11“I am the good hshepherd. The good hshepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their ishepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock.13The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

14“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,15just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.16I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

17“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again.18No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

19When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him.20Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?”21Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

The good shepherd is such a great way for us to view the Lord, and a great example for us to strive for. 

First Jesus talks about the hired hand who runs when the wolf attacks because he has no ownership in the sheep.  Jesus is not like that because he owns us.  We are his.  Can you really imagine anything better?  And what a call to us.  We are called to look around become vested and deeply interested in those around us.  We are not called to distant relationships that are shallow and without meaning.  In the end all we have is really God’s, so I don’t mean that we can own others as Christ does, but we are not to be hired hands that really don’t care.

Jesus talks a lot about laying down his life for his sheep.  Of course Jesus is speaking about his physical life.  He is really talking about much more than that but we will see that more when we read through his passion and death.  Jesus also says something very telling: “I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again.”  Jesus fully grasp that it was in giving his life that he attained true life.  We are called to do the same.  When we lay aside our petty desires and pride and self-centeredness, in short stop worrying about ourselves and our life, we truly start to live a life worth living.  It is awesome.

Lord Jesus, help me to truly love all those you bring my way by putting myself and my life away, dying, and living for you and only you.  Change me Lord, change me.  *obbs*