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Posts tagged ‘Good Shepherd’

John 10:10 Another View

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.

My sheep hear My voiceThis morning as I had devotions with my coffee, I chose The Passion Translation and felt led to read John 10. In this translation, in the first verse, Brian Simmons adds the phase Jesus said to the Pharisees, and then continues, “Listen to this eternal truth: The person who sneaks over the wall to enter into the sheep pen, rather than coming through the gate, reveals himself as a thief coming to steal. 2 But the true Shepherd walks right up to the gate, and because the gatekeeper knows who he is, he opens the gate to let him in.”

I have often quoted John 10:10 to refer to our enemy, satan and his evil cohorts. His M-O is always to steal, kill, and destroy. But today as I read through this story, I had a different take on it.

I went back to John 9 where Jesus healed a man born blind. Jesus spat on the ground, made clay, and placed it on his eyes and then told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. The people of his neighborhood were astonished, but they marched him over to the Pharisees because Jesus had done this miracle on the Sabbath, a day Jews weren’t supposed to work. The healed man was brought before the Pharisees for questioning, and they grilled him even to the point they brought in his parents. The Pharisees called Jesus a sinful man and wanted him to agree. We all know his response, “Whether He is a sinner I do not know. There is one thing I do know: I was blind, but now I see!” [Jn 9:25]

At the end of John 9 we see that they threw this man out of the Synagogue. Jesus learned of it and went to find him. In their conversation, Jesus revealed that He was the Son of God. Jesus further said, “I have come to judge those who think they see and make them blind. And for those who are blind, I have come to make them see.” [Jn 9:39] Well, the Pharisees standing nearby heard this and Chapter 10’s parable of the Good Shepherd was told to them.


I believe the thief Jesus refers to in John 10 is actually the work of the enemy on the religious leaders: Sadducees and Pharisees, also known as “hired hands”.

11“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters the flock. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and does not care about the sheep. [John 10:11-13]

I believe the hired hand represents those in charge of the flock—in His day, the rabbis, and in our days, religious leaders who don’t know the voice of their Shepherd. The wolf is actually the devil, who wants to destroy the sheep.

That we may be one

Jesus then explains Who He is and His purpose.

14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own, and My own know Me, 15 just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice; and they will become one flock, with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it back. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it back. This commandment I received from My Father.” [John 10:14-18]


Today’s culture is so divided. Yes, the “thief” has come to steal, kill, and destroy, but the “hired hands” haven’t done a very good job at keeping the sheep safe and together. The “flock” is without identity and purpose, and thus they are easy prey for every wind and doctrine as well as an easy target for the thief. Perhaps we really don’t know the voice of our Good Shepherd. If we did, wouldn’t we want to be “one” with Him and with one another?

22 The glory which You have given Me I also have given to them, so that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and You loved them, just as You loved Me. [John 17:22,23]

So what can I do about it?
I can pray. I can share with friends. I can encourage others. I can be a witness for Jesus Christ. I can tell my testimony. I can be a pebble in a pond and just see how many ripples I can generate. I can write.

I haven’t written on this Handmaiden site since August 31, 2020. I lost my courage, confidence, or whatever you might call it. Several friends have encouraged me to write again. Last week I clearly heard the Lord say, “Stick it to him. WRITE!” Since that day, I’ve written down some thoughts, done a bit of research, but always could find something else to do with my time. But today, when I read these chapters in John, I knew that today was my day.

The enemy might have stolen my confidence, killed my passion, and destroyed my vision as he whispered “It doesn’t matter. You don’t really have anything worthy to write.” But today, I have once again found my identity and my purpose. I’m going to write and let Holy Spirit take it from here. As for me, I’m going to follow Jesus wherever He leads me. I’d like to end with one more scripture.

My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them,
and they follow Me;
[John 10:27]

Isaiah 40:11

Isaiah 40Tuesday, August 11, 2020

“He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.”

Personal note:  Many years ago as my daughter-in-laws began to bear children, this verse really spoke to me. I claimed it as a promise for them and for my grandchildren. Psalm 23 begins with “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.” There is no statement more true in the Word than this. This prayer affirms our confidence in His loving care for our every need.

  • Your Word is heavenly manna to us. Thank You for feeding us with Your truth, Your promises, Your encouragement, and Your wisdom. (John 6:22-39)
  • You are the Good Shepherd. Protect us from outside attacks, help us to beware of traps, alert us to danger, and point us in the right direction. (Psalm 27:11)
  • Cause our ears to hear Your call and respond the first time. Quicken our spirits to pick up on Your nuances. Whether You shout or gently whisper, open our listening hearts to Your words. (1 Kings 19:12)
  • As we lean in to You, help us to love You more. Let us hear Your heartbeat for our families, our friends, and our neighbors. Use our hands and feet as well as our words to encourage, to share wisdom, and point them to You. (Mark 12:33)
  • For those prodigals, we appeal to Your heart. Use these uncertain times to help them find certainty in You. Jesus, Your parable told us of Your great heart for the lost and Your willingness to leave the ninety-nine for the one. Today we lift up the “one” in our own lives. (Matthew 18:12)
  • Out of the mouths of babes You have ordained praise. You caution us to not hurt them or hold them back from You. Give us great grace and knowledge to raise them in the knowledge of God. (Luke 18:16)
  • Children are indeed our heritage and reward from You. Give us wisdom for every special need they have. (Psalm 127:3)
  • We ask for heavenly assistance for the mothers of the world. Send Your angels to protect and minister to them. Holy Spirit, be their Comforter/Advisor/Teacher. Father, we ask that You cause each one to fulfill Your destiny and purpose in their lives. (Psalm 91:11)
  • Strengthen marriages. Reduce stress. Bring financial blessing. Cause husbands and wives to obey You in all things that it may be well with their children. (Numbers 6:22-26)


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