John 10:7 & 11 Living Bible (TLB)
(7) so he explained it to them. “I am the Gate for the sheep,” he said. (11) “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Daily Devotional Series from Victory Church
I Am... Day 3
About all I know about sheep is that you count them to fall asleep at night! Spending time on Google reading about them revealed some interesting facts. I learned that in biblical times there were two types of sheep pens. There was a permanent pen that was constructed of stones with one entrance so narrow that only one sheep could enter at a time. This allowed the shepherd to easily count the sheep as well as to assess their physical condition. The second type of pen was a rather makeshift one constructed out in the field with whatever the shepherd could find to piece together. The shepherd would lie down across the opening creating a “human” gate of sorts to keep predators at bay. What images of Jesus does this conjure up in your mind? To me, as the “gate” in the permanent pen, He keeps track of us and monitors our condition. On the flip side, as the temporary gate, He protects us with His life and body.
As well as proclaiming that He is a gate for the sheep, Jesus calls himself the “Good Shepherd.” He enumerates some of the characteristics of a good shepherd: someone who knows his sheep and calls them by name, someone whose voice the sheep recognize, and someone who would lay down his life for his flock. In verse 14, the word good is translated from the Greek word kalos which has a connotation of noble, honorable, and worthy. What better words can you find than these to describe Jesus!
We can look to the Greek language again for the definition of two words that can translate into our word “know;” eidos which means to know, appreciate or remember which is head knowledge and ginosko which means to know from experience and implies more of a heart knowledge, Think of it as the difference between knowing a co-worker vs knowing a sibling or a best friend. Jesus has both kinds of knowledge of us and that is a comforting thought to me, but let’s look at it from the other side. What kind of knowledge do you have of Him? Do you recognize His voice?
As part of knowing us, Jesus the Good Shepherd, calls us by name and was willing to lay down His life for us, His flock. In John 10: 28 we read “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Take some time to ponder the depth of that kind of love.
About the Author
[ Kay Pflueger ]
Kay Pflueger and her husband Wayne have been members at Victory Church for the last 8 years. Kay is a loving mother and grandmother whose love for the Lord is on display at all times. To contact Kay directly about this devotion, please email her at email@example.com.