by Jennifer Sheen
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
These words that Jesus spoke to his disciples demonstrate the concern and care Jesus has for those who belong to him. Unlike the hired help, Jesus does not run away when trouble comes but keeps his sheep together and defends them with his life.
In recent times our daily lives have changed significantly. We have been bombarded by many voices clamouring for our attention and with the potential to bring fear, anxiety and confusion. Life has become unpredictable. People have become divided and scattered over many issues, and sometimes this has spilled over into churches.
When the wolf of anxiety and fear strikes, it can blind us from the goodness and greatness of who Jesus is as our Good Shepherd.
Be encouraged that the Good Shepherd knows you. Those who stay close to Him know his voice, just like the sheep know their shepherd’s voice and stay close to Him. He promises provision, a resting place and peace. If we stay close to our Good Shepherd, in the ‘fold’ Jesus has placed us in, we do not need to be afraid. Just like a shepherd watches over his sheep, Jesus watches over and cares for his followers.