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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Day 297: The Good Shepherd

Jesus keeps prodding his opponents, trying to make them see.
The parable of the good Samaritan
Luke 10:25-37
Jesus visits Martha and Mary
Luke 10:38-42
The healing of the man born blind
John 9:1-41
The parable of the shepherd
John 10:1-6
Jesus, the Good Shepherd
John 10:7-21
Jesus at the Feast of Dedication
John 10:22-38
Many believe in him
John 10:39-42

One of Jesus’ most famous parables is told in response to a Pharisee who tried to test him. Jesus deliberately makes the good guy in the story a despised foreigner,and tells the pharisee to go and be like him. That’s not calculated to make him popular.
Then there is the case of the man born blind. Of course, the joke is, who is really blind here, and the answer is, it’s the Jewish leaders. Some of them say “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” (9:19) while others reply “How can a sinner perform such signs?” They can’t decide about Jesus - is he good or is he bad?
So they mount an inquisition, and the blind man ends up teaching them.  “If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” (9:33)
Come on! It’s staring you in the face! Admit it!
But they won’t.
Now Jesus confronts them, comparing them to dodgy shepherds. They are like hired servants, who don;t really care for the sheep, so run away when there is trouble. Jesus is the good shepherd who is willing to do anything to save the sheep, even to lay down his life for them.

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