The least favorite verses in John 10

So, in keeping with last week’s post on an unfavorite verse in John 10, this week I was awakened in the middle of the night with another least favorite verse ringing in my ears. Now why in heck would anyone wake up with a Bible verse on their minds? Good question!

This all happened last Saturday night/Sunday morning. This past year every Sunday morning in worship I tell for memory the gospel “reading.” The most likely explanation for the bible-verse-wake-up-call was a moment of subconscious panic about whether I could remember in worship what had supposedly been committed to memory.

On the other hand, this verse– one that I had always passed over quickly and simply ignored for more comfortable ones around it– not only shouted me out from sleep but refused to be ignored. As I woke up saying it to myself, I heard, no, I knew how it applied to our congregation. Yes, I know, it’s weird and irrational and probably makes my Lutheran orthodoxy suspect.

But here’s the verse. It is really a very short story or “parable” about some sheep, a hired hand and a wolf. Food for nightmares anytime. Jesus introduces this short story with a much more popular verse and then follows the wake-up story itself with a footnoting verse of explanation.

John 10.11-13.

Introduction: Jesus said, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Story: The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.

Footnote: The hired hand runs away because the hired hand does not care for the sheep.

So why did Jesus tell this story? Who’s the hired hand? Who’s the wolf? (Just for the record, I declare myself a sheep.) Stay tuned…or logged in…