Series: Committed To...
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read of listen to Psalm 51:14-19.
Read: John 10:11-21 — Read the Message paraphrase, and note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.
Reflect: Verse 13, introduces a contrast to the good shepherd - the “hired hand”. Frederick Dale Brunner in his Commentary, The Gospel of John, suggest that this is not a reference to a false Messiah, rather a bad pastor. He compares the first ten verses as an additional contrast to support this idea on page 624.
Perhaps John’s Jesus still has his true-shepherd pastors and their opposites on his mind. One mark of a true shepherd in the service of The Good Shepherd is not leaving the sheep in crisis. Faithful pastors (and faithful people), cruciform, stick their flocks, especially in their hardest times. The title “hired hand” gives the impression that the person is in the work more for the money and for the personal benefits than for the care of the sheep. “Simon bar-Jonah [Peter], do you love me? Take care of my sheep” (21:15-17).
How is it easy it to do something because it is your role, your job, your assignment when compared to the need. Is it because we are driven today by our own desires so much that we cannot focus on asking what is the need that has to be filled. Jesus is calling us to a different type of accountability. Not just one that is held in place by each other, but one that is held in place by a higher calling. To love. To give. To serve. Without being asked, but as a response to the nudge of the Holy Spirit in your life is a different way. When Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd, he is setting a much higher bar.
Respond: Pray for purpose in all that you do.
Research: Read one of the books or commentaries for this series.