Jesus tells the story of The Good Shepherd and His Sheep in John 10:1-6:
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
Old Testament Scriptures frequently use the imagery shepherds and sheep. There are 150 uses of the word “sheep”, 51 in the Pentateuch alone. The great personages of Jewish ancestry – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses were all shepherds, and the greatest king, David, started his working life as a shepherd. The lamb also held great significance for the Jewish people. Lambs were used as offerings, sacrifices given expressing atonement for the sins of God’s people. The lamb was the centerpiece of the Passover feast.
Shepherding psalms: 79:13 - Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
80:1 - Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth!
Psalm 23 - The Lord is my Shepherd...
The people were well familiar with this analogy, but failed to grasp the significance of His words. As their Good Shepherd, he was there to lead them greener pastures giving them great abundance for eternity.
Hebrews 13:20-21 -May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Is He your shepherd? Then act like your His sheep. Amen?