Friday, May 1, 2009

From sheep to God in one easy step

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.
John 10:14-15 NRSV

But what does it all mean? What does it mean for us? Now?

I suppose the fact that 2000 years on, we are still reading these words. We regard ourselves as part of Jesus' flock. For us, he is the Good Shepherd. He did lay down His life for us.

We also look upon this as an example. Why we are not expected to lay our own lives down as completely as Jesus did, we are expected to love our fellow human, with all our heart.

This is how we know Jesus' love for us. It is by our reciprocal love, that love for each other, for everyone, that He will know we are His.

As the Father knows Him, He knows the Father. 

As Jesus knows us, we know Jesus.

As God knows us, we will know God.

Within this parable, Jesus tells us of the reason for His life, ministry, and death. That through Him, we will know God, and through Him, God will know us.

And we can test ourselves, to see the truth in this. Are we loving each other? Are we really loving everyone who asks us for love? Are we giving love to those who will not ask?

If we know our heart is open and giving, honestly and without resentment or pride, we will know that we are God is abiding in us, and us in Him.

1 comment:

Ron Goetz said...

Jesus' high priestly prayer (John 17) is truly profound.

Part of our Union with God as priests includes filling up what is lacking in in the afflictions of Christ. Paul wrote, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church."

Unfortunately we reduce ministry to information, preaching, and (dare I say it?) writing. Suffering affliction on account of the church is another thing.

And we are stewards of these mysteries of God. Leaders, especially deacons, must hold the mysteries of the faith with a clear conscience.