JOHN 10: 7 – 11 “Then Jesus said to them again, Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door to the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door, If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and find pasture. …...................... I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep”. (NKJV)
Land in Judea was mostly rough and stony, more suitable for pasture than farming. Raising sheep was a main source of income for many of the residents. A shepherd was necessary to raise the sheep. Without a shepherd, the sheep would stray away and get lost, fall off a cliff, be eaten by wild animals, or be taken by thieves. The shepherd was never off duty. He had to watch over the sheep all the time unless they were in an enclosed sheep pen with a gate that locked at night.
Jesus is the door. Like sheep, only through Him can man have access to God the Father. Before Jesus came into the world, we were separated from God because of our sin. Jews knew Him as God. Ordinary men only knew God as a Spirit beyond reach or a distant ruler to be feared. No one could come into God's presence because sin separated all of us from Him. We are now able to experience a relationship with God because Jesus Christ shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins. Whoever believes in Him and calls on His name, can have eternal life in Him (John 3: 16). Having been restored to a right relationship with God Through Jesus, we can go into God's presence without the wall of separation that was previously between Him and man. But, we need a shepherd who is physically present to help keep us in the community of God.
The Latin word for shepherd is Pastor. A shepherd reflects a picture of someone who exercises vigilant, continuous care and love for his people as God does for all of us. In the New Testament, Church leaders' duties are to feed the flock; to eagerly and willingly accept the charge of overseer, not just for the money or a position of power to exert control over others (1 Peter 5: 1-5). The shepherd is to be an example of Christian character for the people by equipping them for Christian living. (John 21: 15-17; Ephesians 4: 11-12). Our Pastor is sincere, loving and personally involves himself with our well-being. He guides, protects and feeds his followers with God's Word, often assisting with physical food in the form of meeting material needs. He genuinely cares for the sheep and leads wisely with counsel from God and many competent advisers.
Are you good sheep?
- When the Pastor speaks of something you disagree with, do you get angry and miss church until your anger passes?
- Do you join in negative discussions about our Pastor and church? If so, STOP IT!
- Do you pray for our Pastor and leaders? You can't hold onto bitterness and negativity while praying for the people or the issues.
- Do not participate in divisive activity. It weakens your walk and your witness.