Context: Jesus continues his discussions with the Jewish leaders (and the followers) in and around the Temple complex. He is addressing in a different way their claim he has a demon, or is a madman (a claim made by his biological brothers as well). Jesus says he is both the gate to the sheepfold as well as the Good Shepherd. ‘The sheep hear his voice and they follow him,’ Jesus says. A stranger, or hired hand, does not have the same trust with the sheep, and in times of danger they do not respond in the same way as to the shepherd.
Observations: Why did Jesus use the analogy of sheep and shepherd? Was he drawing a direct reference to Psalm 23? Was he pointing to the crucifixion (‘The shepherd lays down his life for the sheep’)? Why was this a wise (shrewd) way for Jesus to respond to their accusations without responding to them directly?
Application: Do something today to help you cultivate your ability to ‘hear the Shepherd's voice’. What distractions do you need to reduce? What inputs do you need to practice and cultivate? Consider this quote from Henri Nouwen, which was incorporated into today’s LiveStream message: Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self. Jesus himself entered into this furnace. Practice solitude without relational or spiritual isolation today!
Prayer: Ask the Lord to use the painful, tragic and devastating consequences of the coronavirus for good (Romans 8:28). Ask him to show YOU how to be part of it, or to make you AWARE of it!