THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
ANZAC DAY –
THE SHEPHERD…THE GOOD ONE
We live in Australia, a land of red dust plains. I once lived in Cunnamulla, part of the South West and the booming wool industry it once had. I can honestly say I have seen tens of thousands of sheep and none of them seemed particularly sensible. They have a habit of diving in front of cars and getting stuck in bore drains during the drought. Further to that they are always driven to the sheds for shearing.
Dogs jump across their backs. Horsemen or bike riders are trying to keep the mob together and heading in the right direction. No-one is leading them. There is no good shepherd only some people and some dogs trying to move animals from one place to another.
However, a friend of mine has been to Israel and seen what is foreign to me … a Shepherd leading a small group of sheep back to shelter for the night. He probably has names for them all as well and they seem to know him. So, when Jesus says, ‘I am the Good Shepherd’ we get a very visual picture much different to that which I’ve experienced.
Over against those who believed they had been called to lead and care for the people of Israel; those who lined their pockets and cared only for themselves and placed burden on people which they never carried themselves, comes Jesus claiming to be the Good Shepherd … the One who lays down his life for the sheep.
Today let us explore the implications of that for our daily lives.