There’s so much to unpack in Jesus’ discourse about the Good Shepherd and the sheep in John 10.
A couple of things jumped out at me this time through. I had never noticed how often Jesus repeats the phrase “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (verses 11, 15, 17, and twice in 18).
Jesus tells his followers no less than 5 times that the good shepherd will die for the sheep.
I wonder when – after the Cross – John and his fellow disciples recalled Jesus’ words and made the connection?
I also noticed that Jesus connects his death (the shepherd’s death) with his relationship to God the Father.
- “Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, I lay down my life… “(vs. 14)
- “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life …” (vs. 17)
- “I have authority to lay it down…” as the Father charged me (“this charge I have received from the Father.” ) (vs. 18)
Because of the Cross, the Father and Son will share their intimate relationship – they know one another – with the sheep (“I know my own and my own know me” vs. 14). The Cross demonstrates their mutual love that now extends to the sheep. And the Son’s death was planned by the Son (who has authority to die or not) and the Father (who charges Him to do so).
There’s so much more in here – like the fact that Jesus uses the I AM name of God four times: “I AM the door” for the sheep to enter safety and good pasture (2x) and “I AM the Good Shepherd” whose death ensures the safety and good pasture (2x).
Dear Lord: Thank You that You are both my Good Shepherd who lays His life down for me and the Door by which I enter Your pasture. Thank You that the Father and You made this plan to bring me into the knowledge of You and Your love relationship. Thank You that You chose me to hear Your voice. Amen.