“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me– just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”
There is far more to the relationship that Jesus has in mind than that of a shepherd and his sheep.
It is not merely obedience that Jesus seeks, nor is it limited to an awareness of Him and a self-serving response. What He is looking for, and offering, is the same relationship that He has with the Father Almighty,
“just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”
There is certainly an awareness of each other and, in the case of Jesus, a complete submission to the will of the Father and obedience to His commands and directions. However, Jesus also made it clear that He loved the Father, that the Father loved Him, and that there was, in reality, complete unity between them.
‘that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:21-23)
God loves us and wants us to know the fullness of His great love, and to love Him in return. To this end He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to live within us – and to pour His love into our hearts. (Romans 5:5)
Be satisfied with nothing less than God Himself – this is our calling and longing.
Father please help me to open myself to You so that I may long for and receive the fullness and intimacy of Your love. Amen.