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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