Jesus is the good Shepherd. Jesus knows his sheep. You are one of his sheep if you believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus has given you eternal life. The death and resurrection of Jesus is your hope that nobody, not even Satan can snatch you away from Jesus hand. When you follow Jesus, you never walk in the darkness, for Jesus the light of the world, lights your path.
Jesus knows your joys. Jesus knows your fears. Jesus knows when you aren’t certain about your job, or wondering how you will pay the bills, or what tomorrow will bring. Jesus is your light and your salvation therefore you never have anything to fear in any circumstance (Ps 27:1).
Jesus hears you in your lament. You can come to Jesus and bare your soul with complete honesty. Jesus will not shame you or condemn you. Jesus understands your sorrow. Jesus weeps with you because he loves you. Jesus hates the pain sin inflicts on your life more than anybody else does. In the middle of pain, sorrow, and exhaustion you don’t have to fully grasp the incomprehensible nature of God. All you need to know is that Jesus is your Shepherd, that Jesus knows you, and loves you so much that he sacrificed his life for you so that you no longer need to carry the burden of sin.
When you trust Jesus in the midst of your fear; when you pour out your lament at Jesus feet; if you will listen; if you will trust; then you will see God do great and mighty things out of his love for you so that his name will be glorified (John 11:4-5) and your faith strengthened (John 11:14).
While we know these truths, when fear starts whispering into our ears, we can easily forget these truths. Jesus doesn’t condemn us when we lament or when fear overwhelms us and when we forget who He is or can’t comprehend what is happening. In those times, Jesus, our Shepherd continues to call our name, Jesus speaks to us and reminds us that he is the light for our paths, and that he is the Resurrection and the Life.
Even in the darkest of places, filled with fear, uncertainty and doubt about today and tomorrow; in those times where when you don’t fully understand what is happening in your workplace or in the world around you, hear our Shepherd say again to you, “I am the light of the world.” Listen to our Shepherd’s voice, and follow him, and you will see our Shepherd perform great and mighty deeds.
The Death of Lazarus
Jesus had just finished telling his disciples that he was the good Shepherd, and that no one could snatch them out of his Father’s hand (John 10:27-30). Then the disciples heard that Lazarus was dying and they were afraid to go with Jesus to Judea because the Jews were threatening to kill them. Full of grace and knowing their hearts, Jesus reminded them that he is the light of the world, and as along as they walk with him, they are safe (John 11:9-10). Not fully convinced, not fully understanding what was happening, but with just enough faith, they went with Jesus to Judea (John 11:16).
As Jesus approaches Judea, Martha comes running out to him, and in lament bares her soul to Jesus. In the midst of the pain, sorrow, and exhaustion from the past few days watching her brother die and be buried, she hears her Shepherd remind her that he is the Resurrection and the Life.
Mary stays back at the house. Jesus sees her sorrow and hears her lament from a far and calls for her by name to come to him. As she comes and pours out her heart, Jesus weeps with her. Jesus weeps because he loves her. Jesus weeps because he is emotionally connected with his creation. Jesus weeps in anger because of the pain that death and the devil has caused.
Just as Mary and Martha heard their Shepherd’s voice. Lazarus also heard his Shepherds voice. Although Satan tried to snatch Lazarus out of Jesus’ hands; Death couldn’t keep Lazarus away from his Shepherd. Calling Lazarus out of his tomb Jesus demonstrated that he is both the hope for resurrection at the last day and the source of life itself from now to eternity for those who believe in him. Jesus proved once and for all that he is the source of the permanence of your unique identity which nobody, not even death can destroy.
Because the disciples took their fear to Jesus and walked in the light of their Shepherd; because Martha poured out her lament to Jesus; because Mary heard her Shepherd call her name and came to him; because they were obedient; their mourning was turned into joy, their fears were turned into hope and they saw the incomparable power of their Lord.
When you come to your Shepherd with your fears and follow the light He casts on your path you will experience God’s incomparable power and unmeasurable love.
When you come to your Shepherd lamenting the pain, sorrow and exhaustion of your life, you won’t be condemned or shamed. Instead you will experience God’s incomparable power and unmeasurable love.