he regards his life as equal to theirs. He is willing to lay down his life for them (John 10:11). On the contrary, those feigning a relationship with the flock, or those who care less about their wellbeing will not lay down their lives. That’s what makes the relationship between the shepherd and his flock so special. Who is this peculiar man referring to himself as a good shepherd? The answer may seem so obvious to us today, but that was not the case for the Pharisees of the time. Though not everyone understood or accepted Jesus in this passage, there were those who did believe Him. Some recognized the miracles He performed (John 10:21). Others recognized that what John said about Jesus was true (John 10:42). This passage draws a comparison useful even in modern society. There are those who believed Jesus, some after seeing miracles, and others just took Him at His word. And there were others who did not believe. The same is true today. While we are not able to physically watch Jesus perform miracles, we still have the choice of believing His word and joining His flock. From His words, given to us by John, we are able to see the loyalty he upholds for those who follow Him.

love and prayers Revd Sara

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