Knowing the Good Shepherd

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 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. — John 10:14-16

So here, Jesus repeats the "I am" statement but adds a new feature about the relationship his people have with him. And this feature is that they "know" him. The word in the original Greek language is "ginosko," and if you scan this section again you will notice Jesus repeats this word four times for emphasis.

What Jesus is describing by using this word is something more than intellectual assent and transactional engagement. The word implies an intimate knowledge that we have with someone we know very well. For example, with casual acquaintances, I might not be able to pick up on their gestures and tones. But with my wife, because I have known her intimately for the last 28 years, I know her gestures and tones. I know when I have done something well. And I know when I have done something not so well. This is because I know her intimately.

What Jesus is inferring is that true followers know him this way — intimately. As a result, they will obey him. Because of this intimacy, they will reject bad spiritual leaders. They will see right through the scam because they know Jesus, his voice, his call, his direction, and his protection. They know his gestures and tone.

So here's the application. Spiritual leaders are supposed to guide you to knowing Jesus — knowing him intimately. The central mission is to direct you to him and nothing else. If they are not talking about him and directing you to his way, truth, and life — don't follow them. And by the way, the best way to increase your intimacy with him is just to read his stories, like we are doing right hear. Keep listening and you will definitely know Jesus, cause that's who I am following, and I want you to too.


1. How would you describe your current level of intimacy and knowledge of Jesus? Do you approach your relationship with Jesus in a transactional or deeply personal way?

2. Reflect on your experiences with spiritual leaders or teachers. Have they consistently directed you towards knowing Jesus intimately? How can you discern whether a spiritual leader is focused on leading you to Jesus or not?

DO THIS: Commit to growing closer to Jesus.

PRAY THIS: Jesus, thank you, for being the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. Lead me, guide me, and direct me always towards You and Your truth.

PLAY THIS: Knowing You.

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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

7 thoughts on “Knowing the Good Shepherd

  1. Marko says:

    Sorry – PS – I first heard this song at my first Promise Keepers stadium event at RFK in DC almost 30 years ago. Singing it with 50,000 guys started my journey to draw closer to Him than I could ever imagine. Great choice!

  2. Marko says:

    Thank you Brother Vince for this great verse. I came across it again a few weeks ago when I was praying to better understand apostolic progression and how a discussion of that can divide churches, mostly Evangelical and Catholics. But I truly believe it is an “and” and not an “or” decision. I believe in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist in Communion which is clearly discussed in John Chapter 6. But thanks to my involvement with Promise Keepers from 1994 on I also believe Christ is present in every church that proclaims His Name and follows His commandments. Hence the “and” for me and this verse (which was intended at the time to tell Jews they were not the only chosen people from Psalm 33:12, but the verse applies across the ages) confirm Jesus wants all who believe in Him to be in His fold. I am blessed to have had my faith experiences and they have led me to a deeper faith and respect for all churches that follow Him faithfully. It also has helped me to discern apostacy in a variety of church leaders, both Catholic and Evangelical, and I thank God for the leading of the Holy Spirit and leaders like you who are not afraid to call it like it is. May He bless you today and every day!

