EP 38 John 10:11

In the book of John, Jesus makes the statement I AM 20 times. 7 times, however, Jesus follows up the statement with a metaphor that gives us a glimpse into who Jesus is. John 10:11 is the fourth of those 7 statements.
The image of the shepherd guiding his sheep was common place in the time of Jesus. No one expected sheep to take care of themselves so the owner of the sheep would hire a shepherd to serve that purpose and the shepherd would take responsibility for the safety and well-being of the flock. It was also common for the hired shepherds to run away to save their own lives when an issue arose that would threaten their personal safety. Jesus contrasts this commonality saying that the Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep. He goes on to draw a line that if a shepherd isn't willing to give his life for the sheep then he isn't truly a shepherd at all, but just a hireling. Someone who in modern terms is just punching a time clock and collecting a paycheck.
In Isaiah chapter 40 the author equates God to a shepherd that will feed, carry and guide His flock and in Ezekiel chapter 34 God calls Himself a shepherd that will gather the scattered, broken, and weak to feed them and give them rest. It reminds me of Luke 4 when Jesus comes home to Nazareth, where He grew up, and on the Sabbath day goes to the weekly meeting. He stood up and read from the scroll of Isaiah, "God's spirit is upon me; He's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor. Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, "This is God's appointed time!"
Given that Jesus knew where in the scroll of Isaiah to read the prophecy about Himself, I mean; it's not like the bible we have today. They didn't have chapter and verse where they could just turn to a certain page. He'd have to unroll, and unroll, and unroll, and check His progress. And unroll, and unroll, and check His progress until He found the right place. Given that He knew where to look for that it's reasonable to presume that in John 10 when He calls Himself the Good Shepherd that He was also aware of the words of Isaiah and Ezekiel about God being a shepherd and this was His was of once again dropping hints that He was God. Though Jesus here doesn't just identify himself as a shepherd, but He calls Himself the Good Shepherd. That word translated as good in the scripture is:
G2570 καλός kalos kal-os' Of uncertain affinity; properly beautiful, but chiefly (figuratively) good (literally or morally), that is, valuable or virtuous (for appearance or use, and thus distinguished from G18, which is properly intrinsic): - X better, fair, good (-ly), honest, meet, well, worthy.
It does mean good in a literal or moral sense, but there is more connotation to this word than the general word good like we think of and use the word. If Jesus just wanted to mean good, like we think of the word in the general sense then He could've used the word:
G18 ἀγαθός agathos ag-ath-os' A primary word; “good” (in any sense, often as noun): - benefit, good (-s, things), well.
But that's not the word that He used. He didn't just use the general word for good, Jesus uses a more specific word that underpins the idea that what's good here is not just beneficial, but something valuable or virtuous. Something that everyone needs and should want. Whether they know they need and want it or not, He's giving you a big clue here that you should want and that you do need it.
Peter gives us more insight into this in 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 25. He says, "For you were continually wandering like sheep, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls." Have you ever seen a wandering sheep? In 2015 a sheep they named Chris was found wandering in Australia. It was estimated that the sheep had been wandering on its own for 6 to 7 years and it was said to be a miracle that he had survived. Amidst other problems Chris had enough wool growth that he could barely walk. After they removed the fur it was almost as heavy as he was and set a world record. Spiritually, before we came to Christ, we we're very much just like Chris out there wandering in the wilderness. It's a miracle we survived that time in our lives at all.
Peter mentions the Shepherd again in 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 4, he writes: "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the conqueror’s unfading crown of glory." Here Peter is talking about an event that the New Testament church believed in that is referenced 44 times in the New Testament where Christ returns to Earth gather all believers that are dead and alive to Him. The event has been named The Rapture and there are significant numbers of Christians who have rejected the idea that it's ever going to happen and one of the main arguments against it is that the word "rapture" is never actually used in the bible. Or is it?
We get the modern word rapture from the Medieval Latin word raptura that was inspired by the same word in French, it means seizing and carrying off. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says, "Then we who are alive and remain [on the earth] will simultaneously be caught up together (with them [the resurrected ones]) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord!" The word they've translated as "caught up" in the Greek is:
G726 ἁρπάζω harpazō har-pad'-zo From a derivative of G138; to seize (in various applications): - catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).
It means to seize, to catch away or catch up, to pluck, to pull, or to take by force. They could've just as easily translated it as "will be raptured together" since the Hebrew word harpazo and the Medieval Latin word raptura are synonyms of each other.
There's so much caught up into the statement that Jesus makes about being a Good Shepherd from Him gathering the scattered, broken, and weak to feed us and give us rest to the Shepherd returning again to gather us to Him to be with Him forever. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who loves you to the point that He died for you, and being perfect, being the only man to ever live to be prefect He came back from the dead and left Earth to prepare a place for us.
Jesus isn't at all like the bad pastor who hurt you, or the like the Christians who were still growing and left a bad taste in your mouth about Christ. Jesus isn't looking for you to be perfect, He's just looking for you to come to and focus on Him. Where ever you are in life, whatever you're doing; come to the Good Shepherd and let Him love you.
Until Next Time...
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