John 10:11-13 (CEB)
11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.12When the hired hand sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. That’s because he isn’t the shepherd; the sheep aren’t really his. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them.13He’s only a hired hand and the sheep don’t matter to him.
The hired hand doesn’t care about the sheep. For him, this is just a job. Hey, if something happens to the sheep, he can just get another job. He’s certainly not going to risk his life fighting with the wolves, just to save the dumb sheep.
But the shepherd, now that’s different. The sheep are his. They belong to him. He has spent his entire life caring for the flock. He was there when they were born. He has cared for them, nurtured them, made sure they’ve had food, and kept them safe.
To the hired hand, they all look the same. But the shepherd knows each ones name. The shepherd recognizes each ones bleat.
The shepherd will give up his life without a second thought if it means saving his sheep. That’s what Jesus did for you and me.
What is the most appropriate way to respond to the unconditional love that Jesus gives us? It’s trying our very best to show that same kind of love to everyone we meet.
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