Reality Can Bite

John Barry

Reality shows are all about people who are known or want to be known—they have celebrity syndrome. The root cause of this obsession is probably, like most things, a disconnect from our Maker. As people disconnect from the God who made us, we seek affirmation from other sources. And as wrong as this desire may be, our culture makes it feel like second nature.

The Jewish people Jesus spoke to also felt displaced. They were a people who had lost touch with their guide—their shepherd. Jesus is the answer to their call.

Echoing Ezekiel 34:11–24, He says, “I am the good shepherd, and I know my own, and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.” But Jesus goes one step further by adding, “and I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:14–15). Jesus promises that He will know us, and by echoing the very words of God, He is claiming that He is the God of Israel—He is the way God will know us. He offers the affirmation we’ve been looking for; He essentially says, “I chose you.”

But lest we understand this passage only to be about Jesus fulfilling what God had promised to the Jewish people, He remarks, “And I have other sheep which are not from this fold. I must bring these also, and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock—one shepherd. Because of this the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take possession of it again” (John 10:16–17). Jesus came as our good shepherd, as the one who guides us back to God. When we have the urge to obsess over those who are known to the world, or when we desire to be known ourselves, we can be assured that Jesus knows us. He knows you, and me, and He was still willing to die for us.

In what ways are you seeking to be known by people or obsessing over those who are well-known? What can you do to change that?

This article was originally published in Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan.