Sheep, shepherds, and sheep stealers.
More common in the Middle East in the 1st century than in East London in the 21st. But Jesus uses this image to explain who he is, what he’s about, and why we need him.
He says we’re like sheep, in a world of sheep stealers.
And it’s a good picture. Looking around us, we know our world is a mess. Looking within us, we know we’re part of that mess, however much we try to cover it up. Jesus says our world is in darkness, because we’ve turned our back on God our creator.
But Jesus is the good shepherd.
He steps in to make everything right. He came to give us life, by giving his life. As Jesus died, God turned his back on Jesus, instead of on us, so we can turn back to God and find forgiveness. And then Jesus came through death and out the other side to new, physical, never ending life. So rather than just knowing the pain of this world, we too can one day know the unblemished pleasure of an unspoiled new world.
This makes Jesus the most significant man to ever live. He’s the one person who gives real hope, the one voice we must listen to, and the one leader we must follow. That’s what we’re all about.