Jesus, our shepherd, encountered many people who needed help. No one was turned away then or today. When people seek Jesus, none will ever be turned away. He even mingled with tax collectors and other unpopular people. Jesus probably overheard the Jews muttering about eating and drinking with such wicked people. Teachers of the law thought it was wrong for Jesus to mix with such people. They became angry as Jesus continued to explain why He tried to reach all people.
How did Jesus accomplish His goal? He told parables to help others understand God’s ways. In Matthew 18 and Luke 15, the parable of having sheep (people) in our care and one is missing is quite interesting. The question is what would we do? Would we go on and forget the sheep while tending to our business? Is our concern important? What did Jesus say? He tells us to continue searching for the one lost sheep. We too can search for lawbreakers who can be compared to sheep who have gone astray. They have seemingly lost their way. Jesus, being a good shepherd, never forgets His sheep regardless of the status that the world may give any of us.
When Jesus preached about God, all sorts of people come to listen. Many religious leaders became furious when they saw Jesus talking to people who broke the law. They sneered by saying that a man of God should not be talking to lawbreakers. Let us also continue to seek out lost souls and tell them about the love of God when we bring them safely back to Him. Jesus was sent from God to save us from our sins.
A good shepherd never leaves His sheep. He knows each one by name and His voice is known by them. Jesus used several figures of speech but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. He announced Himself as the gate and the good shepherd for His sheep (followers). People came from far and nearby to hear Jesus preach because He spoke with authority and power. Just as in our own world, unbelievers may become divided and continue to question the teachings of Jesus. At that time, some thought He was crazy, demon-possessed or just raving mad! Some others were in suspense while wondering if He, somehow was the long awaited Messiah, but was not recognized! In John 10:25-30, Jesus answered many questions by explaining His works, promising eternal life, the security with God and ends by assuring us of His being one with the Father!
As Christians in communities of faith, let us continue to seek and encourage the lost and other people in our care. Regardless to the prevailing circumstances and everything else, Jesus willingly gave His life for all of us! Let us always praise and glorify His name.
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.