166. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
Wow! These words of Jesus describe an enormous level of commitment to the ones He loves. Of course, He will prove these words one day on a brutal cross, but even now the statement sounds ominous and surely must shape ideas of our own shepherds. Across the globe, pastors lay down their lives for their congregations more often than we are aware. What about us? Are we willing to sacrifice for those God has entrusted to our care? Are we ready to put aside selfish pursuit in order to represent the One who died first? When Jesus told Peter to feed sheep (John 21), He was shaping our assignment too. Those of us who care for the flock of God are both sheep and shepherd. Surely we must care for others at expense of ourselves. If we don’t, we more easily fit the description of the hireling.