Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel passage this week, from John 10:11-18, has been used for all manner of foolishness. It’s even been used to demonstrate that God is the redeemer of many other people and assorted life forms in different galaxies, gathering them all together. Yes, that should strike us as odd.
What’s Jesus’ big point in this passage? He cares for all those who will believe on him. He lays down his life to rescue them. Even those people who were not with the disciples at the time Jesus was talking are subject to his care. They may not be with the flock at the time he is talking, but he has a habit of going here and there, telling about God’s kingdom. He’s going to create faith in those people as well.
Jesus, in this passage, says he is able to lay his life down for his sheep, all the people who will believe him. He says he is able to take his life up again, in the resurrection. That’s the proof he chooses to give of his power over death. We see Jesus’ assertion clearly. And in this season of Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, we remember that he has conquered death on our behalf.
This is the great good news of the Gospel. I may be afraid. I may flee. I may choose not to risk everything so as to care for Christ’s people. But Jesus is never afraid. He lays down his life for you and for me.
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