I am the Good Shepherd
Last week, we heard John 3:16, "For God so loved the world..." but the verse my husband likes even better is the next one. "But God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:17)
This week, we heard the same thing two more times.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd who cares for His sheep and the gate which keeps them safely enclosed and lets them out to pasture for food. The role of Jesus is not to destroy, but to give abundant life.
We can get so turned around in this, thinking that our every move is possibly the one that will get us kicked out of the club. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus' role is to bring us back home whenever we wander.
Do you see the difference?
We are the ones who wander. Our actions do take us away, but not because we are kicked out. It's because we leave.
No matter how far we go, though, Jesus will be searching and trying to lead us home. If we listen, and we know Him, we will recognize His voice and hopefully turn back with joy.
We can be the voice of Jesus as He searches. He tells us as much in the rest of the readings this week. Those who receive us in His name receive Jesus and receive the one who sent Him.
We can do this work. We can see what it looks like as we read through The Acts of the Apostles each week in this season of Easter.
Just like Jesus, we aren't here to condemn. We can bring life. We can bring the Good Shepherd. We are called to act in His name, and in His role.
John 3:17, John 10:10, and John 12:47. Three times we are told. Can we believe it?