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Jesus said “I AM the good shepherd..." What is a good shepherd supposed to be? What do we consider in order to approve this statement as equally befitting of the one who uttered it? What are the parameters that will help us to tell between a genuinely good shepherd and one who is not? The following I believe can go some way to tell who a "good shepherd" is: 1. A good shepherd does not act suspiciously; he does everything in the open and allows to be understood. 2. He is always readily available, whenever he was/is required. 3. In doing the job, he looks for nothing for himself; he does all for the sheep that he is taking care of. 4. He looks all over the sheep, he will never grade any of them so that one is less or more important than the other. 5. He will do whatever it takes to protect the sheep; he always goes ahead of the sheep, whether in danger or in peace. 6. He follows his talk with more action Did Jesus the CHRIST fulfill all the above? Let us try to make scrutiny of it all Acting suspiciously. Did Jesus act suspiciously? I do not believe He did in whichever way or at whatever stage of His work of salvation. Jesus was open and spoke of everything that would happen to Him. He openly spoke of His death and resurrection (Matthew 16:20-21). He talked at nobody’s back. He spoke right in people’s faces, only looking to getting them better than to give them false feelings, hope and excitement which would end them nowhere. This is how He got the best out of Peter (Matthew 16:22-23) (Matthew 26:34). Jesus spoke in the face of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the tax collectors, He told them if they didn’t change by accepting Him, their destiny would be hell (Matthew 23:27). He was/is friend to those who accepted to do the will of God. He taught and showed that the word of God is standard and can’t be maneuvered for any reason or anybody to suit anybody’s interests (Matthew 12:46-50) (Luke 8:19-21) (Mark 3:31). He Himself acted equally so. Availability. Jesus the CHRIST was not only available in good times; He was/is equally readily available in bad testing times. This is evident in His willingness not only to tell us what to do to escape the wiles of the evil one, but to go on and offer Himself by demeaning, paining painful death on the cross for the salvation of you and I (Philippians 2:5-8). He gave us the hope of life after death by being the first to die and live again by resurrection from the dead. He always went/goes ahead of us in whatever situation. There is nothing that Jesus the CHRIST told us to do or undergo that He did not do or undergo by Himself. Many people claim greatness by simply talking, Jesus the CHRIST equally went on to act as a great though His goal was not only to be branded great, but to set us free both in word and deed (Matthew 23:1-3) (Matthew 23:4-8) In doing the job, he looks for nothing for himself; he does all for the sheep that he is taking care of. Jesus the CHRIST was/is God. He was/is already glorious even before time immemorial (John 17:4-5). His coming to die for us was never to gain Him any more or less glory; He already had/has glory. Even though He had not come, He would still be glorious; His glory would not be lessened or increased. He was/is glorious and that is it. His coming was only intended to gain us the much needed salvation for our precious souls. He only came to set us free (Luke 19:8-10). A good shepherd does not look for what to gain from the sheep whether materially or spiritually, He only looks at improving and ensuring the lives of the sheep. That is exactly what Jesus the CHRIST displayed in all His words and deeds. He went/goes on to do what He said/says. He looks all over the sheep, he will never grade any of them so that one is less or more important than the other. We as mortal beings, we tend to only look for the good side of a person and keep on castigating for the wrong done. We only look for how to benefit from others and only work for that. We go out to “help” with opportunistic intentions of being paid back in one way or the other. Whatever we do, we tend to only look for how we personally gain from it. It is upon this that we start grading how we relate with every one person that comes into our lives. On the other hand though, Jesus the CHRIST does exactly the opposite. Every single sheep is equally important to Him. He will do all it takes to search and save every single one no matter what that sheep is or what status it is. This is evidenced in the way He went on to forgive when on the cross. He forgave those very people that mocked Him, spat at Him and finally crucified Him. He did not mind at what they did to Him, He only knew all that had happened to Him because He wanted to save a soul of which they were part (Luke 23:34). They were equally important to Him as anybody else, despite what they had subjected him to (Luke 15:4-10) (Matthew 18:12). He had all the power to punish and destroy, but He only chose to save rather than to ruin. Such is indeed a good shepherd. He will do whatever it takes to protect the sheep; he always goes ahead of the sheep, whether in danger or in peace. Jesus the CHRIST demonstrated Himself as the perfect much needed good shepherd when He offered Himself to die for the many, even shameful death on the cross (Matthew 27:35). He always preached that there is life after death. He went on to demonstrate this when He died on the cross and rose again on the third day (Matthew 28) (Mark 16). Because He went on to act ahead of us, we do have all the confidence in Him that even when we die, yet we live because we do believe in Him, He died and rose again. Jesus the CHRIST acted His talk. Jesus the CHRIST is the only good shepherd because He passes all the parameters.
