Vol. 4, No. 8
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When the sheep flock is small, the shepherd can handle it without any help. One man can usually handle fifty to one hundred sheep without any help. When the flock gets any bigger, the shepherd will hire someone to help him. That person is known as the hireling.
The hireling does not have the same personal interest in the sheep that the shepherd does. He is not willing to risk his life to save one sheep. If a wolf were to attack the flock, the hireling will probably run away rather than run toward the wolf. While the hireling is good help, he cannot be trusted to defend the flock when danger approaches.
In John 10:11-13, we read, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep."
Jesus is the good shepherd. He cares for all of his sheep. It does not matter how many sheep are in his flock, he knows and loves them all. He can take care of any number of sheep if they are in his flock. We can be comforted to know that he is always there for us when danger approaches. If we stay close to our Saviour, he will keep us from harm.
I am glad that we do not have a hireling to take care of us. I am thankful that we have such a wonderful good shepherd. I know that you are thankful too. Keep reading your Bible. Learn all you can about how to stay close to the Good Shepherd.
In New Testament times, hospitality was very important to people. A person was supposed to go out of his way to make a visitor feel welcome. Even strangers were made to feel at home.
A peasant in the village would leave his door open at all times during the daylight hours. This was to let any traveler know that he could stop in and rest. The dweller of the home would do his best to make the traveler feel like a king. The door was shut at sunset and stayed shut all night.
In Revelation 3:8, Jesus tells those at Philadelphia, "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it..." While not the only picture that Jesus was giving to those at Philadelphia, it is likely that most would understand this picture that Jesus was giving. God has no night. It is always sunny in the presence of God. And God will make us feel like kings if we enter in through the door of his house.
Those who lived in the cities and had better homes did not keep their doors open at all times. The stranger or traveler was expected to knock on the door.
Jesus gives us this picture in Revelation 3:20. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Jesus pictures himself coming to the door of our heart. He is knocking and asking to enter. He will not break down the door. We must open the door for him, and we should do so willingly and happily. When we hear or study his Word and then obey it, we are opening our hearts to Jesus.
So Jesus keeps his door open to us at all times. We should be willing to open our door to him. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you. Until next time, keep reading your Bible and get the wisdom of God.