The Good Shepherd

Lou Lotz

Read: John 10:1-15

The sheep hear his voice, and [the shepherd] calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (v. 3)

I don’t know much about livestock, but I know this much: you drive cattle, but you lead sheep. The good shepherd goes ahead of his sheep, says Jesus, scouting the terrain, anticipating danger. When I am worried about the future, I remind myself that Jesus the Good Shepherd is leading me. It is a comforting thought.

Some folks react negatively to the image of a shepherd and his sheep. “Who wants to be called a sheep?” they say. Sheep are dumb animals. But Jesus isn’t being demeaning when he calls us sheep. He knows our gifts and our abilities. But he knows, too, that we are prone to stray.

Some folks say this pastoral imagery is so foreign to modern culture that it has lost its meaning. “The church needs to come up with new images,” they say. Well, it’s true that times have changed. Not many of us have seen a shepherd leading his flock. But to me there is still something lovely about the imagery of sheep who trust without fail, and a shepherd who cares without ceasing. And for all who want to express, in words, the feeling that they belong to God, and for all who are worried and who want something to reassure them in their worst perils, it still seems appropriate to say what God’s people have been saying for thousands of years: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). —Lou Lotz

As you pray, ask the Lord Jesus to lead you.