Going along with the same imagery of a shepherd and sheep, Jesus Christ reveals His fourth “I am” statement:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”John 10:11 NKJV
Eternal love for His Sheep
As I ponder on this fourth “I am” statement I find that it reveals the deep eternal love of Jesus Christ for humanity. Here, Christ hones on the key characteristic of the good shepherd which is his love as a shepherd for his sheep. The good shepherd truly loves his sheep to the extent that he gives his own life away in order to preserve the lives of his sheep. Our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to get a glimpse of his deep love for us and reveals his heart for us in the fourth “I am” statement. Jesus Christ loves us so dearly that He lays his life down for us so that we will be saved.
As I ponder on this fourth “I am” statement I find that it reveals the deep eternal love of Jesus Christ for humanity.
In the case of the sheep they are preyed upon by wild animals and other harmful events which can cause their death. But the good shepherd will ensure even to the risk of his life to make sure to preserve the lives of the sheep. Jesus Christ in the same way rescues us (humans) his sheep from all harm even when it means laying down his life for us. As humans we are sinners doomed for eternal damnation but our Lord Jesus Christ our good shepherd gave his life on the cross of calvary so that we may have eternal life with God. Jesus Christ took our place on the cross to save us and now by believing in Him as our Lord and Savior we are able to be called righteous before God.
In John 10:12-13, Jesus Christ points out the difference between the good shepherd from the hired shepherd/hireling. The two key difference he points out are (1) the good shepherd owns the sheep, (2) the hireling is only a hired shepherd to take care of the sheep. The good shepherd risks his life for the sheep, whereas the hireling flees when his life is threatened while taking care of the sheep.
We are His Sheep and He is our Good Shepherd
This difference is important for us to know and trust Jesus Christ as the good shepherd who will always be with us and protect us.
In addition, Jesus establishes this difference to show us that He is not an external part of us but one with us. All humanity are His as his sheep and He is our good shepherd.
Although he points out in John 10:16 that there are some sheep that are currently not part of the sheepfold, i.e. the unbelievers but He calls out to them with His voice and if they will hear his voice and they will come to him and be a part of the flock and He will be their one good shepherd.
David, the Psalmist knew the Lord as His good shepherd and that is why he wrote the Psalm 23. The Lord is our good shepherd and will ensure that we never lack, that we have life and have it abundantly in Him. Beloved I pray that you always know God as your good shepherd who lays down His life for you. God loves you dearly. Stay blessed.