“I am ….. “ said Jesus. He finished that sentence many times and they are know as the “I am” statements. They are all in John’s Gospel and we hear one of them today. “I am the Good Shepherd”.
In the time of Jesus, it would have been common to see a shepherd in the hills leading his sheep. Since he made his livelihood from their wool, he would keep his sheep for years. He would name them, they would know his voice, and he would protect them as he led them to new pastures or watering holes.
So what a great image we have of Jesus leading us, protecting us, loving us. It is an image the Jewish people had from of old, in Psalm 23. “The Lord is my Shepherd.”
It’s a great image for our First Communion children today. In fact it’s a great image for all of us to remind us that we are all followers of Jesus. While we live, we follow his teachings here on earth and ultimately we follow him through death into resurrection.
Do you remember some of the other “I am” statements? “I am the Light of the World, the Bread of Life, the Way, the Truth and the Life etc.” There are a few more and you can find them in John’s Gospel. One is particularly appropriate for us Californians because of Napa Valley! Do you remember that one?
God bless you,
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