Gospel – 5/4/20 – June 10:11-18
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”
Jesus, once again, draws a stark contrast between himself and the Pharisees – between light and dark.
He speaks of a good shepherd who, while watching his sheep, will do anything to keep them safe. He would even lay down his life, if needed. If a wolf, lion or bear should come for those he is responsible, he would take his staff and fight them off or he would die in the effort. But, he would never leave them.
On the other hand, if you are watching the sheep for pay (Pharisees) and danger approaches, you would run away because you don’t care about the sheep but rather, the money.
Jesus continues to try to help the Pharisees to understand that they are not doing the job, they aren’t caring for the sheep.
In a precursor to what will happen – his laying down his life for everyone. Those who heard the message, and even an opportunity for those who chose not to hear, of redemption to be forgiven of all their past and future faults.
He is the Good Shepherd because he fought for us, his sheep – even laying down his life.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…