“I am the good shepherd.” That’s how our gospel reading begins this week in quick hookups. Its worth celebrating. Life is filled with challenges, setbacks and pitfalls. Having a good shepherd to turn to in times of difficulty gives us the ability to deal with and even overcome what life throws as us.
Life throws us challenges that we often have no control over. Maybe a health crisis, or calamity. We’re also prone to get ourselves into trouble that we can’t get ourselves out of. Jesus, out good shepherd, is always there to help us deal with the challenge and show us the way out of the jam. We’re alot like the unfortunate sheep in this video:
As soon as we’re rescued by Jesus, we have a tendency to run away from our rescuer and get right back into trouble. Thank God that the good shepherd does not abandon us. That’s in contrast to the “hired hand”.
“He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.” Today, the hired hand are those who pretend to lead you and who aren’t sent by or part of the good shepherd. These may be people in your life who try to take the place of the good shepherd. Maybe you let them take the place of the good shepherd. They are dangerous and ultimately will disappoint you. Jesus tells us that when times get tough, the hired hand leader will run and abandon you. Beware allowing the “hired hands” of this world take your focus off the good shepherd.
Do you have a “hired hand” leading you in your life?
Jesus, the good shepherd, stands by us no matter the crisis. He puts himself between us and the things of this life that are intended to kill us spiritually. Jesus will not run or abandon us. We have perpetual security with Him. What’s even more amazing is that Jesus laid down his own life that we might be saved. He did that knowing who we are and knowing all of our dirty little shameful sins and secrets that we keep hidden from the world. He did that despite the many, many times that we ran from Him after he rescued us. His love abides forever, not matter what we do.