When I first meet a new group of students in the college composition class I teach, I already know their names. I take the time to familiarize myself with their names and photos on my student roster, so when they walk into my classroom I can say, “Hello, Jessica,” or “Welcome, Trevor.” I do this because I know how meaningful it is when someone knows and calls us by name.
Yet to truly know someone, we need to know more than that person’s name. In John 10, we can sense the warmth and care Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has for us when we read that He “calls his own sheep by name” (v. 3). He knows even more than our name. He knows our thoughts, longings, fears, wrongs, and deepest needs. Because He knows our deepest needs, He has given us our very life—our eternal life—at the cost of His own. As He says in verse 11, He “lays down his life for the sheep.”
You see, our sin separated us from God. So Jesus, the Good Shepherd, became the Lamb and sacrificed Himself, taking our sin on Himself. When He gave His life for us and then was resurrected, He redeemed us. As a result, when we accept His gift of salvation through faith, we are no longer separated from God.
Give thanks to Jesus! He knows your name and your needs!
Dear Lord, thank You for knowing my name and for knowing exactly what I need. Thank You for dying for my sin and for rising from the grave to defeat death and give me eternal life with You.
God’s knowledge of us knows no bounds.
In our relativistic age, some believe that many roads lead to God. In our passage for today, however, Jesus says He is the only way to God. Jesus uses the metaphor of the Good Shepherd to show how He leads and cares for those who know Him by faith. He also uses the symbol of a gate to show that He is the only means by which we can have eternal life. The one who seeks and saves the lost is the one who laid down His life for all who believe.