Of Sheep and Shepherds

from Lynda Lindsey

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:9-10

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—-just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—-and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14-15

I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken. Ezekiel 34:23-24

Sheep and shepherds. Sheep need good shepherds, tender caregivers, sensitive to the foibles of those in their care. Sheep wander and stray, are easily spooked, and fall prey to injury, illness, and predators. Good shepherds provide selflessly for their charges; they seek the best pastures, strengthen the ill and weak, search for the lost, bind up the injured. God, decrying the selfish shepherd leaders of Israel, those who had allowed God’s people to be scattered and broken, promised to rescue and restore His people; Messiah, long promised through David’s line, would come as the Good Shepherd to save His sheep.

Messiah, Jesus, Prince of Peace, Savior, our provider and rescuer brings His sheep out of the dark places sin has scattered us and into His light of life—-life overflowing and abundant. Jesus tenderly feeds His flock like a shepherd, gathering the lambs in His arms and carrying them close to His heart. He gently leads those with young. He shepherds the flock with justice. He sends showers of blessing in season resulting in fruitful harvests. Even if we are in turmoil in the here and now, Jesus ensures His people’s eternal security, safety and peace; in Him we come in and go out in freedom. The Good Shepherd knows us intimately and loves us sacrificially; He willingly laid down His life for us. We know His voice and reject the enticements of a stranger. 

Just as a sheepfold had only one gate, Jesus is the only way to eternal life. There is no other name by which we may be saved. Jesus and the Father are one. Father God is in Jesus. Jesus is in the Father. We, as believers, are in Christ and the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in us. What, therefore, can any man do to us? Have you been hurt,  injured? Are you weak, lost? Have your dreams and hopes been shattered? Have you endured injustice? Enter in. Let Jesus bind up the hurts, strengthen your faint heart, and bring His justice to bear. Come in and go out in safety, security and peace. Life awaits; life brimming over! Don’t be satisfied with anything less.