Jesus, the Good Shepherd

John 10:1. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

The Shepherd Uses the Gate" — John 10:1-2 (What Jesus Did!)

Today, we are starting a wonderful chapter, one that has become a great favorite of mine. John 10 is Jesus as the Good Shepherd. He goes in and out of the sheep fold only by the door. Anyone who enters any other way is a thief, and has no good intentions. I’ve heard many sermons from this chapter over the years, some tied in with Psalm 23.

When I was very young, probably five or six, I got a jigsaw puzzle as a gift. I don’t remember the gifter, but I wish I did. I loved it so much. It was a picture of the famous painting of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Let me see if I can find it. . . . .

The Good Shepherd LORD Jesus Christ and His Sheep – Ethiopian Orthodox  Tewahdo Church Sunday School Department – Mahibere Kidusan

There are literally dozens of interpretations of this story, but this one feels the most familiar. It was hard for me, at that age, because of the many sheep. So many of the pieces looked alike. I have no idea how often I put it together, put it all back in the box, did it again. I do remember thinking, as I worked, about everything I knew about the story in John 10 and Psalm 23. This puzzle gave me an early and lifelong vision of Who Jesus was, and how much He loved us.

Later, working as a Sunday school teacher and a children’s church story teller, I often enjoyed sharing the story of Snowflake, the little lamb who rebelled against the shepherd and got lost. The Shepherd gave His life, in the story, seeking the one lost sheep and bringing it safely back to the fold. It’s quite a dramatic story. I’ll always remember the little boy who, when the Shepherd called Snowflake’s name, “baahhhed” in response before I could do it myself. He was totally involved with the story 🙂

This is a wonderful chapter, full of great gospel truth that is so simple a child can understand it. It is so profound that educated adults can’t grasp the full meaning of it. That’s probably because our minds are all cluttered up with our knowledge, leaving very little room for the simple truth of the gospel.

I hope you will enjoy the chapter as much as I do as we journey through it.

One Lost Sheep

Matthew 18: 11-14. “How think  ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

I am the Good Shepherd

Someone gave me a jigsaw puzzle of this picture when I was about eight.  I don’t remember ifor sure, but it may have been  a prize for  memorizing this passage.  I loved it so much. I loved putting it together, and did it slowly as it was nearly finished.  I probably wore out the little pieces, I put it together so many times. 

This is a beautiful story, and I would love to have heard it from Jesus Himself.  I remember hearing it told in the form of Snowflake, 

the story of a disobedient little lamb who wandered from the flock and was rescued by the Good Shepherd.  Later, as I worked with little kids, I told that story myself and watched the eyes of the children as they traveled with me from Snowflake’s wandering to his rescue. It’s a story that reaches  children because they can identify with the naughty lamb. 

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gave His life for the sheep. There is, in my opinion, no more tender or beautiful story anywhere than this one.  

I found this unique video.  There are lots of others, but this one caught my fancy: