Jesus is the best, most competent, genuine, and abled Shepherd.
In this episode, Nathan discusses Jesus’ I AM statement in John 10 about being the GOOD Shepherd and gives four amazing realities of what that means for our relationship with Him.
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John 10:10-15 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees–and the wolf snatches and scatters them– because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
Jesus is the GOOD Shepherd:
Good in this context does not mean “good” as we often think about good. Good gives the concept of being genuine, capable, able, and approved. It can be translated as “beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable.”
So when Jesus declares He is the GOOD Shepherd, it is a declaration that He is more than able to do the work and that He is the genuine deal.
He is not like a hired hand that runs when danger arises nor is He like a thief whose intent is to only kill, steel, and destroy.
Jesus, as the GOOD Shepherd says there are several things that result from His shepherding:
1. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep
In contrast to the hired hand and thief, Jesus as our great shepherd gave up His life on the cross for the life and salvation of His sheep (us).
2. The sheep know the voice of the Good Shepherd
Because of the time the sheep has spent with the shepherd, they are intimately acquainted with the voice of the shepherd.
In the Middle East, when flocks would gather together, a shepherd only needs to start to walk away and give his unique guttural sound and the sheep follow. The sheep know the voice of their shepherd and they follow (see John 10:3–4).
So too, we should intimately know the voice of our shepherd and follow His lead. This primarily comes through His Word (the clear “guttural sound” to His sheep). If you want to know the voice of the GOOD Shepherd better, we must know His voice, commands, and heart through the Bible.
3. The Good Shepherd knows and is known by His sheep
The Greek word used here is ginōskō (the word for “know” that comes from experience, intimacy, and/or relationship).
Jesus said that in the same way He knows (ginōskō) the Father, so too He knows (ginōskō) His sheep and His sheep knows (ginōskō) Him.
Can you imagine having that kind of relationship and intimacy with Jesus?
4. The Good Shepherd gives His sheep protection, provision, and direction
Even bad shepherds give their sheep protection, provision, and direction. Yet Jesus isn’t a mere shepherd but the GREAT Shepherd. So if bad shepherds provide for their sheep, how much more will Jesus supply protection, provision, and direction to us?
Strangely, when we examine our prayer lives, too often our prayers center around those three things: protection, provision, and direction. It may be a lack of trust, faith, or not knowing our Shepherd well enough … but we should be able to rest knowing that as our Shepherd, those things will be supplied (see Matthew 6:25–34 for more).
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Question: How have you experienced Jesus as the GOOD Shepherd?
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NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.
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Many Christians feel frustrated because they don’t grow spiritually. The Deeper Christian Podcast helps equip Christians to understand the Word of God and cultivate a passionate love for Jesus that turns the world upside down.
Whether you want to learn how to study God’s Word, grow in your faith, cultivate a powerful and effective prayer life, share the Gospel boldly, deepen your intimacy with Jesus, live victoriously, or transform the world through the indwelling life of the Holy Spirit, the Deeper Christian Podcast with NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) will encourage and equip you to grow spiritually and live a Christ-centered life.