I actually read the passage before I went into work this morning. I was sitting in my car just before 8:30 and I knew I wanted to read it before going into work. That is my ultimate goal. To read the passage before I begin the strenuous parts of my day. That way, if and when the day hits a rough patch maybe I'll remember to go back to earlier reading and glean something from it.
In case you haven't notice today I decided to include something a little different. At the top right corner of this post is a video of a shepherd calling his sheep. John 10 talks all about Jesus being a good shepherd. (Imagine that, they're connected!) He basically starts oft by saying that the Pharisees are like thieves and robbers because they were trying to get in the sheep pen over the wall and not through the gate. It goes back to yesterday when Jesus said that they were religiously blind because the only knew the Law and they didn't act the way God had intended them to. What I got from this is that he was saying, you're trying to pretend to be a shepherd. You think you're calling the sheep, but really you're coming at it from a totally wrong way and as a result you're actions are stealing away the honorable actions that God intended. Eeek! That's a bold statement. Good thing they didn't understand what he meant!
Jesus then goes on to say that he is the gate keeper. History lesson! Back in that time sheep were kept in enclosures that were built but didn't actually have a gate. The shepherd would lay where the gate would be and as a result the sheep wouldn't get by him and he could notice any coming threats. Not only that, he says that the sheep know the shepherds voice and come when he calls. That's why I love the video. It's such a great illustration of the sheep coming to the shepherd. Even through all the fog they still followed his voice. I can't take credit for finding this video though. It was used during a church service to describe the exact thing that I'm talking about in this post. So we already know Jesus and when he calls us back we respond by running to him. Just like the one little sheep though, we can still have a lot to learn before we come directly to him. Not all our paths lead directly to Jesus. Sometimes we stray and that's when we realize our need for our shepherd to care for us. During those moments is when we feel him calling us not because he wants to scold us but because he wants to lift us up and help us.
I believe that there is a direct correlation between John 10 and Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along right paths for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
The shepherd takes care of his sheep. He wants what's best for them because they are his livelihood. He guides them and keeps them safe from harm. He takes them to food and helps them to remain calm when things seem scary. With their shepherd the sheep feel safe. They feel comfortable. They keep returning to him when he calls.
You know the saying, the grass is always greener on the other side? This is my attempt to find greener grass right where I am in my life.
BTW - I'm the one on the right, just in case you didn't already know that.