The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11)
The Gospel appointed for this service tells us about the good shepherd in contrast to the bad ones. The good shepherd is Jesus Christ who died for the sins of the whole world so that mankind would be redeemed from eternal damnation. Jesus Christ the good shepherd is the pre-existent Christ- the word of God (John 1:1-4) Jesus as the good shepherd cares for us. He gives us life abundantly. This abundant life is richer and fuller over flowing with forgiveness, love and guidance. The life Jesus gives is eternal because in him and through him life continues after death. This life that he gives is a free gift to all received only through faith in Jesus Christ (Acts. 4:12)
Jesus the good shepherd knows His sheep (His people) (John 10:14). He keeps watch over them as they walk through life, correcting them with his rod and comforting them with his staff (Psalm 23). He leads his people to the green pastures to nourish and assuage their thirst. He knows their needs and supplies same. His promise to his people is that he would never leave them or forsake them (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:6)
Jesus the good shepherd is therefore worthy to be followed, to accept him as one’s Lord and Saviour. He is worthy of our worship. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8).
In Christ Jesus we have the perfect example of what all pastors should be to their flocks in commitment to their call as pastors. To do otherwise is to be a hireling whose only interest is his material gains that do not have eternal value. In today’s world such hirelings are many. They go about deceiving spiritually. We need to be weary of them. The only way one can keep them at bay is to leak constantly unto Jesus the Chief Shepherd and Bishop of our souls (I Peter 2:25).
The King of love my Shepherd is
Whose goodness falleth never
I nothing lack, if I am his
And he is mine forever.
And so through all the length of days
My goodness faileth never
Good Shepherd may I sing thy praise
Within thy house forever
A&M 197 verses I and 6
The Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D