"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life;, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:27-29 KJV).
IN THE 10TH CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN, Jesus shows Himself to be the door of the sheep, and the good Shepherd who gave His life for us.
What is a shepherd? Simply put, a shepherd is a keeper of sheep, a person who tends to and rears sheep – a herdsman. Shepherding was the chief occupation in the days of old, and, it was not only men’s work. Rachel met Jacob while watering her sheep! Moses’ wife Zipporah, along with her sisters, tended their father’s sheep.
What does a shepherd’s job entail? As aforementioned, it is the shepherd’s job to tend, herd, feed, and also – guard a flock of sheep. In the Bible, shepherds are depicted as leading their sheep to pasture and water, protecting them from wild animals, keeping watch over their flock at night, carrying their sheep when they were weak. In essence, a shepherd directs, corrects, and cares for the well-being of the sheep.
In the 23rd Psalm, we also see where the Lord is referred to as The Shepherd; as well as other of God’s leaders referred to as a shepherd, or having the attributes of a shepherd. The term shepherding is not only used for leading flocks of sheep, but for leading flocks of people as well. (Isaiah 40:11, Jeremiah 23:1, Ezekiel 34).
THE LORD IS OUR SHEPHERD. The Shepherd work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has three aspects:
The 'Good' Shepherd: He gives His life for the sheep. Although He had the power to save His own life, He chose not to in order to save others. He knows His sheep, and His sheep know Him. Conquering death, He is the door by which we enter in to be saved. (Matthew 20:28, John 10:17-18). Jesus lived a sinless life and gave Himself as the pure and unblemished sacrificial Lamb of God - to atone for the sins of the world. SAVING US FROM THE PENALTY OF SIN!
The 'Great' Shepherd: He was brought again from the dead to care for and make perfect His sheep. (Hebrew 13:20). Seeking out the lost sheep and bringing them back into the fold - giving them direction and hope. SAVING US FROM THE POWER OF SIN!
The 'Chief' Shepherd: The exalted and sovereign shepherd who will return for His sheep. A time to come, the Second Coming when the Lord shall come for His followers who faithfully heard His voice and followed Him. (I Peter 5:4). SAVING US FROM THE PRESENCE OF SIN!
There is a vast contrast between The Lord our Shepherd and the religious leaders (Pharisees) of their day. Remember, Jesus is THE SHEPHERD, not just a shepherd.