Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Tue, 08/12/2009 – 14:20
Bible Book: John / Johannes
Verse: 11 – 18
In John 10:11 we find the third “I am” proclamation of Jesus: “I am the good shepherd” (RSV). The good shepherd cares for his sheep. While the hired hand leaves the sheep and flees to save his own life (verse 12), the good shepherd cares to the point where he is willing to lay down his own life for the sheep (verse 11).
In the next verses it becomes clear that the good shepherd intimately knows each one in his flock (verse 14) and that his flock is not one little group but includes many others (verse 16).
Christ, our risen Lord, is still the Good Shepherd today and every day (cf verse 18). However, all leaders in Christ’s church are called to follow His example as the Good Shepherd (Cf John 21:15-17). The caring and nurturing of “Jesus’ sheep” happens through Christian leaders – or not!
We all know of wonderful stories of Christian leaders who stood in the breach for their brothers and sisters when dangers threatened. And many of these stories come from the context of the HIV pandemic. But we have to be honest and acknowledge that there are also many stories of leaders who reacted like the hired hand of verse 12 when the HIV pandemic endangered communities and congregations.
There is still time and ample opportunity to follow the example of the Good Shepherd.
To think about (or discuss): What does the care of the Good Shepherd mean in a congregation and community living with HIV?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)