10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing 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.
Perhaps you don’t see yourself in the centre of a conflict. Jesus does. In John 10 Jesus describes the human condition with the metaphor of sheep. The thief, the wolf, (Satan) comes to steal, kill and destroy sheep. Jesus comes to give life, abundant life to the sheep. Hired hands would run away from the cost of winning this conflict. But not Jesus, He is the good shepherd; He lays down His life for the sheep. He lays down His life for you.
Jesus is the courageous Saviour. Laying down His life required a cross. A cross was not the typical vision of courage. Such a death would have been painted in shades of sinful shame. And yet, Jesus decided the will of the Father’s love for you and me was worth it. You are immensely valuable to God. It took a courageous Saviour Shepherd, Jesus to show us.
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.