Ezekiel 34 provided a solid warning to shepherds on what God is upset about in how shepherds are shepherding their flocks. God is very upset with shepherds that only feed themselves and prey on their flock.
While John 10:1-18 provides us the example of what Jesus has to say about the good shepherd.
I have chosen these five words to describe a good shepherd based on Jesus' teaching.
1. Know(n) = Intimate relationship built on communication (listens, speaks, hears, calls, leads, follows).
2. Sacrifices life (lays down life, gives willingingly, and entry point for salvation).
3. Willing = Freedom to choose both for the Good shepherd and the sheep
4. Blesses = Good pasture, salvation, life, abundant life, flock/family, belonging
5. Builds His flock = future, purpose
A bad shepherd is not known, listened to, or followed by the Good Shepherd's sheep because bad shepherds...
1. Are not known
2. Do not build relationships
3. Do not sacrifice
4. Do not bless
5. Do not build community
6. Do not give freedom.
Bad shepherds steal, kill, and destroy because it is all about taking and not giving. They do not care.
What should I do as a sheep?
I need to...
1. Listen to the Good Shepherd.
2. Follow the Good Shepherd.
3. Know and be known by the Good Shepherd.
4. Receive the blessings of good pasture and abundant life.
5. Become a part of the flock and enjoy what it means to belong.
A Good Shepherd provides safe pasture and serves for the benefit of the flock. I love how in this passage we are shown that the Father gave freedom to Jesus to choose to be the Good Shepherd. Jesus willingly chose to be our Good Shepherd. In verse 9 did you notice that Jesus allows the sheep the freedom to go in and out of the good pasture. It is a choice. Just as the Father gave Jesus a choice, Jesus gives us a choice to go in and out of the good pasture.
I love the beauty that is revealed in a relationship between the Shepherd and His sheep. This is something worth basking in and pondering on both the spiritual level, but also on the leadership level.
Do you know the Good Shepherd?
Do you know what the Good Shepherd has done for you?
Have you received what the Good Shepherd has provided?
How would you be described as a shepherd (leader)?