This morning, my heart was drawn into John 10…again. How often the Spirit brings comfort and assurance to my sometimes-frail faith through meditating on the love of Jesus Christ for sinners like me. He is not only my Lord and Savior, but my faithful Good Shepherd. By focusing my mind on the following verses my heart was ministered to by the Spirit through these words from Jesus.
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 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 them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. (John 10:11-15)
Here I found food for my soul in the form of 4 assurances.
- Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has already laid down His life for me (v. 11). When Jesus first spoke the words above His death was still in the future. He would lay down His life for His sheep. But that is done now. His sin-bearing and sin-paying work is complete and my sin debt is already paid in full (Hebrews 9:27-28). By consciously remembering this past demonstration of His great love, my heart is further assured of His continued love and care.
- Jesus, the Good Shepherd, will not act like a hireling by leaving His sheep to the wolves (v. 12). Instead, my faithful Shepherd stays by my side. He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).
- Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is committed to, and concerned, for me—just one of His many sheep (v. 13). The hireling flees because he is self-centered, but my Jesus continues to lead, feed, comfort, and discipline me. Why? Because His commitment to His sheep is not found in empty words, but in His deep promises.
- Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows His sheep in relationship, just as He knows the Father in relationship (vv. 14-15). Jesus knows those who are His own and those who are His own know Him. What a wonderful truth, especially when He, in the very next verse, likens His relationship with us to His relationship with His Father, which has been for eternity. Growing in Christ is more than gaining Bible knowledge, as important as that may be, but includes a deepening intimacy with my Shepherd as I listen to His Word. I find great comfort and assurance in the fact that, not only do I fervently desire deeper intimacy with my Savior, but He desires it even more.
Not only does He desire my greater good, but He does so for His glory. One of the most glorious benedictions in Scripture assures us of this truth. Ponder these words:
Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21).
The Good Shepherd continues to love and care for those who repent and believe in His saving work and saving Name. Set your mind on these things.