I once read one of the books written by His Excellency, the President of Uganda, called the The Mastered Seed. In his book, he tells of his story in the Bush War. One day he was hosted by a family, and when the government soldiers came, they ambushed the home after being told of Museveni’s existence. When they entered the home, they found an old man and asked him if he had any idea about the rebels being in his home. He declined having seen any! Museveni heard what the old man was asked, and he knew that the time of his death had come. The soldiers shot the old man dead, and went away, leaving Museveni in the house. This old man had to die in order to protect the life of Museveni.
- How have you benefitted from another person’s sacrifice?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 10:11-21 (ESV)
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing 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 And I have other sheep that are not of 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 that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Who did Jesus say he was in verse 11? What characterizes Jesus as the good shepherd?
- How did Jesus intend to establish one flock and one shepherd (vss. 11-16)?
- Why was Jesus able to lay down his life and take it up again (vss. 17-18)? Who permitted him to do this?
- Identify one proof, according to the passage, which made some Jews believe in Jesus (vs. 21).
- What are some of your personal experiences that make you appreciate Jesus’ power and purpose over your sins?
RESPOND TO GOD
Jesus clearly identified his position, divinely given by his father, as “the good shepherd.” God the Father loves Jesus because of his willingness to lay down his precious life on behalf of us, the sinners. Jesus, however, has all the authority to lose his life or lay it down. We are able to have life only when we plug into the source of life, who is Jesus Christ. It is through his humility, to die a shameful death, that we receive freedom.
- Pray to God the Father, asking him to open up your mind and heart to discover the love Christ has for you.
- Thank Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who deliberately laid down his life for you.