• Marcy Fleurima

2021_11_19 Insight Post- Marcy Fleurima

This week's reading- John 9-10

In John 10:1-18, Jesus is speaking to the people using imagery and metaphors to teach them a bit of who He is and why He came. The Old Testament used shepherds as a common reference to various kings who were bad leaders and/or led their people astray. Additionally, there were prophesies about God sending a Shepherd to lead His people. Therefore, this was familiar talk to the crowd gathering around Jesus (even though they didn’t get it and he had to plainly tell them He was the Good Shepherd). It’s interesting to learn the sheep pen, referenced throughout this section, was a place farmers kept their sheep in order to protect them from the elements and predators. It didn’t always belong to one farmer. When the shepherd came to get their sheep, they had to enter through a specific gate where a gatekeeper would determine whether they belonged or not. If they didn’t belong there, the gatekeeper kept them out. Once the shepherd entered, his sheep knew his voice and came to him and he led them out into the pastures. Into safety. They didn’t follow any other voice from any other shepherd or hired help as they knew they didn’t belong to that shepherd. The hired hand, as mentioned in vs. 12, didn’t care as deeply for the sheep as the shepherd. They were just doing a job and the minute they were tired, afraid, or things didn’t go their way, they left and abandoned the sheep to the chaos of the enemies that came to steal, kill, and destroy. Knowing that information, we can look at this passage with new eyes. For example, for us today, the “hired hand” we might blindly put our trust in includes, our leaders, government, friends, family, careers, bank accounts, etc. But when trouble comes and those things we trust in, leave us, fail us, disappoint us, or confuse us, we are left feeling lost, helpless and hopeless. On the other hand, Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He leads us and guides us. He knows what is best for us and how to get us to that point. He loves us and cares for us. He is gentle and tender with us. He speaks to us and calls us by name. He laid His life down for us because He wanted to and knew it was the only way. Do you trust your Good Shepherd? Do you recognize your Father’s voice to know He’s calling you and directing you? Can you tell the difference between the truth of the Shepherd and the lies of the thief, the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy? Do you put more trust and hope in the “hired hand” in your life? What about when the hired hand tells you lies? We have so many opportunities surrounding us to practice listening to the voice of our Shepherd. A simple way to start is to acknowledge what we think about. For example, if our thoughts aren’t in line with the Fruit of the Spirit, we probably aren’t following our Shepherd’s voice. At that moment of realization, try to pray and say, “that’s not my Shepherd’s voice.” Then continue to speak truth that lines up with the Word of God. Our thoughts will shift. Our heart will soften. Our mind will rest. He’s a good Shepherd and He’s telling us the truth when He says He’ll lead us if we listen. We just need to know his voice.

Marcy Fleurima

Prayer Team