In this passage, Jesus calls Himself the Door of the Sheep (v.7), Yahweh (v.10), and the Good Shepherd (v.11). He is identifying Himself as the One who is standing between us as His sheep, and the danger that surrounds us. Why do we need that protection? Because the enemy is seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), and this verse reminds us that Satan is here to steal, kill, destroy us. Satan doesn’t just want to wreck our day or annoy us. His aim is complete and total obliteration. Death.
Our Good Shepherd, Jesus, gives us abundant life by giving us protection, and He willfully sacrifices Himself for His sheep. He wants us to thrive! The word “good” here means more than just being righteous or upright. In the original language, it literally means someone or something so very good that it is worth emulating or copying. Jesus is telling us that that we are to willingly emulate a sacrificial attitude for the benefit of others. We are to think more highly of others than we do for ourselves. We are to love others as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27).
This year, we be ever mindful that the enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy, BUT through Christ Jesus, we can experience abundant life. It is not just for our own selves, but we will focus on ways that we can emulate our Good Shepherd by showing love and kindness to those around us. We will intentionally set our attention on ways that we can thrive as the Cougar family.
I am so excited to see how we will live out this vision verse together this year.
The best is ahead!
~ Dr. Mielke