May 18 - Sheep and Shepherds

Today's Scripture: John 10:1-21

Central Thought: If we are like sheep, then we need the care of the Shepherd.

    Jesus often used the analogy of sheep and shepherds. There were two good reasons for this. First, sheep were a common sight in His day; second, the nature of sheep is remarkably like human nature.

    I have experienced this firsthand. I raised sheep for a couple of years as a high school project. Later, I entered pastoral ministry. I have had experience in both areas, and I can attest to the accuracy of this comparison. Today's reading is a perfect demonstration of just how badly humans need the love and care of a 'shepherd.”

    In today's reading, it easy to see the level of care and the personal concern a shepherd has for his flock. Without these things, he would not be viewed as a good shepherd. The writer references all the many things the shepherd does or provides for his flock. To these early shepherds, this was serious business. The passage clearly demonstrates the relationship between the helpless sheep and their helper, even to the point of voice recognition.

    The real impact of this passage is seen in verse 10. Here we see a serious contrast of purpose. The thief, or common enemy, is described as having only one purpose in mind—to destroy by whatever means. By contrast, the shepherd desires life—abundant life for his flock. Our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, sees to it that we—His flock—receive abundant life.

Devotional Prayer: Dear Shepherd, thank You. When the enemy desires to destroy me, You have provided me with life abundant.

Today's Bible Reading: I Samuel 22:1-23:29; John 10:1-21; Psalm 115:1-18; Proverbs 15:18-19
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