Berean Bible Study Notes

John 10:1-21: The Good Shepherd

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Jesus, Shepherd of the Sheep

Jesus, shepherd of the sheep,

Who your Father's flock does keep,

Safe we wake and safe we sleep,

Guarded still by you.

The Good Shepherd

Today, the lesson is on the Good Shepherd, so it seems appropriate to start with the most famous of the shepherd passages in the Old Testament:

Psalm 23:1 (NKJV) A psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.

4 Yea, 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. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.



Last time, we learned about the healing of a man born blind. This is how that chapter ended:

John 9:35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him (the man born blind) out (of the synagogue, of Judaism), and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"

36 "Who is he, sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him."

37 Jesus said, "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you."

38 Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshipped him.

39 Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind."

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, "What? Are we blind too?"

41 Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Now, in chapter 10, this conversation continues. Jesus is speaking to the man born blind and to His disciples, but some Pharisees are there, too. This is still the 8th day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

John 10

John 10:1 "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.

7 Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

19 At these words the Jews were again divided. 20 Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?"

21 But others said, "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"

 

The Bible talks a lot about shepherds & sheep. It's one of the most prevalent types. Before you look any further, how many shepherds in the Bible can you name? I'll leave a space - so scroll down to continue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who was the very first one? Abel, right?

Genesis 4:2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.

Interesting that Abel gave an acceptable sacrifice and then was killed for no sin of his own.

The next shepherd specifically mentioned is Abraham, who had many flocks. Then Isaac, who inherited the flocks. Of course, in both those cases, they had others who cared for their sheep. Next is Jacob, who watched over his Uncle's flocks and gradually acquired his own. We're up to four, right, if you count Abraham and Isaac? Now, all Jacob's son's were shepherds, but the one mentioned specifically first is Joseph:

Genesis 37:2 This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

Joseph goes on to become a type of Jesus in many ways. So, Joseph (and his brothers with him) is number five. The next main shepherd is Moses. (there are other shepherds that we're skipping. Lot had flocks, and Rachel cared for her father's sheep until Jacob came. Moses' wife was a shepherdess along with her sisters.)

Now, counting Abraham and Isaac, we're up to six. Who is the next main shepherd? That would be David, who becomes king and is a man after God's own heart. He would be seventh. Again, there are other shepherds mentioned (the prophet Amos was a shepherd), but these are the main ones. So, seven main shepherds in the Old Testament. So, who comes next? That would be Jesus! He would be eighth, and that is interesting, because eight is the number of new beginning. There are hints of resurrection in the number eight. Sunday is the first day in the Hebrew week, but it is also the eighth day. What day is Jesus having the discussion of the Good Shepherd? The eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

God is our Shepherd

The first time the word "shepherd" is applied to God Himself is here, where Jacob is blessing Joseph and his sons:

Genesis 48:15 Then he blessed Joseph and said, "May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, 16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm — may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly upon the earth."

Genesis 49:24 But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, 25 because of your father's God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.

Psalm 23:1 A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd , I shall not be in want.

Psalm 28:9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Psalm 80:1 Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken your might;come and save us.

Isaiah 40:10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. 11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Ezekiel 34:11 "'For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

Ezekiel 34:31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.'"

 

The Messiah was to be the shepherd of Israel

Ezekiel 37:24 "'My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd . They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever.

Micah 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." 3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. 4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. 5 And he will be their peace.

And, as that verse was understood by the teachers in Israel:

Matthew 2:6 "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"

Zechariah 13:6 If someone asks him, 'What are these wounds on your body?' he will answer, 'The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.' 7 "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd , against the man who is close to me!" declares the LORD Almighty. "Strike the shepherd , and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.

 

God's people are sheep

As you can see, there is some overlap. In order for us to be God's sheep, He must be our shepherd. In order for Him to be our shepherd, we must be sheep. Here are a few more, not mentioned above.

Psalm 77:20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Psalm 78:52 But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the desert.

Psalm 79:13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Psalm 95:6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

Psalm 100:3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep , have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Micah 2:12 "I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people.

Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

 

Leaders are to be good shepherds

Numbers 27:15 Moses said to the LORD, 16 "May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community 17 to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD's people will not be like sheep without a shepherd ."

2 Samuel 5:1 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'"

Psalm 78:70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; 71 from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. 72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. (This is the way all kings were supposed to be)

Jeremiah 3:14 "Return, faithless people," declares the LORD, "for I am your husband. I will choose you — one from a town and two from a clan — and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

Jeremiah 17:16 I have not run away from being your shepherd; you know I have not desired the day of despair. What passes my lips is open before you.

