Monday, March 08, 2010

The Good Shepherd

Jesus tells us a profound name and title for Himself in John 10, I am the good shepherd! Here is a powerful word picture and a description on Who God is, who we are and what He does for us!

A shepherd is the person whose job it was to guard and care for the sheep. And sheep is a metaphor for us, God’s people. Although sheep are notoriously stupid animals and can’t survive on their own, they show us that without God, we are just like them. They are totally dependent upon their caregiver, the Shepherd. A sheep that gets out and lives on its own will starve because it will not go where the food is. It will hurt itself by rubbing itself to death on a tree or falling down and breaking its leg or falling off a cliff. Sheep need constant care and attention and the sheep that skips out on that care will die. The Shepherd is the one who graciously cares for the sheep in his care, even laying his life on the line against predators and rustlers (Psalm 77:20; 78:52; 100:3).

Meaning that we need Jesus, even though we do not want Him. He is the One who leads, equips, and guides us— aspect s we all urgently need. God is the Shepherd for His people and His people are described as a flock that needs His leading and provision. It is our call to hear His voice and obey, as a good sheep does, in order to be fed and not be eaten by predators (Gen. 48:15; 49:24; Psalm 23; 28:9; 77:20; 78:52, 71; 79:13; 80:1; 100:3; Isa. 40:11; 63:11; Jer. 23:1; 31:10; 34:11-16; Ezek. 34:6-16, 31; Hos. 6:6; Zech. 13:7; Matt. 26:31; John 10:1-8; 16:13-15; Rom. 10:7; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4; Rev. 7:17).

God also anoints people to be leaders for His people. Concerning sheep, the person who owned the sheep had a vested interest in them and would do all it took to protect them, as their family’s livelihood depended on them. in contrast, a hired person had no vested interest and as soon as danger would come, they would scram (Gen. 31:39; Num. 27:15-23; 1 Sam. 17:34-37; 2 Sam. 5:2; Psalm 78:71-72; Isa. 63:11; Jer. 3:15; Ezek. 34:1-24).

Sheep follow, do you? Even though God is the One who gives life and protects, a responsibility is given to leaders to be watchful and aware of people who would fleece and hurt the flock of our Lord. We have to trust in our Good Shepherd to lead us to the good pastures and we are also to do our part with gratitude and diligence and not run away from His pen. We also are called to be led by the Word and not by our pride or by false teachers, the thieves who would rob us of God’s instructions and replace them with nonsense and dangerous cliffs from which we could fall (1 Sam. 17:34-37; 2 Sam. 5:2).

Do you, Have His leading and life? That through our relationship with Jesus Christ, we have joyful abundance now, personal favor of God with real fellowship with Him, a purpose and meaning for our daily lives, and eternal life to come (John 3:1-16).

Two of the primary foundations of the Gospel Message are who Jesus is and what He did on the cross for us. Here, Christ comes to us to bringing the Gospel, as a Good Shepherd who puts our concerns and needs before His. This passage portrays how Christ came to us and how we are to serve. Yet, what gets in the way of this? Our life of contentment is trapped between the walls of experience and the ceiling of things we desire, while we tend to ignore the door of the truth and real joy. For us to be in the safety of faith, we not only need to be in Christ, but we also have to obey Him. This is a result of our intimate relationship with Him. We know Him; He knows us, and we do what He says. We are concerned with what concerns Him, and we act accordingly. Like sheep, we can't lead ourselves or others without being forever lost and unfed. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and we are the sheep. The question is, are you a sheep under His care or one that is out on the lamb (pun intended) on the run (1 Sam. 17:34-36; John 2:19; 3:14; 6:51)?

Questions to Ponder

How is Jesus your Good Shepherd?

How is He your Gatekeeper who watches over you?

How have you followed His voice of love and instruction?

How can you better do so? What would this mean to your church and personal life?

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At 11:06 AM, Blogger Dave Sargeant said...

Richard, have read some of your teachings and not only in the good shepherd how true they are. We do need to obey and learn of Him who is our salvation. Found your blog by 'chance ' through following next blog. Mine is called 'Beauties of creation'. Don't know how this works but hope I can get back to your blog sometime. Dave.

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good brief and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you seeking your information.


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