March 20, 2011

Week of the Second Sunday of Lent, Monday, Day Eleven


            The Lectionary
                                          
Morning - Psalm 39, Genesis27:1-29, 1 Corinthians 5  
Evening - Psalm 50, Jeremiah 4:23, John 10:11-21

John 10:11-21

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd, and  know my sheep, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it up again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.  This commandment have I received of my Father.  There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.  And many of the said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?  Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil.  Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? 

            Commentary

The Good Shepherd is Jesus who gives His life for His sheep.  Jesus knows His fate and walks without hesitation toward the cross.  People have tried to reduce Jesus to a mere social/religious reformer who was killed for His efforts.  But Jesus makes it clear that His death was an intentional sacrifice for us.  No one took His life from Him; He laid it down of His own accord to bring His people into one fold, which is His Church.  We must not read verses16 and 18 without also reading verses 4 and 5.  Christ came to lay down His life for His sheep.  His sheep know His voice, follow Him, and will not follow another.  These aspects of God's sacrifice and human response are essential elements of the Gospel of Christ.

            Devotional Thoughts

Self examination is an honest look at the whole tenor of our lives.  We have looked at the way it includes attitudes and thoughts, now we finally look at the self examination of our actions.  Are they sinful?  Do they honor God?  Do we sin by inaction; by failing to do what we know we should?  In more Biblical language, do we hear and follow the voice of Christ? Do we flee from the hirelings, the thieves and the predators?  Or do we happily follow them to our doom?

1 comment:

  1. Dear + Bishop Campbell, sorry I was absent last week had issues with computer.

    Praise our great Shepherd. One of my favorite pictures is of the Lord Jesus carrying the little lamb on His shoulder. If any picture says a thousand words that one does. I could write paragraphs, but I'll keep it simple. The Lord Jesus takes the burdens of our weight, our sins, and of our lives. We find it hard to deal with just one of these, but all we need to do is trust in Him and He will lift us up and carry us onward.

    I find it wonderful and amazing that the Lord Jesus laid down His own life, on His own accord for the most unworthy of all His creation. After all man has done to Him He still invites us into His fold with open arms. Praise God!

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