He Is Risin!
“A Word for this Week” - Pastor Bill Mugnolo
Week of April 23-29, 2018: “You, Too, Are a Good Shepherd” … John 10:11-18
The image of a shepherd leading his or her sheep down a narrow lane is a sight that is seldom seen here in Northeast Ohio. But it was a common sight back in first century Israel. With this well-known image in mind, Jesus declared of Himself, in John 10:11, “I Am the Good Shepherd.”
Jesus then tells us, “The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Shepherds back then, if they were faithful to their task, risked their very lives to ward off predators like wolves, bears, and lions. But Jesus not only risked His life, He laid it down upon the cross to die for the sins of His straying sheep (Isaiah 53:6). This He did of His own free will (John 10:18). As one commentator once put it, “Death did not come to Him, He came to death.”
Having defeated sin and death for us by His cross and resurrection, He now leads us to hear His voice so that we would be led into green pastures of abundant life (John 10:4-5, 10; Psalm 23:2). Paul tells us, in Romans 5:10, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” As we hear and follow His voice, we come to know Him in the same intimacy with which He Himself knows the Father in Heaven (John 10:15).
Again, Jesus says, “I Am the Good Shepherd”. But until He comes again in glory, He is not visibly present to lead His sheep. But He still leads them as He does so through us and the roles that He has called us to carry out. This is certainly true of me as pastor as I am called to be like a shepherd (Acts 20:28). While I am surely not The Good Shepherd, I very much want to be a Good Shepherd. Please remember me in your prayers that I would be faithful to my calling in Christ (2 Timothy 4:2).
Then, there is you. There are people that God has entrusted to you to guide, lead, look after, and, at times, correct and warn. There are those in your life who may have strayed like lost sheep that you are called to lead back into a right relationship with God (James 5:19-20). Yes, you, too, are a Good Shepherd. This role has its challenges but even more joys as we lead, direct, and, at times, restore those whom we know and love into those green pastures of abundant life.
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