John 10:7-18 (TNIV)
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 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. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
The good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, knew us from the start. He saw our lost and desperate need for a shepherd. Even before calling out to His sheep or opening His gate, He knew very well who would recognize His voice, call back to Him and walk through His life-saving gate. He knew that someday we would hear His voice and recognize the amazing love in His compassionate leading. He lived and prepared His life in such a way so that we would be able to join in and become one of His own. With His eyes on us, He kept the gate open for us who would enter in later. He made room for us in His pen so that we would be of one flock and be led by the one good Shepherd. He laid down His life for His flock. We were included in His flock. When He laid down His life, He did it for us so that we can have life and have it to the full.
Reflecting on the Transmitted Message:
Only when we truly recognize the mighty love of our Father God then can we genuinely desire to follow in Christ’s example and lay down our lives for others. The more we receive from the Father the more that we can lay down for others. Let’s take a moment to receive again God’s saving love for us. In response, let’s pray for those people who have yet to receive God’s amazing love. Let it start with our lives laid down in prayer and intercession for those who are yet to be made part of God’s flock.