“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”
Everyone loves to hang out with the winner. It makes you feel like you’re a winner too. You hope that whatever they have inside of them, rubs off on you too. On the other side of the coin, everyone loves to watch someone lose. It makes them feel good about themselves. They can stand there and say something like, “I am glad that’s not me.” Or something like, “If they were so righteous and pious, they’d never fail, God wouldn’t allow it.”
The fact is, that there are a lot of people that do fail God everyday. I do, and unless you’re really special you do as well. I can speak from experience that followers of Christ can and do fail Him by succumbing to temptation. Personally, I feel like when I come closer to Jesus the Devil tries harder to tempt me. It’s all part of the ongoing spiritual battle of good vs evil. Satan already knows how the story ends. He’s read the back of the book already and it doesn’t end well for him. So Satan is going to try and take as many believers away from God as possible. The easiest way for this to happen is to discredit Christians. To make a Christian look bad puts seeds of doubt in those who are lukewarm in their faith.
The Devil is also going to put forth more effort into tempting the leaders and teachers of Christians. As Scripture says, “strike the shepherd, scatter the flock”. Why do you think we see so many Christian leaders attacked by society today? Why do you think we see Christian leaders break our trust in them by doing horrible things like abusing children, or verbally or physically abusing their spouse? I am not making excuses for their actions. While they were tempted, they still acted on those temptations and there lies the sin. Satan has inflicted incalculable damage on the Church through attacking it’s leaders. We must pray for our religious leaders as well as our civil leaders. We must also pray ourselves for our families so that we don’t fail when we are tempted.
But as we hear today, when we wander off and fail, we have a shepherd that will bring us back into the flock. Our true shepherd knows us. He cares for us. He has laid down His life for us already to save us. That’s something that government can’t do. That’s something Hollywood can’t do. That’s something that the Devil won’t do for you. While the wolf may on occasion get a hold of us, we know that if we call out and give ourselves to the shepherd, he’s going to to come for us and bring us back to the flock away from the wolf.
Thought for the day: Who’s your shepherd?