PIETER BRUEGHEL THE YOUNGER:
THE GOOD SHEPHERD (ca. 1600)
1 John 3:16-24
Plan B for Jesus-Followers
So, if we're followers of Jesus,
For others we should give our lives;
But if such giving is too grievous,
If that's too much for which to strive,
The evangelist gives a second choice,
An option we might call, "Plan B,"
Which means we followers can rejoice
Because from death are we set free!
We merely need to help our neighbor
If we have any means at all;
Whether they're worthy, not belabor -
Just not refuse. Just Christ recall.
Scott L. Barton
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.
And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.
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The Shepherd King
The shepherd king provides for all my needs,
It is by grace (or think, "dumb luck!") I feed
Upon the love from people in my life,
My home, my meals, my mostly lack of strife;
The shepherd king protects me when I'm prone
To think I daily go through life alone;
In face of need, before me lies a spread -
Saved from devouring enemies, instead;
The shepherd king pursues me my life long,
And tracks me down to know I still belong
By grace to one who'll never let me go,
And surely - Wow! - such love I'll ne'er outgrow.
Scott L. Barton
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff— they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.