Watched by God
What does it mean to be cared for? We all want on some level to be cared for and protected. We want to be safe in our homes, jobs, and world. We want to know that when we wake up in the morning, we will return back to out beds safe that evening bringing the day to a close.
Our passage this week has two "I AM" statements of Jesus, which have a theme of him caring or looking after us. Jesus said in a single teaching, "I am the good shepherd...I am the gate/door." These two images of Jesus portray him as someone who makes sure our every need is met, physical and emotional.
There were so many dangers for sheep in the first century that they needed protection from like wild animals, rocky cliffs, and even robbers. Jesus said that he made sure those he cared for were not only physically safe and fed but also emotionally and spiritually safe.
Phillip Keller, a Christian Shepherd said:
Think about how Jesus does this for our lives. He makes sure that we are taken care of, free from friction, free to parasites, free from hunger, and free from fear if we allow him to guide us and protect us. He will give us some place safe to rest and a good place to graze during the day. He will look after us ever moment, if we follow his voice.
Questions to Ponder:
- How much are you a creature of habit? What are some of your routine habits? What are ways you seek refreshment and energy?*
- How might you live differently if you saw yourself as Christ sees you?**
- Thinking of the “gate” as a reference to a shepherd having to rent space for protection of a flock, how is Jesus “invested” in you?*
- Thinking too of the “door” image, have you ever felt Jesus coming between you and some potential threat?*
- What objects, songs, or practices help you to remember Christ’s presence with you in difficult times?**
*The God We Can Know, by Rob Fuquay. Chapter 4, Reflection/Discussion Questions.
**The God We Can Know, Adult Group Guide, by Rob Fuquay. Week 4, Video/Book Discussion.