the GOOD shepherd

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:7-10, ESV)

Shepherds would lay down across the opening to a makeshift sheepfold, the only way in or out is through him. Jesus describes himself as the door -  "if anyone enters by me he will be saved" - salvation is found nowhere else. As well as the sheep finding safety from danger under the care of the shepherd, that is also where they flourish - "they will come in and go out and find pasture". Their lives are at best when they are near the shepherd.

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy - Jesus gives abundant life. Jesus is the GOOD shepherd. Following Jesus isn't just the way you should live, it's the best life possible for you. For example, Jesus doesn't put restrictions on sex to take away pleasure, it's to allow you to experience the greatest sexual pleasure possible - as the creator designed it. Being part of a church community isn't something to keep God happy, it is the best place for your life to be lived. Jesus is good. Some of us recognise the fact that he should lead and we should follow, but have we realised he is more committed to our good than we are?

"Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there". Spurgeon

"Jesus calls his followers, not to a dour, lifeless, miserable existence that squashes human potential, but to a rich, full, joyful life, one overflowing with meaningful activities under the personal favor and blessing of God and in continual fellowship with his people." ESV Study Bible