There was once a time when the world knew not of its Savior. Yet there was hope because it had been foretold that a child would be born and called Emmanuel – God is with us. In Lent, we prepare for his coming anew. During this season, we discover for ourselves the call of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
Jesus was sent by God to do God’s will. How do we know? Jesus tells us so:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. (John 5:19)
Jesus is the Word of God sent to earth. If we hear and follow the Word, we will have life everlasting. How do we know? Jesus tells us so:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)
Throughout the ministry of Jesus, he tells us how to live, how to serve, how to love, how to pray, how to be judged, and how to gain life everlasting. These are the words God wants to pronounce to the world through His Son. These are the commandments God wants Jesus to convey to us.
There is one commandment, though, that God the Father gives to His Son that is meant only for him.
Jesus gathers the people to tell a parable about the thief who makes an illicit entry into the corral to steal the flock of sheep. But they don’t understand the story and so Jesus clarifies:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep…If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture…I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:7, 9, 11)
Why would he lay down his life for the flock? Jesus tells us so:
“I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:17 – 18)
This is the charge—the one commandment—Jesus receives from God the Father: to lay down his life to save his flock, to save us. He has the power granted by God to lay it down and the power to take it up again and be resurrected into eternal life. And here is why Jesus exercises this power:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 5:27 – 28)
Jesus is the good shepherd sent by God to lead us to eternal life. He was commanded by the Father to lay down his life for us. His life has been taken up again in God’s heavenly kingdom. We know this because Jesus tells us so. Now, only this question remains:
Do you hear?
These Gospel stories are re-imagined in the book series:
Share this with friends