I AM the good shepherd
Today, I started early with some questions for the future. Not direct, more indirect of a few things that I would do well to have a better understanding of when the time arises. Things like taxation system for occasional or full-time work. MOT on vehicles, transfer of registration, things like that if I return to France in the near future. I concluded that these would be brought further to the front of mind and keep an eye out for the opportunity.
Bertie began the day after his breakfast with a juicy bone. The second one from the tray of bones that he got at the weekend. I did some study and writing and was just about to finish and go for a walk to stretch our legs when I saw a van had pulled up outside. This is a rare occasion I thought, wondering who it could be? I looked toward the front door and didn’t see anyone. Then from the window, I saw a man coming around the back.
Bertie, bless him, instantly dived on his bone, shielding it with his body as though someone had just rolled in a hand grenade with the pin out. He valiantly, with no regard for his own life would smother the device (bone) to protect all others from harm!
It turned out to be the tradesman, Steve who had been doing some work on the neighbour’s house just down the road. Phew, that was close, Bertie thought. Proceeding then to show the bomb (bone) off by carrying it around in his mouth. We chatted for a while over a coffee and Steve a chirpy, much travelled Londoner, now a resident Painter & Decorator was able to answer my earlier questions that I had. Steve, rather humorously, said that he had seen the back of my van and thought I was a carpenter and thought it said DENS JOINERY on the rear doors and not DENS JOURNEY!
I was really tickled by that. And I suppose that as Christians, that is what we try to do, joinery. Our hope is that as we have been joined into God’s family. We in turn, can help others find the way, through Jesus Christ, to be united in relationship with God. As a joiner uses a vast array of tools to produce a craftsman’s finished product, so the Holy Spirit works in us and through us transforming us from sinner’s to saint’s.
Later, me and Bertie went for a walk. As we passed a field of curious sheep, their cautious nature eyeing Bertie’s every move, it came back to me about Bertie protecting his bone. I thought of Jesus’ wonderful protective statement in the Gospel of John 10:11.
“I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
This is the fourth of the Great I AM statements. Unique to John’s Gospel that comes after the ‘I AM the door’, which means that Jesus is the way through. It is not that Jesus is A good shepherd, but THE good shepherd. One who tends to, and cares for, protects His sheep and guideth them to still waters and green pastures. The good shepherd is not a hireling who may think he does the job of shepherd. No a hireling flees when he sees the wolf coming, for the hireling may do the task of shepherding, but his reason for this is for the wages, as the scripture says in Luke 16:13, we reads Jesus’ words;
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Jesus laid down His life, as Our good shepherd, for He had come so that we may have life, and that we have it more abundantly, and Jesus laid down His life for His sheep, and other sheep, which means us Gentiles, in 10:16 we read;
“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”
Now that’s what love is. And in 1 John 3:16 we read;
“By this, we know love because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Amen.
p.s. Tomorrow sees the end of reading day 51, which is the end of the Old Testament, and starting the 15 day reading plan of the New Testament on Thursday. It maybe that I don’t write any post’s for a few days whilst I read through the Gospel’s and let the Holy Spirit work through God’s word in me.
Do not despair though! Watch this space…