May 26


"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (John 10:11, NIV).

One of the most universally known portraits of Jesus is that of the Good Shepherd. This portrait has made a profound impression on the Christian church. Throughout the centuries, the theme of the Good Shepherd has been the motif for sublime music, magnificent art, exquisite poetry, stirring sermons, and moving literature. From earliest childhood, it has captured our imaginations and comforted our spirits.

The Good Shepherd is a self-designation of Jesus. Twice in His memorable discourse in John 10, He refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd. The adjective, good, describes one who performs his service with distinction and excellence. The Greek word translated, good, is kalos, meaning "that which is intrinsically good," "that which is excellent and beautiful." As a shepherd, Christ is matchless in goodness. As the Good Shepherd, He protects, feeds, leads, and nurtures His flock.

The ultimate test of a true shepherd is his willingness to risk his life for the protection and preservation of his sheep. Risking his life was always an occupational hazard of a shepherd (see 1 Samuel 17:34-37). Christ's self-sacrificing love was His credential as the preeminent shepherd. He said, "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (John 10:11, NIV). That was the greatest manifestation of His love and concern for lost humanity. The qualities of the Good Shepherd are beautifully expressed in these words: "Jesus is the good Shepherd. His followers are the sheep of His pasture. A shepherd is always with his flock to defend them, to keep them from the wolves, to hunt up the lost sheep and carry them back to the fold, to lead them beside green pastures and beside living waters."--Lift Him Up, p. 215.

My Prayer Today: Lord, thank You for being the Good Shepherd. With such a shepherd, I shall not want. Amen!