12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” John 10:12 – 18 (ESV)
The hired hand is not the same as the robber and thieves. He is the one who is in it for the pay, he does his job for the money. He isn’t concerned for the sheep as much as he is about receiving payment for the work. The hired hand has no investment in the fold and does not care genuinely as the shepherd. When things get rough for the hireling he leaves. He is not willing to give his life for the sheep. Jesus now says, “I am the Good Shepherd…” He knows those who belong to him. Take a moment and let that sink in. If you are a follower of Jesus, it is because He called you by name, He chose you to be part of His flock, and He willingly died for you so you can have eternal and an abundant life.
Jesus also informs his listeners, “I have sheep that are not of this fold…” and this would probably refer to Gentiles. The Jews thought salvation was reserved for them alone because they were God’s chosen race. However, Jesus tells us there are some who are not of this fold who will hear his voice and will respond. Thankfully, Jesus expands his folds to us who are not of the Jewish fold.
As you conclude today's devotional, I would encourage you to take some time and think about this passage. Think about how it fits into your life. Think about the willingness of Jesus to lay down his life for you. Think about how his sole purpose in coming to this earth was to show people the way to the Kingdom of God and provide a means of access to it. If you believe and have faith in Jesus Christ, be assured that you have been given eternal life and you have been given it in abundance.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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