Daily D – John 10:14-15
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me, just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep.
JOHN 10:14-15 (CSB)
Blind sheep make good mutton.
Can you imagine the impact of a blind sheep in a flock? The poor thing could not see where to go or what to eat. A sheep like that is a burden that slows down every step of progress. Truly, there is only one destiny for a blind sheep. Lamb chops, anyone?
It is important to remember at this point in John’s Gospel that it was not written with chapters and verses. Those were helpfully added later. Chapters 9 and 10 not only stand side by side but chapter ten is a continuation of what happened in chapter nine where a man born blind was given his sight by Jesus.
If we read a Bible with the words of Jesus in red, we note the shift from conversation at the end of chapter 9 to Jesus’ monologue to begin chapter 10. Jesus accentuates this with a double Amen (Amen, Amen) to begin his teaching on this matter.
The Christian Standard Bible translates the double Amen as “Truly I tell you, . . .” The New American Standard Bible translates it, “Truly, truly I say to you, . . .” The New International Version translates it, “Very truly I tell you . . .” The New Living Translation translates it, “I tell you the truth, . . .” You see that Jesus has something important to say about what has just happened.
The man born blind was treated like an object of theological reflection by the disciples in 9:1, 2. Jesus saw him as someone who needed to see and led him through a healing process (verses 3-7). The formerly blind man’s neighbors and those who had passed by him day by day as he begged for his meager existence were not sure it was really him (verses 8 and 9).
The Pharisees saw him as a sinner beyond redemption (verses 13-34). To them, he was mutton in the making.
To somebody, you too are mutton in the making. To some people, you have no value. Your life holds no meaning or purpose. You are disposable.
To Jesus, you are a sheep of his pasture. He protects you, defends you, rescues you, and provides for you. He leads you where you need to go. He even laid down his life for you. John 10:1-18 is all about who Jesus is and all about who you are to him.
Ezekiel 34 and John 9 and 10 have much in common. Psalm 23 and John 9 and 10 also have much in common.
To some people, you are mutton in the making. To them, you are better off dead.
To Jesus, you are a sheep of his pasture. To him, you are worth dying for.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He is our shepherd. The LORD is our Shepherd.
This may sound crazy (verse 20). Or it may be eye-opening (verse 21).
To you, who is Jesus?
I will follow the Good Shepherd.
Our Father, you are my Shepherd. There is nothing I need that you will not provide. You save me and heal me. You give me rest and restoration. You always lead me in the right direction at the right speed. You protect me and defend me. You welcome me as an honored guest. You are better to me than I would be to myself. Your encircling goodness and mercy surround me all the days of my life. Your path ultimately leads home to beauty, wonder, and delight forever. I belong to you. Amen and Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.