  3. David Hunt says:

    My Brother Vince.
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR MINISTRY! I met you when you came to minister to the men in our community at FBC Palm Coast a while back & have been listening to your Daily Devotionals ever since. I struggle with time management & self- discipline with consistency in my devotions but being able to listen to you while driving or on my phone at the office for just the few minutes of your videos has really helped me.
    I wanted to share a specific example of how your recent devotion on pornography has helped me begin the healing process to restore my relationship fully with my Savior & my wife.
    I had a number of sexual relationships before God saved me at the age of 21. I used drugs, was a heavy drinker and smoked. God took all of those addictions away COMPLETELY and placed me in a church where I was loved and fed spiritually in how to be the Godly man He called me to be.
    When I met my future wife three years later, I had been celibate, clean & sober since saved. She was a Christian, very involved in church and deeply loved God. We got married and moved to Jacksonville, FL to open a business with her father. We soon found a church and God blessed the business, and us. We were well-off financially, had become spiritual leaders in our church and were becoming recognized as a successful couple and example of what a Christian marriage should be. Here’s where the beginning of my spiritual downfall began.
    My ego began to become inflated, giving God acknowledgement for His blessing, but taking credit for MY success. My wife & I started having problems in our marriage and becoming less intimate & more distant. Before too long, a young and attractive woman began telling my all the things my wife used to say to me; “you’re handsome, talented, successful, attractive”, etc. She fed my ego, and I committed adultery.
    But, Vince, God miraculously healed our marriage and restore our relationship. My wife forgave me, God forgave me, but I could not forgive myself. As a result, I never returned back to that “Godly man” I once was. Ten years later, the addictions began easing back into my life; I started drinking secretly, using tobacco and watching porn while masturbating. I was so good at keeping my sin a secret, my wife never had a clue. Until she found a porn site link on the computer and my son found a bottle of scotch hidden in the garage. I promised to never watch porn again & she forgave me. I stopped watching the porn and masturbating for a number of years, but my spiritual foundation was still fractured. Eventually, I began again.
    The turning point for me was when we recently visited the Ark Encounter & Creation Muesum in Kentucky. God opened up a spiritual flood gate and I began reading books and watching programs that fed me spiritually. I started consistently reading the Bible and doing “deep dives” into His word through other devotions. As I began to be restored spiritually, I was convicted that I needed to confess my addictions and ask forgiveness. I knew my confession would hurt my wife and potentially cause me to be removed from my spiritual positions at our church, but it needed to be done in order for my relationships with God and my wife to be fully restored. Fortunately, it was not as hard as I thought it would be, (like ripping off a bandage; it hurt and was uncomfortable for a while, but the pain didn’t last very long). My wife & pastor forgave me and are praying & supporting me in this new spiritual journey.
    Here’s where your recent devotion made such an impact on me.
    I confessed to my wife before, but I never could get back spiritually where God wanted me to be. There was no spiritual consistency in my life and my foundation was never restored. When I watched your devotion on pornography last week, it finally hit me. I would never be the man God has called me to be because I LOVED MY SIN MORE THAN I LOVED MY SAVIOR! That, my brother, was the key that unlocked the door to restoring my relationship with God. I was just too selfish to let go & let Him take full control of my addictions; to cleanse me & make me whole again.
    You asked for details about this issue in our lives. Please share this with others, as God leads you.
    Love you, brother. Pray for you & your ministry.

    • Chris Caliguire says:

      Thank you for sharing. I feel slippage in some of those areas, and need to stop pushing guard rails as it’s making me feel far from God. I’m glad to know I’m not alone and stories like yours inspire me. I’m reading a sexual purity book with that exact phrase…. love that sin more than being saved. It’s sad when we do that. Hold onto salvation so loosely, the American way…. Vince’s devo today caught me, transactional vs intimate. I stopped and prayed because when we can’t forgive ourselves, we’re leaning totally transactional and God is the mean taskmaster. Have a great Friday.

      • Mark says:

        Chris – David’s response is a powerful reminder of how God desires that we love Him, more than the sin in our lives. LIke so many, I walked through that season in my life of sexual impurity and pornography. God walked with me and because of a brother who confronted me hard in love, I am a new man in Him today. Those guardrails aren’t of God for sure – learning them, and avoiding any temptation into those choices again are major reminders to stay in a deeply intimate relationship with the Lord. Like you and others, forgiving ourselves is so vitally important as well. I’ll keep you in prayer brother.

    • mark says:

      David – thank you for sharing so deeply and personal about your addictions, pornography and struggles with sexual sin. Many of us share similar stories, and both challenges and victory over addiction and pornography. Our God is bigger and desires for us exactly what you’ve shared – complete deliverance and a love for our Savior that is bigger than any sin. Like you, I’ve received his forgiveness and experience deliverance as only God can provide. There are so many men who struggle, and few are able to be as vulnerable and honest as we support our brothers. Thank you for sharing – and Praise God for the walk you (we) now have!

  4. Mark palfenier says:

    Well one recent way I know is that the series the chosen has gone woke. They are now putting lgbtq flag on set. Dallas Jenkins also has said that the Mormons worship the same Jesus we do. Also John Rumie has engaged in necromancy . Nine of these things reflect the real Jesus of the Bible.

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