Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 12, 2022

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, … and I lay down My life for the sheep.”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 37:12-17.

“Then his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock in Shechem.  Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock in Shechem?  Come, and I will send you to them.”  And he said to him, “I will go.”  Then he said to him, “Go now and see about the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock, and bring word back to me.”  So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

A man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field;  and the man asked him, “What are you looking for?”  He said, “I am looking for my brothers;  please tell me where they are pasturing the flock.”  Then the man said, “They have moved from here;  for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’”  So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.”  Genesis 37:12-17.


Joseph was concerned about the welfare of his brothers and searched for them diligently even though he knew they hated him.  This was in sharp contrast to how his brothers would treat him as we will see later in this chapter.

Joseph points us to Christ, the Good Shepherd, Who seeks His lost sheep and lays down His life for His sheep. Like Joseph did not search for strangers, but for his brothers, Jesus did not seek any sheep nor lay down his life for any sheep, but for His sheep, God’s elect. 

“For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.  As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.  I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land;  and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land.  I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel.  There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.  I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord GOD.”  Ezekiel 3:11-15.     

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father;  and I lay down My life for the sheep.”  John 10:14-15. 

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man;  though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:6-8.                 


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