John 10:11-18 NRSVue

11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

Some thoughts on this scripture

We know leaders who want influence or money, who value their own reputation and life above that of their followers, and who can be bought. Such leaders are a sad mistake, and we live to regret giving them power. Lord, you are a fearless leader. Death has no terrors for you. You value the life of your followers above your own. You are not in it for the money, but you know me and love me.

The love of Jesus is love onto death. It is the self-sacrificing love which we see on the cross. It is the love which never sits down under feelings of failure but can always see the resurrection ahead in some form or other. In caring for all people, Jesus knew something of the resurrection, for in love are the seeds of resurrection. We rise above the self-centredness that confines and narrows us, to the outgoing love which expands our hearts and minds, as our hearts and minds grow to be like the heart and mind of Jesus.