Summary: The Motivation, Manner & Reward of Being An Elder.
Of Sheep & Shepherds
Commercial currently airing that shows a lonely shepherd with a cell phone. As he makes a phone call, those he calls begin arriving in droves, until he surrounded by 100s of people.
Wonder how many real shepherds spend a lot of time on a cell phone? Lonely!
As Phillip Keller said in his book, “A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23”, to a great extent the Bible is couched in rural terminology, dealing with outdoor subjects and natural phenomena.
Today this is not the case. Many who read & study the scriptures come from an urban, man-made environment. City folk are unfamiliar with livestock, crops, land, fruit and wildlife.
Because of this we may miss some scriptural insight.
On t/other hand, using nature to tell of the Kingdom of God, is really the only way of being able to communicate to all people, for all times.
If Jesus strictly used the customs & urban lifestyle of His days, all those removed from his time by even a generation or two, would be lost.
Warren Wiersbe said this about sheep and shepherds:
A faithful shepherd not only protects his flock but he also leads them from pasture to pasture so they might be fed adequately. Shepherds would always search the new fields, before leading his sheep there.
He wanted nothing to harm his flock, so he checked for poisonous plants snakes, pits and dangerous animals.
Sometimes it would be necessary to seek out a wayward sheep & give it personal attention and so the shepherd must at times neglect the entire flock to tend to the needs of the one.
This indicates value.
If a sheep was too rebellious, the shepherd may have to discipline him in some way. If a sheep has a special need, t/shepherd may carry it in his arms, next to his heart. At the close of each day the faithful shepherd would examine each sheep to see if it needed special attention. He would anoint the bruises with healing oil & remove the briars from the wool. T/shepherd would know each of his sheep by name & understand the special traits of each one.
He concludes with this, it is not easy to be a shepherd of God’s people!
It is a task that never ends and that demands the supernatural power of God, if it is to be done correctly.
What about the sheep themselves, well since God calls us His sheep, think about these “sheep facts” and how they relate to us.
Sheep are animals who stay together. God’s people should be close.
Sheep are notoriously ignorant and tend to wander away, if they do not follow the shepherd. Aren’t we the same?
Sheep are defenseless, for the most part and need the protection of their
Shepherds. So too, t/church needs human leaders & Jesus Himself.
Sheep are very useful animals. Not only in their wool & milk, but also in reproduction - the flocks should increase in number.
It’s easy to see this parallel. We have abilities to offer & should produce other Christians, duplicating ourselves, in them.
My Grandfather was a shepherd during my childhood years. I marveled at how they responded to his voice, one call & they came running.
They knew he cared for them, providing their needs & they loved him.