Jesus as the Good Shepherd

I started to write about Jesus as the Good Shepherd, but there is so much to say about Jesus the Good Shepherd, so I am going to try to write about Jesus the Good Shepherd who is the servant of the sheep. 

(John 10:14) “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”

We can say a lot of things about the duties of a shepherd when he takes care of his sheep. We can see some of the things in (Psalms 23:1-3) “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

Look at what David is saying: 

  1. He is one of Jesus’ sheep, 
  2. That because the Lord is his shepherd, he will not lack anything that he needs,
  3. He will always have a good place to sleep,
  4. He will always have food to eat,
  5. And he will always be led into the right place.

In short, when the Lord is our shepherd, He will meet all our needs just like a good servant would. When Jesus says that He is the Good Shepherd, he means that He is a servant to his sheep. And anyone who has been saved becomes one of Jesus’ sheep so that Jesus has a duty to take care of him. 

One of the disagreements that the apostles had with themselves was who will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. All of them wanted to be the greatest. It seems that they were still having this argument at the last supper.

Jesus told them more than one time that “If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)

I do not believe that they understood that if they wanted to be great in the kingdom they had to become servants of all. Then at the last supper, Jesus showed them just what it meant to be a servant of all so that they could be great in the kingdom. 

(John 13:4-5) “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.” 

Jesus himself took the part of the lowest servant. The lowest servant would be the one that washed the feet of the guests. He made himself a servant of all. In doing so, he made himself the greatest in the kingdom. Now he is the greatest because of who he is. He is the Lord. He said that he is the Good Shepherd of the sheep. The shepherd could be called the lord of the sheep. This is true.

But a shepherd is more than a lord, for the shepherd also takes care of the sheep. This is what a servant does – he takes care of all his sheep.

Jesus was making that point that he was acting as a servant of all so that they were to serve one another.  

This is not easy to do, nor it is easy to become the lowest servant when you want to be the greatest. 

I do not know that it can be done in our flesh, that is, in our human nature. There are two passages that you need to learn and understand the meaning of and live by. 

(Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” 

(Ephesians 5:18) “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit… (Ephesians 5:21) “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” 

If you can live in the Spirit and be filled with the Spirit you can become the “servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)

*Devotional written by Ralph Williams, retired pastor and member of One Hope Mobile.

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