Rev. E. Ahenkan Owusu
By -

 Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, and John 10:11-18


Shepherding is about taking care of the flock. The life of a shepherd was hard. It worked against the heat and the cold weather. Sheep tend to stubbornly wander. Most areas had precipices and crevices into which the sheep could fall. There were predators to prey on the flock as well as on the shepherd. Then some thieves come for their skin and meat. The shepherd’s task was relentless vigilance and constant attention. The danger was all around, from animals, thieves, and robbers. Despite these challenges, the shepherd is expected to protect, provide, nurture, care for, lead, guide, and multiply the flock.

In the Old Testament, God Himself was understood and presented as a Shepherd. When Psalmist say, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." (Psalm 23). "You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron." (Psalm 77:20) "Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever." (Psalm 79:13) "Hear us, Shepherd of Israel." (Psalm 80:1).

Jesus, The Good Shepherd

With this background, Jesus said that He is the Good Shepherd. By now, the Jews had a good understanding of a Good Shepherd. For them, historically, it was David the shepherd boy who cared for his father’s flocks, defeated Goliath, and became the king of Israel. David was their greater shepherd.

But you do remember in John 5, Jesus claimed greatness over Moses, and in John 8, He claimed to be greater than Abraham saying, “Before Abraham was, I am.” And here, He is a Shepherd far greater than any other shepherd including David. When you come into the New Testament, there are several places where Jesus is referred to as the Good Shepherd.

Matthew 9:36, "When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." In Luke 12:32, Jesus referred to the people as His flock, "Do not be afraid, little flock." In 1 Peter 2:25, "For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."

So in this context in John 10, Jesus presents Himself as the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep. In John 10:11, He says, "I am the good shepherd." Jesus Christ our Good Shepherd gave the ultimate sacrifice of laying His life for His sheep.

As we reflect on this profound metaphor of Christ Jesus as our Good Shepherd, let us delve into the rich symbolism and practical implications of Christ's role as our Shepherd.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus declares, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." This lays the foundation for understanding the essence of Christ's shepherding role. 

Let's explore what it means for Jesus to be our Good Shepherd.

1. Protection and Provision: The Good Shepherd watches over His flock, ensuring their safety from predators and providing nourishment. Just as a shepherd protects sheep from harm, Jesus safeguards us from spiritual dangers and fulfills our needs.

As a child of God, you belong to Jesus so He says, "I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me ... and I lay down my life for the sheep" (John 10:14-15). The Good Shepherd will protect and provide for His sheep even in the face of danger (predators). 

"Even 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." Psalms 23:4

Note that your situation is under control if Christ is your Shepherd, He will comfort you. He never leaves us in the middle of our problems, He fights for our safety and serves us our needs. Put your trust in Him for Christ is our Good Shepherd. (Psalm 23:1)

2. Guidance and Direction: Shepherds lead their sheep to green pastures and still waters. Similarly, Jesus Christ guides us along the paths of righteousness, offering spiritual nourishment and leading us toward a life of purpose and fulfillment.

David explains, "He [Good Shepherd] makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul." Psalms 23:2-3. 

The sheep always go astray if left alone, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way..." (Isaiah 53:6.) So it is with us humans. It is the Good Shepherd that guides and directs our paths to the way of righteousness.

3. Unconditional Love: The ultimate act of love is self-sacrifice. In 1 John 3:16, we're reminded, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us." Christ as our Good Shepherd, Jesus exemplifies sacrificial love, showing us the depth of God's love for humanity.

"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." 1 John 3:1. With unconditional love, while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd died for us. 

With love, David tells Him, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." Psalms 23:5. He sets us in the company of goodness and mercies all the days of our lives.

4. Relationship and Intimacy: A shepherd knows each sheep by name. Jesus, our Good Shepherd, desires a personal relationship with each of us. Jesus sometimes carries us on His shoulders as the shepherds sometimes do.

We grow in Christ by building intimacy with Him. Knowing and understanding His voice, living at peace with ourselves and others. 

"I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father." (John 10:14-15). He knows our struggles, joys, and aspirations, offering us a deep and intimate connection with God.

The anointing God gives us brings us to His level of work. David says, "You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." (Psalms 23:5). Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:21-22). 

The Hebrews writer tells us how Christ builds intimacy with us, "That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers." (Hebrews 2:11). This is how intimate we grow with Christ.

5. Eternal Dwelling and Security: Jesus assures us in John 10:28, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand." As our Good Shepherd, He secures our eternal destiny, promising us everlasting life and salvation.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever." (Psalms 23:6). Christ the Good Shepherd gives us eternal dwelling place and security. 

Now, let's reflect on how we can practically experience Christ as our Good Shepherd in our daily lives:

1. Trust in His Guidance: Seek His direction in decisions, and trust that He will lead you towards His perfect will.

2. Rest in His Protection: Find peace knowing that the Good Shepherd is guarding you from all harm, both physical and spiritual.

3. Embrace His Love: Receive and share His love with others, embodying the sacrificial love that Christ demonstrated.

4. Cultivate Relationship: Foster a deeper relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd through prayer, study of His Word, and fellowship with other believers.

5. Live with Eternal Perspective: Keep our focus on the eternal promises of Christ, living in hope and assurance of our salvation.


May we continually seek to follow our Good Shepherd, trusting in His provision, guidance, and love as we journey through life. Amen.

Shalom aleikhem...

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  1. Comprehensive, well researched, well presented. God bless you

    1. Glory be God who always gives to us to share. I'm grateful it helps.

  2. God bless you Papa for blessing us always 🙏

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