On this Fourth Sunday of Easter we hear Jesus saying twice in the gospel, “I am the good shepherd.” It is one of several “I am” sayings of Jesus in John’s gospel. Others include I am the bread of life, the light of the world, the gate for the sheep, and the resurrection and the life.
These are all statements of Jesus revealing himself to us. The Greek word for “good” could also be translated exemplary, ideal, model, noble, authentic, or beautiful. It is a many-faceted adjective to help us appreciate who he is for us. Jesus is THE shepherd who lays down his life for us and who wants us to experience a close bond with himself and each other. The first reading today reminds us that salvation and healing are great gifts we receive through him.
Which of the adjectives listed above especially speaks to you about how Jesus is this shepherd for you? How do you experience this in your life?