25th February 2020

The Good Shepherd

“I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
John 10:11 (NKJV)

When I was about 10 or 11 years old growing up in a village in India, I watched numbers of shepherds with their staffs on their shoulders leading the flocks of sheep and goats through the main road, taking them to good pastures during dry season. I heard the bleating and saw the flock jostling with each other, but I never imagined I would be writing about them. There are so many lessons contained and so much written in the Bible about shepherds for our learning.

A few names vividly come to my mind from the Old Testament: Abraham and Lot had big flocks and large herds of cattle. There is good deal recorded about Jacob, who tended the sheep of his uncle Laban and he worked very hard. Later, he himself had a large flock of his own. After Joseph revealed the dream of Pharaoh, he was set over the people of Egypt and when his father came to Goshen, they settled as shepherds, for they said to the Pharaoh their occupation was to look after the flock. Still later we find Moses playing the role of a shepherd looking after the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro. After 40 years, God used Moses to ‘shepherd’ Israel out of the captivity from Egypt. I must not forget King David, who in his youth looked after his father’s sheep. He killed a bear and a lion bare-handed, saving the lives of the sheep.

That brings me to the story of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. He said, I know My sheep, each one by name and they hear My voice and I lay down My life for them (John 10:14-16). Acts 20:28 refers to the church, saying “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

Christ was the Shepherd who laid down His life to deliver us from evil and death. One of the best known passages in the Bible is Psalm 23, where King David writes that the Lord is our Shepherd, who leads us into good pastures; and that even when we pass through the valley of the shadow of death, He is there with us and that His goodness and mercy follow us. Encouraging words are also found in 1 Peter 5:4, “and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

One final exhortation, farewell and benediction is recorded in Hebrews 13:20-21, “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd and we are His flock of sheep.

Father in heaven, I thank You for the Chief Shepherd, Jesus, who leads us unto good pastures, who laid down His life for His flock. I pray and praise You in His name.

Study by Natu Moti

About the Author:
Natu Moti is a Deacon in the Birmingham Congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Birmingham
All Saints Church
George Road
B23 7QB

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1pm

Local Congregational Contact:
David Gibbs
Phone: 07777-667635
Email: birmingham@gracecom.church

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