December 7, 2019
In today’s cynical world of so called “no absolutes,” people still want to experience truth, meaning, and purpose for themselves and their loved ones. Here, we still want to know God’s plan for our lives, and when someone “speaks truth” into our lives, we want to be sure God is speaking through him or her.
Our Lord Jesus Christ confirmed His role as God’s representative in John 10:11-15 (NIV):
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Throughout His entire earthly ministry, the Lord demonstrates how as The Good Shepherd, He cares for His Sheep as He healed the sick, fed the hungry, raised the dead, and comforted the distressed. Even more telling was how He taught timeless, irrefutable truths, and He secured our reconciliation with God by dying on Calvary’s cross to pay our sin debt.
Unlike the hired hand, who is not committed to caring for the Lord’s Sheep—nor can he save the Lord’s Sheep—The Good Shepherd shows His great love and commitment to His Sheep by providing us access to an unbreakable union with God that begins on earth and continues in Heaven.
The Lord Jesus Christ is unlike any other person who represented God in all human history. No person ever predicted His death and resurrection as the Lord did. In addition, no one has ascended into Heaven, intercedes for us before God, gives us His Spirit, and will return to establish His eternal Kingdom as He has and will do as well.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus contrasts the life and works of true and false prophets (or hirelings):
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:15-20 (NIV)
The Lord Jesus Christ is quite dissimilar from any other person livng or dead, and His is still the only name under Heaven given unto us whereby we must be saved, just as Acts 4:12 teaches.
Likewise, we the Lord’s Sheep are quite dissimilar as well. Jesus taught that we love Him and will keep His commandments.1 Thus, we will always seek to reflect a compelling Christ-likeness. Not perfect, but ever striving to reach perfection Christ.
What a wonderful Savior!