John 10:11 (NIV) ~ I am the good shepherd.
In my walk with the Lord, I have heard of many a “so called shepherd”, who instead of feeding the sheep, have fleeced the sheep, instead of looking after them, have used them for their own gain, and some even use them as stepping stones in an attempt to further their own ministry. We should never take advantage of the kindness and generosity of His flock. We should never take them for granted, but we should learn to love them, esteem them, treasure them. As a shepherd over His precious flock we should do our best for them in Lord.
If there be any example of how to feed the sheep, how to take care of them, and how to minister unto to them, then look no further than the Lord Jesus Christ, the very same person the writer spoke of in Hebrews 13:20 (NIV), “That great Shepherd of the sheep.”
When Jesus spoke to Peter in John chapter 21 in regards to His flock He gave him three things to do, first of all in verse 15, “Feed my lambs.” Then in verse 16, “Take care of my sheep,” also in verse 17, ” Feed my sheep.” We are called to do like wise, to feed His lambs, to nourish them and bring them good teaching. We are called to take care of His sheep, to watch over them with the loving heart of a true shepherd. Then we are called to feed His sheep, bless them, encourage them and build them up in the most holy faith.
As Jesus was speaking to the people who had gathered to hear Him, he says in John 10:11 (NIV), “‘I am the good shepherd.’ I know my sheep and my sheep know me, I lay down my life for the sheep. I love them and care for them, I lead them to fresh pasture, and I protect them from the wolf who would want to destroy them.” In this perfect picture, painted with words which those who were within earshot could understand, and those who for centuries later could see, Jesus loves His sheep, He cares for them, He protects them, He leads them beside quiet waters, He leads them into fresh pasture, He lays down His life for them, in an act of sacrificial love for them.
There is no better Shepherd to be led by, no better feeder of the flock, no better caretaker of people, no better protector, and no better leader to follow, than Jesus Christ the good Shepherd.
It is amazing to reflect on Psalms where the writer, King David, personalises things by using the words, “He” and “You”, referring to the LORD his Shepherd. Then David goes on to use such words as, “I”, “me” and “my life”.
Psalm 23:1 to 6 (NIV)
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
My friend, may you find in Jesus Christ all you ever need, as you ask Him to be the LORD, the great Shepherd, of not only your heart, but your life also.
God bless you my friend, Matthew.