- God is the Shepherd (Gen 49:24; Ps 23; 80:1).
- God’s appointed leaders are undershepherds (Ezek 34).
- Many people in the Old Testament were shepherds by trade, like Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Rachel, Jacob, Moses, and David.
- Foreign leaders were sometimes called shepherds when their leadership impacted God’s people (Isa 44:28).
- The prophets depicted the distress of Israel without leadership or bad leader in terms of a flock without a shepherd (Ezek 34:1-10; Zech 10:2; 13:7).
- The prophets used shepherds imagery to point to the Messiah to come (Ezek 34:22-24; 37:24; Isa 40:11; Zech 13:7; see also Matt 26:31; Mark 14:27).
- Jesus is our Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:34).
- Jesus is our Good Shepherd (John 10:1-30).
- Jesus is our Great Shepherd (Heb 13:20).
- Jesus had compassion on the large crowds who came out to see him because they were “like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt 9:36; Mark 6:34).
- Jesus used sheep and shepherds in his parables (Matt 12:11-12; 18:12-14; 25:31-46).
- Jesus commissioned his disciples to care for his sheep (Matt 10:6, 16; John 21:16-17).
- Jesus is the lamb of sacrifice (John 1:29; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19; Rev 5:6).
- Elders are shepherds under Christ (1 Peter 5:2).
|SHEPHERD’S DUTIES||JESUS’S ACTIONS|
|Leads the sheep to safe pasture and water.||Calls disciples to follow wherever he leads|
(Matt 4:18-22; John 10:4-9)
|Protects the sheep from predators, pests, parasites, |
other sheep, and natural dangers.
|Warns, intercedes and rescues (Mark 8:15; John 17:12-15; Matt 20:28; John 10:15)|
|Feeds the sheep, including removing poisonous plants and providing access to foliage on high branches or after a snowfall.||Feeds the crowds. He himself is the bread of life (Matt 14:13-21; 15:32-39; John 6:22-71).|
|Cares for the weak or sick lambs.||Cares for the weak and sick (Matt 14:14; 34-36).|
|Disciplines wayward sheep and retrieving the lost||Rebukes his disciples and finds those who have lost their way (Matt 14:29-31; 16:23; Luke 22:31-34).|
|Protects cultivated land and crops from the sheep.||Guides his disciples in the way of caring about others (Luke 6:27-36).|
|Prevents over grazing.||Teaches his disciples to be wise and harmless (Matt 10:16).|