The Bible is filled with wonderful illustrations to help us understand the truth of its pages. Personally, I really enjoy the lessons from farming that Jesus brings to life. Much of my life has taken place on a farm and I love it, so when Jesus starts talking farm, I pay close attention.
My wife and I now have the privilege of raising our children on a farm. We appreciate all of the life lessons that can be learned on a farm and are grateful for the opportunity the Lord has given us to raise our children in such an environment.
About four years ago, we had a baby lamb that was rejected by its mother. My two oldest daughters (6 and 8 years old at the time) begged for the opportunity to care for this lamb and try to save its life. My wife and I let our girls give it a try. They took this responsibility incredibly seriously. This involved feeding the lamb every few hours around the clock. They set an alarm for the nighttime feedings and did everything necessary to keep that lamb alive. In order to get the milk for the lamb, they had to milk our goat twice a day. The girls made custom diapers and kept the lamb in their bedroom at night. I am not sure if a lamb could have ever been loved more! We have some great memories and photos of the lamb running around the house and snuggling with our kids on the couch. Their love and commitment to this helpless lamb were incredible. My daughters proved their ability to shepherd well by their sacrificial care for their lamb. They were good shepherds. We still have a four-year-old pet sheep named Salt.
John 10:11 says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Here in the book of John, Jesus refers to Himself as the good shepherd and He tells us why He is indeed just that. In the very near future, He was going to literally lay His life down to be the propitiation (satisfactory payment) that would make a relationship possible between sinful humanity (sheep) and a holy God. You can turn to the last couple of chapters of John and read the details of the horrific death Jesus willingly died for you and me. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
If you ever wonder if God cares for and loves you, I assure you He does. He proved it. He made his love known to you by sending Jesus, His only Son, the Good Shepherd who willingly laid down His life to give you hope of eternal life. We have a God that loves us beyond comprehension. We have a good shepherd!