Lessons From a Shepherd
I Peter 5:2-4,”Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly: nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”
It’s interesting that many great leaders in the Bible were at one-time shepherds. Moses was raised to be a great leader, but his best training was the 40 years that he spent as a shepherd. He learned that leading is not by force but by gentleness. Leading the Israelites out of Egypt was no small task
God taught David lessons of trust. As Moses was trained for his work, so the Lord was fitting the son of Jesse to become the guide of his chosen people. In his watch care for his flocks, he was gaining an appreciation of the care that the Great Shepherd has for the sheep of his pasture. Jacob learned diligence and faithfulness in the service of Laban. For twenty years he labored, fourteen years of toil for his two wives, and the remaining time his wages were changed ten times
Many times, a shepherd would hire other shepherds to help especially in the spring when lambs were being born. These hired hands were not the same as the good shepherd, they were there to get a paycheck, not because they loved the sheep. We are the sheep in this scenario. We have the best shepherd. The good shepherd who loves us and died to save us from the Jackal who was lurking in the shadows. Our shepherd didn’t think of himself when we were lost, but rather bruised his feet and hands to secure our safety. The good shepherd who gave his life to save his sheep.
Jesus gave counsel to Peter after His resurrection saying “Peter do you love me? Feed my lambs…..Tend my lambs.” John 21:15 Now it’s our turn to have the shepherd experience. It’s our turn to learn the lessons, to become a good shepherd like Moses and David and Jacob and to be like Christ, the Chief Shepherd. The path is rocky, moving the sheep to pasture is not easy, they get lost, they forget their way. I can’t imagine moving sheep around for 40 years. Spring, summer, winter, fall in inclement weather, with predators waiting for you to be caught off guard just for a moment to snatch away a lamb. That’s what life is like though isn’t it.
I have often wondered why Jesus was referred to as the Lamb of God and also the Good Shepherd, He was the sacrificial lamb for us but also, He is our Shepherd who knows us by name. We are like sheep gone astray and were lost but found by our shepherd, now we are to become hirelings and feed the sheep while He is away. Let us prove to be good hirelings that love the sheep like Jesus does. That we might be found faithful when He returns.