In yesterday’s devotion I highlighted the world’s need for a shepherd and the opportunity God has given us to provide shepherd-like leadership amidst all kinds of crises. Today I want to emphasize our own personal need for the Good Shepherd, especially as we seek to meet the needs around us.
In my previous posts on the leadership of Jesus, I’ve been asking about the significance of Jesus calling himself “the light of the world” and “the bread of life.” Today we’ll look at Jesus calling himself, “the good shepherd.” To a hungry world, Jesus says “I am the bread you are really hungry for.” To a dark world Jesus says “I am the light that will show you the way.” To a lost world Jesus says “I am the shepherd you need.”
In yesterday’s post I highlighted how Jesus surprised his hearers by saying, “I am the bread.” The Jews of his day were looking for a Messiah who could bring manna like Moses. Jesus did offer literal bread from a supernatural source when he multiplied the loaves and fish. But what he offered most of all was himself. He was the manna from heaven. He was the bread.
Jesus is not only “the bread” but also and specifically the “the bread of life.”
When Jesus says, “I am the bread,” he is confirming their hopes that he is the Messiah while challenging them to understand that he is something much more than a problem solver. Instead of saying, “I will give you bread,” he says, “I am the bread.” For those who are seeking something from Jesus, he offers himself instead.
One of the most common mistakes we as leaders can make is wanting the gifts of the Giver more than the Giver of the gifts.
In yesterday’s devotion, I suggested that the candles lit in the temple from the annual Feast of Tabernacles was the backdrop to Jesus claiming, “I am the light of the world.” In fact, because he probably said this on the last day of the festival, Jesus was creating an even more vivid contrast than it appears at first glance.
Throughout John’s gospel, distinctive “I am” statements point toward Jesus’ divinity, centrality, and authority. In John 8:12-20, for example, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” What does this mean?
As I’ve been reflecting on the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, I have enjoyed finding deeper meanings of this Passover meal that Jesus reinterprets to place himself at the center of the biblical story.
When you read Matthew’s account of the Last Supper, something is missing from this Passover meal, in which Jesus powerfully transforms it into a meal about himself. Let me explain what I mean.
Participating in Communion can seem like a thing we do on Sunday that has little impact on how we live on Monday and throughout the rest of the week. The truth is, however, that Communion helps us remember the centrality of Jesus.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26 A Note from Mark: I want to introduce you to my friend Tim Yee. I have known Tim for many years as an exceptional student of mine, … Read More