PARABLES DAY 6 - 9 May 2018

Ben Fourie

“My sheep listen to my voice: I know them, and they follow me”. John 10:27

When Jesus pictures himself here as the Good Sheperd one involuntary thinks of Psalm 23 where God is shown as our Shepherd, a shepherd who not only leads us to green fields of grass and quiet pools of water but also protects us: “Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me”.

To understand this picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd we need to look a bit wider than chapter 10 where this story is recorded. It actually started in chapter 9 where we read about how Jesus healed a man that was born blind. Due to their very rigid views on religion this miracle made the Pharisees very suspicious of Jesus. It became so bad that they summoned the man and his parents for some questioning and as a last resort they expelled him from the synagogue. Instead of rejoicing with the man who was healed from a crippling disability they are so caught up in their petty prejudices that they would rather see him being excluded from the synagogue and their society. It is in contrast with this religious fundamentalism that Jesus sets himself up as the Good Shepherd.

Jesus calls them hirelings as they did not fulfill the role of shepherds for which purpose God called them to look after his flock. The moment they saw something so extraordinary as this healing miracle, they “fled” to more familiar grounds. They were so out of their depth by what happened that some even thought that Jesus had a demon. In the rigid world of the Pharisees this kind of God was unacceptable. Only their views about God were right, how God is and how he should operates. Jesus however does things differently. Instead of fleeing away like the hirelings when the sheep are in gravest peril, that is spiritual death, Jesus is willing to give up His life for the flock.

Prayer: Thank you for knowing me and that I may know you too. Please help me not to be judgemental towards other people and their opposing views. Amen

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