SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- After talking about shepherding, a job everyone is familiar with in that culture, Jesus calls himself the good shepherd. He explains that he cares for and protects his sheep and even lays down his life for them. This foreshadows Jesus’ death on the cross.
- Jesus says, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.” If you followed our reading plan and have read the book of Acts you might guess that Jesus is hinting about the Gentiles that later readily accept and follow Jesus.
- Jesus went to Jerusalem during winter for the feast of dedication. Today we know this celebration by the name of Hanukkah.
- For the second time people wanted to stone Jesus for claiming he’s God. In that moment Jesus quotes an Old Testament Psalm where God calls his people “gods.” (This does not mean that people are actually gods.)
- Jesus points to his miracles as proof that he is doing the will of God and not guilty of blasphemy. But they still reject him.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Jesus says he is the good shepherd, and we are his sheep. Shepherds actually have personal relationships with their sheep. They take care of them. The sheep come to know their voice, and respond to it (and to no other voices). In the same way, Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with us where we get to know, listen for, and obey his voice. (Not audible voice, but what the Bible calls his "still, small voice" inside us.)
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- How personal is your relationship with Jesus? Is he someone you believe in, but don't really live in a close personal relationship with? Do you listen for his voice? Do you hear it? Do you always obey it? What could you do this week to get closer to him? What could you do today to stay attentive to his voice?