Day 59 | Shepherd of the Sheep
April 28, 2015 - WEEK NINE
J. Kirk Richards, Every Knee Shall Bow,
Used with permission of artist.
CONSIDER AS YOU READ
- Who are the “sheep of the other folds” that Jesus refers to? Why were they separated from the Jews?
- In what ways is Jesus truly our Good Shepherd?
- When Christ calls you do you recognize His voice?
In Jesus’ time, the Palestinian shepherd was noted for his protection of his sheep. Unlike modern sheepherders, the shepherd always walked ahead of his flock. He led them. The shepherd knew each of the sheep and usually had a name for each. The sheep knew his voice and trusted him and would not follow a stranger. Thus, when called, the sheep would come to him (See John 10:14, 16).
At night shepherds would bring their sheep to a corral called a sheepfold. High walls surrounded the sheepfold, and thorns were placed on top of these walls to prevent wild animals and thieves from climbing over.
Sometimes, however, a wild animal driven by hunger would leap over the walls into the midst of the sheep, frightening them. Such a situation separated the true shepherd—one who loved his sheep—from the hireling—one who worked only for pay and duty.
The true shepherd was willing to give his life for the sheep. He would go in amongst the sheep and fight for their welfare. The hireling, on the other hand, valued his own personal safety above the sheep and would usually flee from the danger.
Jesus used this common illustration of his day to declare that He was the Good Shepherd, the True Shepherd. Because of His love for His brothers and sisters, He would willingly and voluntarily lay down His life for them (See John 10:17–18).
Eventually, the Good Shepherd did give His life for the sheep—for you and me, for all of us (Ezra Taft Benson, “A Call to the Priesthood: ‘Feed My Sheep,'” Ensign, May 1983, 43).
FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
- How does Jesus’ visit to the Book of Mormon people show his love?
- Do you feel that Jesus looks after you like a shepherd? Do you listen and learn from Him?