May 28, 2020
The Greek word used here for “shepherd” is the same as for “pastor.” The Lord Jesus, therefore, was saying, in effect: “I am the good pastor: the good pastor giveth his life for the sheep [that is, ‘for His flock’].” A good pastor is, thus, one who leads his flock into good pasture, who knows his flock, and who is known by his flock. A good pastor would even give his life for his flock (vv. 1-16).
However, this is not merely a term for the leader of a church congregation. The term and the concept are sufficiently broad to include all those individuals (teachers, military officers, parents, etc.) who have leadership responsibilities.
In all such cases, our guide and example is our good shepherd, our good pastor, our good leader—the Lord Jesus Christ. With this in mind, consider some of the other biblical references to our good shepherd: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 5:2-4).
Note also Hebrews 13:20-21: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.”
Most every Christian, at least on occasion, must assume the function of a spiritual shepherd, and every Christian, always, is spiritually a sheep. The Lord Jesus is our good shepherd, and we do well to follow Him in all things. HMM