 

Too often, leaders are false shepherds

Jeremiah 10:21 The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the LORD; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered.

Jeremiah 12:10 Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard and trample down my field; they will turn my pleasant field into a desolate wasteland. 11 It will be made a wasteland, parched and desolate before me; the whole land will be laid waste because there is no one who cares.

Jeremiah 23:1 "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares the LORD. 3 "I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 25:34 Weep and wail, you shepherds; roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock. For your time to be slaughtered has come; you will fall and be shattered like fine pottery. 35 The shepherds will have nowhere to flee, the leaders of the flock no place to escape. 36 Hear the cry of the shepherds, the wailing of the leaders of the flock, for the LORD is destroying their pasture.

Jeremiah 50:6 "My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.

Ezekiel 34:2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.

Zechariah 10:2 Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. 3 "My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the LORD Almighty will care for his flock, the house of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle.

 

Shepherds first announced the coming of the Good Shepherd, the savior:

Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Here are some entries in the Bible Dictionary:

Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1995. Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary. Rev. ed. of: Nelson's illustrated Bible dictionary.; Includes index. T. Nelson: Nashville

Jon Courson's New Testament Commentary has this for an introduction of this section. (Courson, J. 2003. Jon Courson's Application Commentary . Thomas Nelson: Nashville, TN)

And here are some first-hand experiences with sheep:

Any shepherds here? What can you tell us about sheep?

Summerthyme's Experience:

Rockywhy:

Adgal:

There are more comments at the link. So, a shepherd cares for the sheep. When it is time to move them to new pasture, he scouts out the area and removes any poisonous plants (because sheep will eat almost anything). He makes note of any hazards. In ancient times, when the shepherd moved further away from the village in search of green grass, he would build a sheepfold. It probably wouldn't have high rock walls like the permanent one in the village, but he would make some kind of enclosure of brush and mounded dirt. He might make it against a cliff or even a cave, if one was available. He'd leave an opening in the enclosure, so the sheep could go in and out, but there wouldn't be a gate. He, himself, would be the gate, and he would sleep across the opening. The sheep couldn't get out without going through him, and he was always alert to predators.

Sheep need a shepherd. They have no natural defense other than sheer numbers. They can be clever at getting themselves into trouble - but pretty dumb at keeping themselves safe. They will blindly follow the one in front, no matter where that sheep is going, even to the death.

450 sheep jump to their deaths in Turkey

So, we are sheep. Not a terribly complimentary comparison - but God says that's exactly the way we are. Fortunately, we're God's sheep, and it's His job to take care of us. Well, now that we're through the introduction, LOL, let's go through the text:

John 10:1 "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.

The people listening to Jesus certainly understood his illustration. They just didn't know what it had to do with anything. In the villages, there would be a common sheepfold. The sheepfold probably had stone walls that were several feet high. When the sheep were grazing near the village, or in winter, the shepherd would take his sheep to the village sheepfold for the night. Most people probably didn't have more than 100 sheep, and each one may even have been named. So, all the sheep are bunched together for the night, and a watchman is placed at the gate. The owner goes home. In the morning, he comes for his sheep. The watchman recognizes him, and opens the gate. The shepherd calls his own sheep. They know his voice - and his face - and even his smell. So, his sheep come, and he leads them to pasture.

What does that mean for us? Isn't it possible for us to get confused? Is that God speaking to me? Or is it Satan? Or is it just my undigested lunch? Is that what Jesus means here? That if we don't recognize His voice, we're not really His sheep?

No, that's not what it means at all. You have already heard and recognized His voice if you read God's Word and believe it. When you read something in the Bible, and you know that you are reading truth, you have heard and recognized the voice of Jesus. Remember that one of His titles is the Word. If you believe that He died for your sins, you have recognized His voice. If He is your savior, you have recognized His voice. You are following Him because you ARE His sheep. You didn't follow Buddha's voice. You didn't follow Allah's voice. You didn't tag along behind Krishna. You recognized the voice of your true shepherd. Buddha, Allah, Krisha - are thieves and robbers - all sent by Satan. But, you, as God's elect, were not fooled. You did not hear their voices. You stayed with your real shepherd.

Now, someone who doesn't go through the gate would be up to no good. Jesus' listeners understood all this about sheep and shepherds, but they didn't understand what He was getting at about them, so, He goes on:

John 10:7 Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate (door in KJV and NKJV) for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

 Jesus isn't jumping illustrations. When the shepherd moved away from the village, to his own sheepfold, the shepherd would be the one in the gate. All the would-be "gods", "messiahs" and "saviors" that had shown up (and will show up), were not shepherds. They were thieves and robbers, intent on harming the sheep. They were not there to truly lead the sheep to pasture. If someone tells you that there is another way to heaven besides Jesus, he is climbing over the wall. He is denying the only legitimate entry through the only door there is. He himself may be simply deceived, but he is acting as the agent of Satan. Satan KNOWS that he is a thief and a robber. His only intent is to hurt and destroy.

