This is week FOUR in our seven-part devotion series, brought to you by Pastor Ricky Jacob, our Lutheran Indian Ministries Associate Pastor serving the Winnebago people of Nebraska.
When Moses spoke to God, he asked for God’s name. And God replied, “I am that which I am.”
This seven-part devotion series will reflect on Jesus’ “I am” statements in the Gospel.
This week's "I am" statement is: I am the Good Shepherd
Do you know the Latin word for “shepherd”? I’m sure you’ve heard it. The Latin word for “shepherd” is "pastor". Jesus is declaring that He is the Good Pastor, the one and only good pastor. All other pastors are under-shepherds, called by God to point their flock to Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Each and every other pastor is to speak the words that Jesus spoke, not adding to them or taking away from them. The under-shepherd, like John the Baptist, is entrusted with the Word of God in order to point to the Pastor who laid down His life.
Let us hear the words of Jesus:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 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; and I lay down my life for the sheep.And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10:11-16 ESV)
One final question, are you listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd, Jesus? If you are, then the words of the 23rd Psalm offer great comfort through life’s ups and downs. I will start you off: The Lord is my PASTOR, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
I close with these words:
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:20)