What would make The Good Shepherd talk about other shepherds? That’s what happens in Jesus’ talk with his disciples in John 10. In the first verse, he warned us of the fakes who try to infiltrate the flock with words and actions that don’t jive with what Christ has taught us, but in this verse he gives a clue to what we should look for:
The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.John 10:2 (NIV)
Though the next few verses go over this more in depth, I want to sit on this one for a while today.
First, to answer my earlier question: Jesus tells us that though he is The Good Shepherd, he’s got other under-shepherds who will be on the ground to serve the flocks in their care.
How will we know they’re “his” shepherds?
They come in through the gate.
A true shepherd of the flock of Christ does not have to use manipulation or tricks to be put in charge of a flock of sheep; no, he comes in through the gate of Christ himself by answering the call to serve.
If anyone tells you that shepherding is a great job, full of self-fulfilling, easy work, then they know nothing about taking care of sheep. They’ve most likely not come in through the gate.
The true shepherd, the true pastor is a servant-leader. He’s a straight-shooter (pardon the analogy) with the Word of God, because he knows that’s the truth for his life as much as it is for that of those he serves. The words that Christ spoke while on this earth are those he speaks, because they are the words of life.
I’m leaving us with one verse to meditate on this week, because I also want you to use it as a reminder to pray for your own personal shepherd, the pastor of your church. If there were ever a day that we need to be praying for the shepherds among us and around the world, it is today.
While they’ve come in through the gate to take up the hard task of pastoring and shepherding, they are actively fending off and protecting their flocks from the thieves and robbers of verse one. It’s not just that pastors have to preach that Word, but they are entrusted with protecting their flocks from the attacks of those who would seek to sneak into the pen and wreck havoc on Satan’s behalf. I don’t think I have to tell you that they’ve got their hands full in doing that, do I?
So, what can you do as a sheep for your local shepherd?
- Pray for him.
- Let him know you are praying for him and appreciate him.
- Do good for him — you figure out what that looks like.
- Build him up, because he’s pretty beat up. Shepherding is hard work.
- Listen to what he says and take to heart what he teaches from God’s Word.
- Stick with the flock — don’t be a wandering sheep. It makes his job easier!
I thank God for those who have heard the voice and followed the leadership of The Good Shepherd to take up the hard task of service. May God use them greatly to His glory.
Grace and Peace