Weekly Church Devotion from Pastor Haydn Sennitt –
“I Am the Good Shepherd”
Of all that Jesus ever said about Himself, my ultimate favourite is, “I Am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11a). There is much comfort here: firstly, Jesus is saying that His our shepherd, our overseer, guide, and protector. Secondly, He is not just our shepherd: He is the good shepherd, something which we are invited to taste and see for ourselves.
This statement us significant because the human heart, even it has been redeemed by Jesus Christ, can often doubt that God is good, even though our heads know that He is. Why? If you recall, the first temptation in this world was based upon an attack against God’s goodness. All sin is sourced from this lie, and as a result, we turn to idols in the hope that they are ‘safer’ and more trustworthy than Him (such as ourselves, the opinion of a scientist, or educational accomplishments).
Jesus, however, assures us that He is good – trustworthy and loving because He sacrifices His own life for the sheep that He leads (John 10:11b, Ezekiel 34:13-24), even though we sheep bite Him, run away, get into all sorts of mischief and even need to be disciplined.
Our hearts can struggle to grasp Jesus’ goodness, because every one of us had shepherds who were meant to guide and protect us, but took advantage for their own gain; they may have even abandoned and neglected us abandoned and neglected us. This causes us to rethink the goodness of our greatest and most caring Shepherd, Jesus. With sin in this world, people betray and hurt us – even the ones who love us the most will at some stage let us down; and we have done likewise to others.
But Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is not like this. He is good and never will foresake us! He drained Himself of all His blood (!) to redeem you from sin. How good is our Saviour? Jesus vacated His throne to join our squalor to take us to His throne. And as our Shepherd, He doesn’t leave us in the dark but guides us so we know how to live, even in the darkest valley and restores our souls. Let us celebrate the goodness of our Shepherd and walk trustingly with our hand in His.
~ God bless, Pastor Haydn.