Sunday 15 September, 2019
I am the good Shepherd
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me” (John 10:11-14, NLT)
I will not consider myself to have been a shepherd although at my boyhood, I had taken care of sheep and goats. In my little village, we used to do communal shepherding and my eyes have witnessed how brutal some shepherds can be to the flock. I remember a moment when one of the boys we shepherded with whom together threw a stone at a sheep and broke one of its legs. I have seen sheep dying in the hands of my peers with whom we grazed our animals. I wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that some shepherds are bad.
Jesus uses the metaphor of a shepherd-sheep relationship to describe his mission on earth and declared that he is a shepherd, and not just a shepherd but a good shepherd. One of the duties of the shepherd is to protect the sheep from ravenous animals that would otherwise prey the sheep.
A good shepherd will have to sacrifice his life for the safety of the sheep; he will have to drive away such dangerous animals from picking one of the sheep.
As followers of Christ, we must note that we live as sheep among wolves. We are targets to the wolves all the time. 1 Peter 5:7 reveals to us that our enemy—the Devil prowls like a roaring lion looking to devour the faithful of God. If we are to be safe in this crooked and wicked generation, we must take refuge in the sheep pen of Christ because as a good shepherd, he has already sacrificed his life for you. He is a ‘gentle but strong shepherd who guides us through life if we will follow Him.’
Dear friends, it is worth mentioning that “God has, in fact, thought of us from eternity and has loved us as unique individuals. He has called every one of us by name, as the Good Shepherd ‘calls His sheep by name”—Pope John Paul II.
Prayer: Jesus Christ my good shepherd, I praise you for your sacrifice and pray that your rod and staff comfort me every single moments of my life. Amen!
Rev. Julius I. Tabi is a Dean of Students’ Affairs at Uganda Christian University Arua Campus. He is an ordained minister in the Anglican Diocese of Ma’di and West Nile (Church of Uganda) and serves as chaplain at Ushindi Secondary School in Arua. Julius is a student of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology of Uganda Christian University. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at MF Norwegian School of Theology. Prior to his pastoral training, Julius trained as a high school Biology and Chemistry teacher. You may reach him by completing the form below.