But, whoever enters the sheepfold through Jesus will be saved. The word "saved" there is in the future, passive tense. So, this is the final, complete salvation that means no more sin, no more death, no more sorrow. This is the final redemption that we are waiting for. It's already ours, but we can't take advantage of it, yet. The word is passive. The action is being done TO us.

Jesus' statement, "I am the gate" (or "I am the door") is the third of the seven "I am" comparisons in John:

  1. I am the bread of life

  2. I am the light of the world

  3. I am the door

  4. I am the good shepherd

  5. I am the resurrection, and the life

  6. I am the way, the truth, and the life

  7. I am the true vine

Jon Courson says about this section (Courson, J. 2003. Jon Courson's Application Commentary . Thomas Nelson: Nashville, TN):

You can't take the end of verse 10 by itself. Yes, Jesus did come to bring abundant life - but that doesn't mean abundance in the worldly sense. It means that you don't have to worry about your life. God will take care of you now and take you to Himself later. It's the essence of Romans 8:28. John 10:10 comes in light of John 10:11: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Because the Good Shepherd has laid down His life for you, you may have abundant life.

John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

"I am the good shepherd." Here is the fourth "I am" statement. The Bible could be said to be the tale of two shepherds. God promised that He, Himself would be the shepherd of the flock. Ezekiel 34 spells it out pretty clearly. There were numerous pictures in the Old Testament of the coming "good shepherd," as we mentioned before - Joseph, Moses, David. The various kings were supposed to be pictures of the good shepherd, too. There were a few who did fairly well - David, Hezekiah, Josiah. The tasks of a shepherd included:

- to watch for enemies trying to attack the sheep
- to defend the sheep from attackers
- to heal the wounded and sick sheep
- to find and save lost or trapped sheep
- to love them, sharing their lives and so earning their trust.

But, Jesus says the Good Shepherd goes even further than that. He lays down his life for the sheep. It's a clear prophecy of what He will do.

The word "pastor" is the Latin word for shepherd. A good pastor is not a pastor because of money or prestige or power. A good pastor is there for the sheep. Shepherds don't push the flock. Shepherds lead the flock. They lead the way and the sheep follow. On the other hand, a pastor who abandons the flock at the first sign of trouble is more like the hireling in Jesus' story.

John 10:14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

19 At these words the Jews were again divided. 20 Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?"

21 But others said, "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"

Jesus is speaking to the Jews. Who are the "other sheep?" They are the Gentiles. There will be one flock and one shepherd. Paul says the same thing here:

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Jesus says, The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. Here you have the perfect obedience of Jesus. He will lay down His life by His own choice, because it is the will of His Father. As we've gone over in the past, there are other verses which talk about God the Father raising Jesus from the dead, and at least one verse that talks about the God the Spirit raising Jesus from the dead. It's not a contradiction; it's evidence of the Trinity.

Some of the Jews listening just couldn't take it. They thought Jesus had to be demon-possessed to say such things. Others didn't agree. Although, in the end, the Jewish leadership reject the claims of Jesus, the Bible says that many Pharisees did come to believe.

There are some other interesting verses in the New Testament about Jesus being our shepherd.

He is "that Great Shepherd":

Hebrews 13:20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Overseeing shepherd:

1 Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

The Chief shepherd:

1 Peter 5:1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

And the shepherd who is also the lamb:

Revelation 7:14 "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. 16 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd ; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

 

I mentioned before that the Bible could be considered the tale of two shepherds. Here, we've heard about the "Good Shepherd." Jesus is using that in contrast to the "False Shepherd":

Zechariah 11:15 Then the LORD said to me, "Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hoofs. 17 "Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!"

Just as there were types of the Good Shepherd that pointed to the one to come, so there were types of the False Shepherd that point to the False Shepherd that was to come. Next time, we'll go through some of the Scriptures that deal with the False Shepherd.

Here are some articles that may help your study of the Good Shepherd:

John, Chapter 10

Agriculture in Ancient Israel

Shepherds don't do that

Pictures of sheepfolds

And, just for fun:

Sheep Comics: The Great Shepherd is there

More Sheep Comics


 



The Berean Bible Study of the Gospel of John




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Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. - Acts 17:11

© 2012 This study was written by Jacqui Komschlies and last updated 3/6/2012. If you have questions, comments, corrections or concerns, please write me.

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