Through the course of John’s Gospel Jesus makes seven very specific statements to describe himself:
"I am the bread of life"
I am the light of the world"
"I am the gate for the sheep"
I am the resurrection and the life..."
"I am the way, the truth, and the life..." -
"I am the true vine..."
“I am the good shepherd”
The reference to ‘good shepherd’ is probably the best known, and also brings to mind Psalm 23, ‘The Lord’s my shepherd. ’What is your image of Shepherds? Do they have a beard? Wear woolly jumpers and have a shepherd’s crook in their hands? Perhaps if you watch ‘Country File’ on a Sunday evening you can picture Adam and his sheep dogs. Certainly a shepherd is someone we might admire for their skills and hard work.
But at the time of Christ shepherds were despised and treated as outcasts. A shepherd was considered unclean and anyone who came into contact with him would also be considered ceremonially unclean. Shepherds were not allowed to be witnesses in court nor were they allowed to be part of the elders who sat in judgement. Amazing then that God the Father choose shepherds to be the ones to whom the birth of the Messiah would be announced first. So, when we come to Christ Jesus saying ‘I Am the Good Shepherd’ we should first and foremost realize that it was a scandalous ascription to place on oneself. Yet Jesus here speaks of H