In Today's Reading:
Healing the man born blind; Jesus, the Good Shepherd; Jesus claims deity; religious leaders desire to stone Jesus
The religious authorities in Israel were considered the shepherds of Israel; but they were false, self-serving leaders, as Ezekiel had foretold: Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? (Ezekiel 34:2). Ezekiel then revealed the True Shepherd: I will set up one Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even My servant David. . . . And I the LORD will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them. . . . I will make with them a Covenant of Peace (34:23-25).
Jesus identified Himself with the prophecy of Ezekiel when He said: I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep. . . . an hireling . . . seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. . . . I am the Good Shepherd. . . . I lay down My life for the sheep (John 10:11-15).
One of the distinguishing marks of a Christian is recognizing the need for guidance and a desire to follow the Good Shepherd. The sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him (10:4-5).
The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write: Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting Covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Jesus also said: I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them [to] Me, is greater than all (John 10:28-29). Here Jesus reveals Himself as both coequal and coeternal with God the Father. How comforting it is to be assured that we have Jesus the Good Shepherd caring for us.
The Apostle Peter foretold: When the Chief Shepherd (Christ) shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away (I Peter 5:4).
10:3 porter = doorkeeper; 10:41 resorted = came.
For John 10:34: See Psalm 82:6.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Rick Hash · Executive Director of the IBRA: Reverend Michael Hall Government Official: Secretary Carlos Gutierrez (Department of Commerce) Country: Sierra Leone (5 million) in western Africa Major language: English Increasing restrictions on Christian work in some areas 50% belief in river spirits, medicine men, and witchcraft; 39% Muslim; 7% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic Prayer Suggestion: Declare the wondrous works of God with thanksgiving (Psalm 26:6-7).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33