Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns 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.” – John 10:11-12
Have you ever had a situation where you said, “This is too much; I’m out of here; they are not paying me enough to do this”?
Imagine you are hired for minimum wage to tend sheep. You figure it shouldn’t be too difficult. How hard is watching sheep? But you fail to read the fine print of your job description: Must be willing to lay down your life for the sheep.
One evening while on duty, you are faced with a pack of hungry wolves. Do you stay and protect the sheep, even if it means you might be injured or worse? Or do you say, “I’m out of here”? And you take off leaving the sheep defenseless. Some shepherd you turn out to be!
In stark contrast, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
The sheep Jesus lays down his life for is you – a weak, wandering, defenseless sheep. Many would question if you were worth it, even yourself. But obviously you were to him. Look at the cross where Jesus died for you.
The wolves that attacked and killed Jesus instead of you are sin, death and the devil. Jesus could have said, “I’m out of here,” when facing those wolves. But he loved you and cared for you so much that he wouldn’t forsake you. He was willing to save you at all costs, even it if meant his life. And that’s what he did.
A lot of times when we say, “This is too much; I’m out of here; they are not paying me enough to do this,” it reflects our feelings about life. It’s so easy to want to quit, to give up, to run away. But knowing what you know about your Good Shepherd gives you a new resolve. You live for the one who laid down his life for you and saved you from sin, death and the devil.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for saving my life. I couldn’t have a better Shepherd. Amen.