God is a Good Shepherd

Hi friends,

The lectionary readings for this upcoming Sunday are:

  • Acts 4:5-12
  • Psalm23
  • 1 John 3:16-24
  • John 10:11-18

What I see as the theme of each passage is God is the good Shepherd.

His people imitate this example and become like him.

However, hired hands (or bad shepherds) can have all the religious trappings, but their character is opposed to God and God’s work.

We can only be like our Good Shepherd if we humble ourselves and accept salvation in Jesus. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit if we are to gain the courage and conviction we need to live as God has taught us. It is God who restores our souls and teaches us to walk in the right paths - even in the darkest circumstances.

When God’s love abides in us, we experience wholeness and abundance. So, we are empowered and eager to love our neighbor as God has loved us.

It’s a very simple test: God’s people are marked by a lifestyle of sacrificial love. If someone is not habitually demonstrating concern for the poor, the vulnerable, and their neighbor, then they are likely not in relationship with Christ. (Perhaps they are a new or very confused believer, but they are not qualified to be a spiritual leader).

What do you see in these passages?


The metaphor of sheep and shepherd is so helpful in understanding how God leads us in our life. Not only does it provide comfort in the knowledge of God’s compassionate care and provision but also illuminates other aspects of our relationship with God. It reveals the importance of sheep submitting to the shepherd’s authority. The shepherds knew the land, where the pastures and water were, where there were dangers, and the best time and place for rest. The shepherds may have taken the sheep on longer but safer routes. The sheep followed though they may not have always understood where they were going. The shepherds always had the best interest of the sheep. No matter how good the shepherd, the sheep would not benefit if they didn’t follow him. Their survival depended on following the shepherd. A hired hand would lack the knowledge of a seasoned shepherd, would not be as dedicated to the sheep, and may lead the sheep on wrong paths.

As people who have placed our faith in Jesus, it is important that we submit to the authority of our Good Shepherd. There may be times we dont know where God is leading us but we can trust the One who has authority over all and knows exactly where we are and what we need. We can have confidence in His love and guidance. If false teachers come our way, we can have confidence that our Good Shepherd will guide us, but it is our choice to follow Him. If we come across false shepherds who add to the teachings of our Good Shepherd, its a warning sign not to follow them. If the teachings don’t exalt Jesus’s finished work on the cross and do not draw us to God in love, it may be time to reconsider the shepherds we have chosen.


Thank you @lakshmi.

Your thoughts reinforce for me how important it is to evaluate the shepherds in my life against the Good Shepherd.


Glad it was helpful. It was Ray Vander Laan’s book, Walking with God in the Desert that had helped me understand the metaphor of sheep and shepherd. Today as I went through the book again, I came across Ezekiel 34, a great chapter in the bible to evaluate the shepherds in our life.

1 Like

This is a funny video about how sheep sometimes behave:

1 Like