Like when I first got married, I knew I was supposed to “leave my parents and cleve to my wife” but I had a really good dad. What is my relationship with him supposed to look like? I knew I shouldn’t talk about marriage problems or struggles I had with Johna, but what can I talk about? Money has a lot to do with marriage, can I talk with him about that? I did not know how to relate with my dad.
Have you ever felt that way with Jesus? Like you know Jesus loves you, died for you, and wants to know you, but you don’t know how to engage with Him. One way that has really helped me along the way is to know how Jesus wants to relate to me. Jesus called himself a shepherd and said I am like his sheep.
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.
So here are 3 things a shepherd does:
- Defend the sheep
A good shepherd does not expect the sheep to defend itself. Now a sheep should stay where the shepherd has designated, and sheep do tend to wander away. If a lion or a bear come for a sheep, a good shepherd defends the flock. Even when a sheep wanders, the parable of the lost sheep says, the good shepherd leaves the 99 to get the one that went their own way. So where are you looking to defend yourself instead of letting Jesus defend you? Where are you straying from Jesus and need to call out to have Him rescue you?
2. Lead the sheep
Psalm 23 says he leads us to green pasture and still water. He is our source. Money, sex, success, GPAs, food, and relationships are all good things, but the make terrible sources for our lives. They make terrible gods. The Good Shepherd wants to lead you to live giving places, but might lead you through a desert, wilderness, thorn bush to get there. He alone knows what lies on the smoother path. A good sheep learns to trust the the good Shepherd has the best plan. Where are you trying to make your own way? What are you trusting in to be your source? Where do you need to be a good sheep and trust where the shepherd is leading you?
3. Care for sheep
A good shepherd cares for their sheep. They are not concern with only what they get from them, but has great intensions for them. A good shepherd cleans wounds, carries when exhausted, watches late into the night, lays down his life for his sheep. That is what Jesus wants to do in you. What wounds do you need him to clean? Where do you need Him to carry you?
For Jesus to be your shepherd you have to choose to be His sheep! Let Him protect, lead, and care for you.
Recklessly, Obsessively Following Jesus