In the time of Jesus no one sacrificed more in the care of his sheep than a Shepherd. His entire life was spent in the care of his sheep. Jesus protects us from wolves in sheep's clothing through the truth of his word. He uses the Holy Spirit to reveal its truth to us. I will lead you and guide you in all truth by the power of the Holy Spirit. This teacher, the Holy Spirit, is above all human teachers. John 16:13 says: When he the Holy Spirit comes upon you, HE WILL LEAD YOU AND GUIDE YOU IN ALL TRUTH. Without the Holy Spirit man can not truly be born again. It is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to seek the truth in God's word and will not allow us to relent until the truth of God's word sets us free from all the lies of the world's teachings. The word of God is the Father, his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit revealed to us. All the weapons of our spiritual warfare are there to equip us in the battle of life. God's word says: my people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. That knowledge you must seek on your own in God's word. It is more important than your earthly occupation, your wife, your husband, your children, and your worldly goods. God's knowledge is ultimately true power, wisdom and knowledge on earth. There is no equal to it. It is life. It is everlasting life. Amen!
Jesus was using an agrarian analogy to teach a Scriptural truth. The original hearers understood that sheep are prey animals and as such had to be guarded by a shepherd. The reference to God's people being like sheep has been used throughout the history of the Israelite people. More importantly, Jesus showed Himself to be The Shepherd spoken of by King David in the psalms, and prophesied of by Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah.
As S. Michael Houdmann has already said, “This is the fourth of our Lord’s “I am” statements in John’s gospel” (John 6:35; 8:12; 10:9). Certainly, in making this statement. He is contrasting Himself to the false shepherds who were in charge of the Jewish religion of that day. Jesus is fully aware of the analogy of the shepherd that could be found in Psalm 23:1 and Ezekiel 34:16, 23. The references clearly foreshadow His saving work, because God was Israel’s Shepherd (Gen 49:24; Psa. 23:1; 80:1; Isa. 40:11). Literally, the shepherd the good (shepherd). Καλὸς, though not of frequent occurrence in John, is more common than ἀγαθός, good, which occurs but 4 times and 3 times out of the 4 in the neuter gender, a good thing, or that which is good. Καλὸς in John is applied to wine (John 2:10), 3 times to the shepherd in this chapter, and 2X to works (John 10:32--"Many good works have I showed you", John 10:33). In classical usage, originally as descriptive of outward form, beautiful; of usefulness, as a fair haven, a fair wind. Morally beautiful, noble; hence virtue is called τὸ καλὸν. The New Testament usage is similar. Outwardly fair, as the stones of the temple (Luke 21:5): well adapted to its purpose, as salt (Mark 9:50): competent for an office, as deacons (1 Timothy 4:6); a steward (1 Peter 4:10); a soldier (2 Timothy 2:3): morally good, noble, as works (Matthew 5:16); conscience (Hebrews 13:18). The phrase "it is good", i.e., a good or proper thing (Romans 14:21). Further, kalos is properly, "beautiful," "pleasing," "useful," "noble," "worthy" in a moral sense, e.g. "that they may see your good works" (Mt 5:16); "She hath wrought a good work on me" (Mt 26:10; Mk 14:6); "the good shepherd" (Jn 10:11,14). Jesus is spoken of as the good shepherd (Jn 10:14); chief shepherd (1 Pet 5:4); great shepherd (Heb 13:20); the one shepherd (Jn 10:16). See what Jeremiah Kaaya said above about Jesus being great. Thus qualified, “the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.” O Shepherd, Good Shepherd, Thy wounds they are deep; The wolves have sore hurt Thee in saving Thy sheep. Thy raiment all over with crimson is dyed; And what is this wound they have made in Thy side?
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