Ponder: We have landed in three incredible chapters this week that show us more about the character of Jesus and how He interacted with the people around Him, including a woman caught in adultery and a blind man given sight. When we place ourselves within the biblical narrative, we cast off the idea that studying God’s Word is purely academic. We can imagine what it felt like to be the one shamed by the religious establishment and yet bestowed with incredible kindness, mercy, and love by Jesus. We can see Jesus Himself as the religious leaders tried to shame Him for being a child of an unwed mother — and right after He had declared, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (8:31-32).”
We can picture ourselves as the one who could see for the first time in his life, and we echo the words, “Lord, I believe.” Or we can imagine the story of the Good Shepherd as a movie before our eyes with a diverse cast — the Shepherd who will lay down His life without condition for each and every sheep, the hired hand who flees at the first hint of danger, the wolf — a.k.a the enemy — seeking to steal the sheep, the sheep submitting to the Shepherd’s care, the sheep straining against restraint and searching for a breach in the wall, or the sheep who never followed the Shepherd home and is wandering in enemy territory.
- Which person in this week’s section (chapters 8, 9, 10) did I most relate to and why?
- How did Jesus respond to this person with whom I identify?
- Knowing that Jesus was
Pray: Lord, You are jealous for the hearts of Your people, for me. You bestowed dignity upon the woman caught in sin, and You give me the same gift that is wholly undeserved. You lit up my dark world and showed me what is true and what is good. I declare with the blind man, “I was blind, now I see.” Thank You for being my Shepherd, for being a door of protection for me, for leading me to life-giving green pastures and fresh waters, for sacrificing Your life for me. May I not get comfortable with the things of this world that beckon to me from Your protective fold. Keep my eyes on You and my feet following closely behind You. I love You, Lord.