Reflections: Pentecost Tuesday

Today’s Reading: John 10:1-10

Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 4:1-27; John 12:1-19

The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3b)

He does all things well!” (Mark 7:37)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. A wise man I know once rejected the idea that we are sheep. “Sheep are dumb animals,” he said. “I just can’t stand the idea that God would talk about us like that!” Jesus does talk like that though. In fact, all Scripture speaks in that way so that we will hear that there is a Good Shepherd who is always tending to us.

Our Merciful God knows precisely who He’s dealing with. We are not the well-adjusted, got-it-all-together, never-been-better crowd. Christ came not just as a shepherd, but as the GOOD Shepherd. He came talking, always talking, chattering like an enthusiastic baseball fan in the right field bleachers. And what does He say? “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). That’s you! Sheep: not dumb animals but those who desperately need shepherding. And it’s not about what you’ll eat for breakfast, where you’ll work, or what college you’ll go to. Instead, you are shepherded to hear the mercy and peace that Christ freely bestows in a world filled with hate and discord. Shepherded to a strong church in the midst of false shepherds who seek to lead you away from the Jesus who loves and cares for you. Shepherded to hear that there’s no amount of your own blood, sweat, or tears that you could shed to make everything perfect. That’s Christ’s job. Our “job” is to hear. To hear that although we often find ourselves cut off from the herd, alone or afraid because of what we’ve done or failed to do or by what’s been done to us:, Jesus is always taking care of us.

He’s the Shepherd, and He does that well. He’s the Word, constantly talking, speaking His Law to put us to death in sin, but also speaking mercy and forgiveness for all that baggage we think we need to carry. That has all been borne by Him. He’s the One who gives abundant life, who has taken on Himself all our careless wandering and our following after the false shepherds of this world. He’s the One who gives us the ears to hear Him who has bought us back, leading us out of darkness into His marvelous light. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed, But yet in love He sought me And on His shoulder gently laid And home rejoicing brought me. (“The King of Love My Shepherd Is” LSB 709, st.3)

-Rev. Adam Degroot is pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, NM.

Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.