THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Memorise: I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. John 10:14
Read: John 10:11-14, 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for thesheep.
Bible in one year: Psalm 32-35, Hebrews 1:1-2:4
One of the earliest jobs that man engaged in after the Fall was that of shepherding animals. Abel was described as a shepherd in Genesis 4:2. The job of a shepherd is a difficult one, and it involves a lot of discomfort and sacrifice. Jacob’s testimony in Genesis 31:40 should give you an idea of what it takes to be a shepherd. He said:
“Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.”
However, there are different kinds of shepherds. There are shepherds who do the work purely for monetary consideration: these are referred to as hirelings. The slightest inconvenience or threat encountered while watching over the sheep puts the hireling to flight. There are also regular shepherds, who show some care for the sheep and are prepared to take some minimal risks on their account. Beyond these aforementioned is the Good Shepherd. He loves the sheep so much that He can sacrifice anything for them, including His life. Jesus revealed Himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:11, saying:
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
The reality of Jesus as the Good Shepherd assures us of God’s tremendous love, care and compassion. The Good Shepherd is ever ready to accommodate any level of risk for the sheep. He takes time to get personally acquainted with each of His sheep. He knows their strengths and weaknesses, and on this basis, He is able to give them adequate guidance. He knows His sheep and calls them by name.
As a servant of God or as a leader in your God-given area of endeavour, you have been called to be like the Good Shepherd; but you can choose to serve God as a hireling, a regular shepherd or like the Good Shepherd Himself. How are you serving God today? How much risk are you prepared to take for the sheep the Lord has placed under your care? To what extent are you ready to serve the Lord without monetary considerations, but just for the sake of the love of Christ? Can any member of your flock call you a good shepherd like your Lord? As a shepherd, at whatever level you are currently operating, you can move forward to the next level. If you want the Good Shepherd to be everything to you, it follows that you must first be a good shepherd to those He has placed under your care. If you are doing your work as a good shepherd, you will never take advantage of the flock under you. While some pastors are thinking of how to improve the lives of their members and help them to become financially free, others are milking their members dry. What kind of shepherd are you?
Adopt the attitude of a good shepherd in relating with those you lead.