• 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).

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 lostRebukes 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).

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