Sometimes, in American popular religion, we put too much emphasis on what we are to think, or to do, or to believe. The Good Shepherd Sunday reminds us that our salvation is based solely on the actions of Jesus. We sheep are in relationship with the shepherd because of what the shepherd does, not what we do. That is great assurance for us! The shepherd is the one who keeps, who leads, who makes the sheep lie down in green pastures, and who restores and protects.
Not only is Jesus the shepherd, he is the good shepherd. He’s not only the good shepherd, but he is the shepherd who is so good that he is willing even to lay down his life for the sheep! Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” To live life in abundance takes a protector, a mentor, a shepherd. The point is that you know this already. You know his voice and you have come forth. You’re in his flock. That’s enough, says Jesus. Believe this if you can’t believe anything else. Jesus will keep us.