Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 54.
Read: John 10:1-10 — As you read in the ESV translation, note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.
Reflect: While the chapters and verses in the Bible make tremendous sense to us, and help us reference and connect, there are times when the division in the text feels too abrupt or too early. Chapter 9 of John has everyone wrestling about who Jesus is. It even appears that the religious leaders would rather live in darkness than admit that Jesus is God, the promised Messiah. N T Wright in his commentary John for Everyone, page 149, shares this insight as to why the metaphor of the Shepherd was so important, and how it connects with chapter 9.
The answer is that in the Bible the picture of the shepherd with his sheep is frequently used to refer to the king and his people. In the modern world we don’t think of rulers and leaders in quite that way. We think of people running big companies, of the presidents of banks and transnational corporations. We think of people sitting behind desks, dictating letters or chairing meetings….They seldom see them face to face, and probably don’t know the names of very many. But in the Bible the ideal king is pictured as a shepherd (Ezekiel 34), perhaps modelled on the shepherd-boy David, who became the king after God’s own heart. In a world where they knew about the intimate contact and trust between shepherd and sheep, this was their preferred way of talking about kingship.
He further shares that the only way you can tell the difference between the current rulers common practices of leadership and the appointed king that God sends is by the metaphor of the shepherd. As N T Wright points our further on page 150:
But the sign of the real king is the response that comes from the heart, when people hear his voice and, in love and trust, follow him.
Respond: Pray for insight.
Research: John Maxwell’s leadership principles.