The Good Shepherd

(J. C. Ryle)

"I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd
 lays down His life for the sheep. I am the Good
; I know My sheep and My sheep know
 Me." John 10:11,14

Like a Good Shepherd, Christ knows
all His believing people . . .
  their names,
  their families,
  their dwelling places,
  their circumstances,
  their private history,
  their experience,
  their trials;
with all these things Jesus is perfectly acquainted.
There is not a thing about the least and lowest of
them with which He is not familiar. The children of
this world may not know Christians, and may count
their lives folly; but the Good Shepherd knows them
thoroughly, and, wonderful to say, though He knows
them, does not despise them.

Like a Good Shepherd, Christ cares tenderly for
all His believing people. He provides for all their
needs in the wilderness of this world, and leads
them by the right way to a city of habitation. He
bears patiently with their many weaknesses and
infirmities, and does not cast them off because
they are wayward, erring, sick, footsore, or lame.
He guards and protects them against all their
enemies; and of those that the Father has given
Him He will be found at last to have lost none.

Like a Good Shepherd, Christ lays down His life
for the sheep. He did it once for all, when He was
crucified for them. When He saw that nothing could
deliver them from hell and the devil, but His blood,
He willingly made His soul an offering for their sins.
The merit of that death He is now presenting before
the Father's throne. The sheep are saved forever,
because the Good Shepherd died for them.

This is indeed a love that passes knowledge!