More Than Enough

John 10:11-21

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own 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 do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
19 Again the Jews were divided because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is out of his mind. Why listen to him?” 21 Others were saying, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” NRSV

A good shepherd makes sure the sheep have plenty of land to graze on, plenty of water to drink, fends off the wolves that threaten them, and, when necessary, will even lay down his life for the sheep in the sheepfold. With this kind of care is it any wonder that sheep would want to follow the voice of this good shepherd?

But the sheep will forfeit these blessings if they try to go it alone, stray too far from the flock beyond the watchful eye of the shepherd, or follow the deceptive voice of other “shepherds.” Like Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness, sometimes the words of other shepherds can sound pretty appealing, but at what cost? the danger of getting “fleeced” is pretty high.

We are living in a world where many so-called shepherds are luring sheep into their own nefarious sheepfolds. The question we must always ask when these temptations come is who ultimately dies for whom? Jesus already proved the truth of his promise to lay down his life for his sheep. In these other sheepfolds, I see a lot of sheep laying down their lives for their shepherds. These shepherds just keep calling out to more sheep. . . . some might see them as more sacrificial lambs. . . to satisfy their own ends?

Jesus, the good shepherd, already laid down his life for his sheep. That is more than enough for me to stay attentive to his voice and go where he bids me go. I pray it is more than enough for you, too!

Be a blessing to someone today!

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