Servant Shepherd

May 30, 2011

 1It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

There was a song that used to be very popular in Christian circles called Ten Thousand Angels.  David Meece was one of the artist who sang it, but the song was written by Ray Overholt.  Here’s the chorus:

He could have called ten thousand angels
To destroy the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone, for you and me.

When I read the first verse in John 13, the song crosses my mind, and it keeps coming back until I reach the resurrection seven chapters farther on.  Jesus not only knew that the hour had come to leave the world, but he also knew the terrible price he would pay before leaving.  And he did it anyway.  That thought fills me with gratitude and humility.  If we think this is about anything other than love….

The passage continues, and as you read it, think about the fact that as Jesus begins to model what the Servant Shepherd life is all about, he can already feel the sting of the whip and the pounding of fists against his face.

    2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

We must, if we are the be a servant shepherd, be willing to “get our hands dirty” as we lead.  I don’t know if many  of us will really have to lay our lives down for our friends, but we all, every one of us who is called to be  a servant shepherd, will have to get dirty.  We will have to get uncomfortable from time to time.

We will have to feel pain on behalf of someone else.  It’s part of the job of both a shepherd and of a servant.


And a friend.


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