Day 84: The Good Shepherd, the Hired Hands, and the Gatekeeper

John 10:11-15 : I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who doesn’t own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and flees. The wolf snatches the sheep, and scatters them. The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand, and doesn’t care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I’m known by my own; even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep.

Not only is Jesus the door, he is also the shepherd in the story. This seemingly simple analogy can be taken in many ways. From this perspective, we learn how Jesus is different than a hired hand and the wolf. Since Jesus is the sheep’s owner, He does whatever He can to protect His property. Those who are hired are mainly interested in the money so they take less risks to protect the sheep. When faced with earning money or potentially getting wounded by a wolf, they choose to forget the money and leave the sheep.

Mere human leaders that are not from God are more concerned with their own jobs than they were with the true condition of the people. This can allow others to come in who only want to take advantage of the sheep like wolves.

Jesus owns the sheep and they recognize Him as the shepherd. Jesus was to lay down His life to save the them from all their oppressors. The Gatekeeper appears to be the Father. It is He who opens the gate for Jesus because He is the only one allowed to save His people.

Jesus compares His relationship with the sheep with His relationship with the Father! Now that is truly remarkable. Jesus was very willing to die for this flock! What a difference there is between He and other so-called religious leaders.

Genetics: Software Engineering, and Origins: We see a similar pattern of design in genetics as we see here in the parables. This parable can be understood in more than one way by viewing it from a different point of view. This is similar to some of the genetic programs that have been discovered in life. There are genetic programs that can be run bi-directionally. Running the genetic program “forward” produces one useful thing, and then running the same program in reverse produces a completely different but useful thing. I have never witnessed a man-made program that has come even close to this level of efficiency. It is difficult for us to write a good program that executes in one single direction. It is not uncommon to find our programs re-used today, however.

Economics: Notice the affect that ownership can have on business. An owner puts themselves into the underlying value of the business. The hired hand is interested in their paycheck. This implies that ownership by caring people is good for an economy. A lack of ownership in the economy may produce a lack of care for the products produced and services provided.