Security in the good shepherd
December 9, 2021 | Matt Bierman
About the author: Matt and his wife Katie have been attending ZPC since they moved here in January. Matt serves in the Middle School Ministry at the church and he and his wife are involved in a Home Group.
Today’s Scripture: John 10:7-11
All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them.
When I read that line, there is a twinge of guilt that that fills my heart. I know I have not always listened, and I have not taken every step in the right direction. I also know I have committed the same sin as the Pharisees and have tried to act religiously and rely on works without having faith in Jesus. I have failed and wandered from the pasture and have been deceived by the thief, am I still a sheep?
Jesus describes himself as a gate for his sheep. This symbolizes the only way into the Kingdom of God is through Jesus. But when I think of a gate, I think of a barrier that is used to keep what is inside the gate, inside the gate. There is a great joy knowing that Jesus is keeping us in his flock as we go through our lives. I am reminded of Ephesians 2:8 (For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…) and the promise that it brings of an undeserved saving from our sins by our Savior.
When I think of Advent, and the birth of Jesus, and all the promises and hope that lie in the manger, I find it hard to come up with better words than those of verse 9 (Whoever enters through me will be saved.). This is the hope of the Gospel. Not only are we saved through the death, and resurrection of Christ, but once we are saved, he isn’t letting us go. No thief can steal that promise away from those who put their faith in Christ. When we have that hope, there is no wonder there is the juxtaposition of the thief who comes to kill and destroy and Christ who comes that we may have life and live it to the full.
As this Christmas descends upon us, I hope we can all rest in Jesus who is the good shepherd and take time to get to know him. That we wouldn’t be distracted by the stress that inevitably comes with the holiday season, but that we would pause and know we have security in Jesus...so much security that he would even lay down his life for us, his sheep.
Thank you for Jesus who is the good shepherd. May we keep our eyes fixed on Him and rest in His goodness.