“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
My wife and I were shopping a few days ago, and I watched as she examined an item.
“You really want to buy that don’t you?” I asked. “You like it a lot. But you hate to spend the money.”
How did I know what she was thinking? I can read her body language and the expression on her face. Even if she doesn’t say a word, most often I know what she’s thinking. No, I’m not a mind reader. I’ve just been married to this wonderful lady for 46 years. I have learned to read her like a book. The reverse is also true. She knows me better than anybody.
She knows what I need before I ask for it; what I like and don’t like; how I will respond in any given situation. Frequently she will say something to which I’ll respond, “I was thinking the same thing.” And sometimes we say the same thing at the same time.
A close personal bond produces intimate knowledge of typical behavior and thinking. It is the kind of relationship that Jesus promises to have with His followers. He says, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
He expands on the quality of this bond by equating it to the relationship that exists between Him and His Heavenly Father. “Just as the Father knows me …. I know the Father.”
At the beginning of today’s focus text, Jesus declares He is “the good shepherd.” As the Good Shepherd, He leads, protects, and supplies your needs. He wants and seeks the best for you. In fact, He is so committed to a close personal relationship, He gave His life for you. “…and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
Knowledge of another does not always lead to a stronger relationship. Often times it has the opposite effect when we see only faults and failures. Fortunately, Jesus sees beyond those negative qualities and loves us despite ourselves.
The Good Shepherd knows where you are prone to sin, and He knows when you will give into it. But regardless of failures on your side of the relationship, He always remains faithful to you.
One of my favorite movies is The Notebook. The movie magnificently portrays the beauty of growing old together. Even after Annie had lost all memory of her husband, Noah still continued to love her with remarkable patience and caring. There was a bond between the two of them that transcended the norm of human relationships. When a union grows in mutual knowledge, it produces an incredible bond.
As you grow older in your faith relationship with Christ, you will learn how precious it is to know Him, and how wonderful it is to know He knows you.
You are close enough to at least a few people to have a good idea of how they will act in a particular situation. Ever catch yourself saying, “Isn’t that just like her?” My prayer for you is that you will come to really know Jesus. So much so you will often say, “Isn’t that just like Him?”
For more on this topic, check out this article: The More You Learn About Jesus the Better He Gets
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.