Here we see a beautiful picture of Jesus’ relationship with us. And he paints the picture with the imagery of a shepherd and his sheep.
The sheep listen to [the shepherd’s] voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. (3-4)
What do we get from this?
In short, Jesus has a very personal relationship with us. I teach in a high school, and I have to admit, with 40 students in a class, most of whom I only teach once a week, it’s hard to remember my student’s names. It’s hard for a lot of the teachers too, as they often keep track of names with a seating chart list.
Think about trying to differentiate sheep, however. For just about anyone, they would probably look all alike. But the shepherd knows each sheep by name.
It’s hard to fathom that in a world full of billions of people, that Jesus would know my name. That he would actually care enough to know my name. And not only to know my name, but to actually take the time to lead me and care for me. To go ahead of me. And if that weren’t enough, to be willing to lay his life down for me. Jesus said,
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (11)
Think about the relative worth between a shepherd and his sheep. By any practical measure, there’s no comparison at all.
Now consider the relative worth of the God of the universe, and…you. Yet Jesus cared enough about you, he loved you so much, that he left everything to become a man, to suffer on a cross, and die for your sins.
I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s mind-blowing. But that’s the love he has for you and me.
Lord Jesus, thank you that you are my shepherd. That though there are millions of other people in this world, still you know my name. And that even if I were the only one who were lost, you would have still died for me. Your love is so amazing. Help me to truly grasp it. And help me to be a vessel of your love that others may know you and become your sheep as well. In Jesus name, amen.