Recently I have been thinking and teaching a lot about how Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the one who leads my life. Jesus is loving and good. He leads me to places of rest and is with me through the dark times of life. Christ is also the one who shows the perfect way to lead. So often the leaders of God’s people (see Ezekiel 34 and Matthew 25) are criticized for being terrible and selfish leaders (shepherds). Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus describes His leadership, and the leadership of those who are rooted in Him, in John 10 – grace, life, sacrifice, communication, intimacy, security, and love. I need to remember that this is the way God loves me – He measures me by more than results. His love is what produces the real results. This is the way I want to lead as well.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. This means He protects the sheep; He lays down His life for the flock. Most Christians know that Jesus died for them, but many struggle to feel His presence when they are under attack. Fear is a real part of our lives. Often it is not until we look back that we realize that we were never alone. Jesus does not leave us; it is other humans that do that. His very nature is eternal loyalty; this is His very character. It is our fear of being alone that tempts us to walk away from God; our fear leads us to being alone. The shepherd fights the wolves. The shepherd sacrifices Himself for the good of the sheep. We are loved; we are never alone.
I believe God is inviting us into a life without fear. Our Shepherd is stronger than death, bigger than shame. He will never leave us. Following Him brings humble confidence that nothing in life will separate you from what really matters: His love.