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Grace Lutheran Church Devotional: John 10:11–18 (ESV)

By Administrator

April 26, 2024

[Jesus said:] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So, there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

Christ Jesus tells us there is something wonderful about the Good Shepherd: The Good Shepherd Jesus knows His sheep; He knows us through and through. He knows what is going on within us, even when we do not; “because [Jesus] Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). He can hold our hand when no one else can because He has already walked the path of the valley of the shadow of death and came out on the other side.

Jesus, our Good Shepherd knows us, and we know Him. He reveals Himself to us in the Holy Scriptures. He is revealed to us in the three distinct Persons of the Holy Trinity: God the Father who created everything, the Son who laid down His life to save us—the sheep of His pasture, (cf. Psalm 100:3), and the Holy Spirit who calls us by the Gospel, enlightens us, and keeps us in the one true faith. We know Him through His dealings with us. Jesus came among us with one purpose: “the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). And the Good Shepherd is not content in knowing just the 99 sheep that are safe, He goes to seek one lost. When He finds it, He carries it home rejoicing (cf. Matthew 18:10f).

What stands out in the 10th chapter of John’s Gospel: is the Good Shepherd’s willingness to lay down His life for His sheep. He has the Father’s endorsement: “The Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, that I may take it up again” (17). That is what Jesus was sent to do. “For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

This blessed Easter Gospel of the Good Shepherd, though often misunderstood, is for every believer who hears the voice of the Good Shepherd. His sheep have His assurance that they are called by the Gospel, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, gathered into the fellowship of the Holy Christian Church, and are kept in the one true faith. Trust the Good Shepherd for His care during this life, despite the “feelings” you may have to the contrary. Trust the Good Shepherd whose voice you hear calling you now. Trust that He will fulfill His promise for the future: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).

Grace Lutheran Church LCMS
825 North 1st West
Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728
Sunday Service begins at 9:00AM 
Reverend Steven Zandstra