John 10:12, "The hired man, who is not a shepherd, does not own the sheep. He sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them."

A young boy of about seven looks up and he doesn’t see his mom and dad anymore. In the middle of the mall, with people everywhere and they’re gone. They’ve left him there. He searches desperately, but they are nowhere to be found. He goes to the car, but it’s gone. He’s alone. He’s been abandoned.

It’s not far from the truth. Parents have taken advantage of laws meant to protect children abandoned at hospitals so they could get rid of a problem child. Imagine being on the receiving end of that! Imagine the ones you thought cared about you leaving you behind to hold an emotional bag of hatred, guilt, loneliness, distress. What could ever give you comfort again?

Being abandoned by the ones you thought cared about you is a terrible thing. We wouldn’t wish it on anyone. The sad truth is, when it comes to what we allow to take care of our souls, we invite it. We invite into our lives wickedness and sin that we think will make us happy; things we think will take care of us, but in the end they abandon us. These hired hands we thought would shepherd us run away and they leave us holding the bag of guilt and remorse. What could ever give us comfort?

The Shepherd’s offering. Our Savior, the Good Shepherd, rescues us from all that. He saves us by an offering of his life which gives us comfort. It comforts because he alone, amid all the hired hands of this world—he alone cares for us. We have comfort because his offering gathers us into the safety of his eternal flock. We have comfort because the Shepherd does the will of God the Father. Comfort comes to us, the ones abandoned by the hired hands of the devil. Comfort comes to us through the offering of Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd. His offering is our comfort.