by: Carole L. Haines
Have you ever noticed how much a question mark looks like a Shepherd’s Staff? I was in a Bible a Bible study the other day about questions in the Bible, and it just struck me how much the question mark looks like the staff of a Shepherd. Why hadn’t I noticed this before and is their a significance to that fact? As I pondered this, I began to see just how much of my life feels unsettled, like an unanswered question. I realized at this moment just how much I need Jesus, in the role of my Good Shepherd, to lead me. Jesus refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them. 13 This happens because he is a hired man and doesn’t care about the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10”11-16 HCSB)
The Good Shepherd knows His Sheep. He knows us cover to cover. He knew us before we were even born (Psalm 139). We know our Shepherd, we come to recognize His voice, His leading. We really are blind to the dangers of this world. For me, the Wolf is the World, and the harshness of life. The World can offer us things and entice us with its contrived promises. But Jesus delivers His own life for us. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep. We are safe with Him, cared for, protected. He will fight for us, stand in the gap, rescue us when we have strayed.
The hired man in this passage is all the other people and things we have turned to besides Jesus. These people, even the good ones, can’t keep all the promises, they’re frail and needy, just like us. The other things we’ve turned to have failed us time and time again, leaving us with unanswered questions and wounded hearts. But the Good Shepherd, with His Shepherd’s Staff shaped like a Question mark, is the answer to all our questions. Are you feeling perplexed, alone and in need today? Does your life feel like one huge unanswered question? Turn to the Good Shepherd, Lean into Him, Rest in Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you, like the other things that have failed you. He will fight for You and He proved His love for you in laying down His life, so that you might have life abundantly. Read all of John 10 today, and marvel at Your Good Shepherd.