17 January: Genesis 38-39, John 10:1-21, Psalm 17
- More intrigue and deceit in Judah's line, a lineage that produces the Savior! God spends a lot of thought and energy to ensure that Jesus is fully human — warts and all even through his genealogy.
- While God is the hero — "The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered" — this is one of Joseph's finest hours. He provides us with a pattern for avoiding temptation: he reminds the seductress of her husband; he calls sin sin "wicked thing"; he recognizes this sin as a sin against God; he flatly refused her and he avoided her.
- The Good Shepherd! Jesus fulfills the promises of Jeremiah 3 and Ezekiel 34.
- The differences between the good shepherd and the hired hand are distinct, but the mindset difference is seen by "the hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep."
- I've often thought through this difference by applying it to an industry closer to home (I don't know any shepherds). Let's go with a McDonalds. The owner of the McDs thinks differently from the manager. The manager may in fact be a very good conscientious worker. She keeps things running efficiently, clean, and delivers a quality product. However, if a tour bus shows up, the owner dances a jig of joy while the manager merely grins and bears the rush. If sales are down, the owner brainstorms for ways to increase traffic into the store (the manager does not). The buck stops here with the owner. If the owner goes on vacation, she makes sure everything is set up for success. If the manager goes on vacation, she just checks out. The analogy then transfers over to us as shepherds with responsibility for God's flock.