Jesus Protects His Own

“I lay down My life so that I may take it back.
No one has taken it away from Me,
but I lay it down on My own.”
John 10:17-18 (NASB)

“The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples,
and about His teaching. Jesus answered him,
‘I have spoken openly to the world;
I always taught in synagogues and in the temple area,
where all the Jews congregate; and I said nothing in secret.
Why are you asking Me?
Ask those who have heard what I spoke to them.
Look: these people know what I said.’
But when He said this, one of the officers, who was standing nearby,
struck Jesus, saying, ‘Is that the way You answer the high priest?’
Jesus answered him, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong;
but if rightly, why do you strike Me?’”
John 18:19-23 (NASB)

Wherever Scripture records the actions of the Good Shepherd He appears to be a most magnificent person. However, His glories are never more apparent than when He is physically “captured” by His enemies. When we read the accounts of our Master’s last hours prior to His execution we witness how, in being taken captive, He takes captive His captors. It is marvelous that when Jesus appears to have lost control of things He is never more in charge of the situation.

When we are in a situation that is out of our control we must remember that nothing will ever be out of our Master’s control.

As our Lord stands before the Jewish court, He is asked to give the authorities a list of His followers and a doctrinal statement of His teaching. It is to be clearly noted that Jesus totally ignores the first demand. He will not betray His disciples regardless of who wishes a list of their names. This lack of cooperation on the Good Shepherd’s part saved His followers from persecution and possible death. So the Master added to the hostility of His captors by being uncooperative.

We may be confident that the One Who “is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), will be as protective of us today as He was of His disciples that darkest of nights so long ago.

Do you need to see once more just how sovereign your Saviour is? Pick up your Bible and turn again to the Gospels where they record our glorious Lord in action. See Him being very busy dealing with His own situation. Yet He is well able to shield His sheep from possible disaster. Marvel at His focus on the urgent needs of His loved ones even when His own situation is demanding His complete attention.

This is love in action to the fullest extent. As you read the remarkable story again, find yourself lost in wonder, love and praise. Let go of any fear you are experiencing. Immerse yourself in the glories of your Good Shepherd that were displayed that darkest of nights. Sense your faith growing. Form a prayer pleading for protection from what threatens you. Keep your attention on Jesus and not on the problem.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

- H. H. Lemmel

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublesome life,
until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.
Then, in thy tender mercy, grant us a safe lodging,
and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.
- Book of Common Prayer

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