Take Care of My Sheep – Where’s Norm?

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Some people are extroverts, some introverts, and some are a combination of both. But regardless of where we fall in this spectrum, we all crave some degree of community. We all want to be seen, heard, and understood. We want to be seen as valuable human beings who deserve respect. We want our needs to be seen as just as important as everyone else’s. But many times, it is those with the biggest needs that often get overlooked  most frequently.

Today, we will continue with the story of the good Samaritan, but we need to start with it’s origin:

Jesus encountered a Jewish lawyer who wanted to test him. The lawyer asked, “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25). Jesus asked what the law of Moses says, to which the man replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27). But, “the man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29).

Jesus replied to the Jewish lawyer’s question by telling the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).

Dr. Calvin Sweeney, lead pastor of The Tabernacle, taught us during the weekend message that “serving like Jesus produces connection with your neighbor.” And that connection can bridge our differences. He proposed that the question Jesus was asked by the Jewish lawyer, “Who is my neighbor?” may not be as good of a question as, “To whom should I be a neighbor?”

Luke 10:36-37
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

As we learned earlier in the week, serving like Jesus may mean serving outside of our comfort zones. It may mean reaching out to someone you barely know. And it may mean not knowing whether things will go exactly as you hoped and planned. Regardless, remember that when people receive a gift of service, they experience Jesus’ love. And Jesus loved and served others even when they rejected him. If you want to love like Jesus, you need to serve like Jesus.

John 21:16
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

When Jesus returned to the apostles after his resurrection, he asked Simon Peter if he loved him. When Peter said “yes,” Jesus followed it by asking Simon to take care of his followers. If we say we love Jesus but don’t serve others, we are missing the point. Loving Jesus in the way he wants us to means we can’t help but serve other people. We aren’t able to contain all of the love that we receive from and give to Jesus—we just have to share it.

Love Jesus. And take care of his sheep.

God, whom would you have me serve like Jesus today?

Is there a time when you were on the receiving end of someone serving like Jesus? Did you build a connection with this person? Explain.

Next Steps:
Identify someone who you can serve. Consider how it may build your connection with this person. Make a plan to follow through with your service. Maybe even invite some others to join you.

Dear God, please show me who you want me to serve. Let my ears and eyes be open to whom you are guiding me toward. Give me the boldness and the courage to follow through. I know that when I serve like you, I show your love, and this can build connections between me and others. I pray that you guide my words and my actions. Help me to be a good neighbor. Amen.

This post was written by Ashlee Grosjean. Ashlee is a blogger at GratefulSheep.com and a stay-at-home mom and wife. She loves writing for this team, and she hopes to help convey God’s message through this study.

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