Today's Bible Passage
In the last verse of this chapter we come upon two of the great names for God—the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls—as the Authorized Version has it.
(1st) God is the Shepherd of the souls of men. The Greek is poimen and the word Shepherd is one of the oldest descriptions of God. The Psalmist has it in the best-loved of the Psalms: “The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1
). Isaiah has it: “He will feed his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)
This was the title that Jesus took to himself when He called himself the Good Shepherd and when He said that the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:1-18)
. To Jesus, the men and women who did not know God and who were waiting for what He would give them were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34
). The great privilege given to the servant and minister of Jesus is to shepherd the flock of God (John 21:16
; 1Peter 5:2
It may be difficult for those of us who live in an industrial civilization to grasp the greatness of this picture but in the East, the picture would be very vivid, particularly in Judaea, where there was a narrow central plateau that held danger on either side. The shepherd had to be ceaselessly and sleeplessly on the watch lest harm should come to his flock.
How are you looking after the sheep in your care - a Sunday School class or a youth group? Jesus said, “Feed My Sheep.”
Praise and Prayer
“Thank You, God, for the self-sacrificing love You have for all who are Your flock. Scripture tells me that I am Yours and I am the sheep of Your pasture (Psalm 100:3). Amen!”