The Good Shepherd

Text taken from Bible Alive For Sunday 25th April 2021 (www.alivepublishing.co.uk)

…….So who is the shepherd and who are the sheep? Of course, the Chief Shepherd is Jesus – he described himself as the ‘good shepherd’ and of course, we are the sheep. To be likened to sheep isn’t a very flattering comparison. In Animal Farm by George Orwell, the sheep are easily led and a bit dim, in contract to the pigs (very intelligent animals by all acounts), who are the stand-out leaders. Sheep wander, they stray, they graze all day and, to add insult to injury, they stink – but in their defence they are endearing, especially their baby lambs, and they provide us with wool and meat (sorry about that),. Nevertheless, we are like sheep because we all go astray, we all follow the herd and we all wander from the path of righteousness.

We are all lost sheep and can only be found by the Shepherd. We all have the smell of sheep about us. The Good Shepherd leads us out of our cold indifference into the warmth of God’s merciful and compassionate love for everyone, but especially the little ones: the poor, the vulnerable, those who grieve and those facing difficult daily challenges. The Good Shepherd guides us to live not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit and to produce the good fruit of the Spirit: ‘love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23 NIV).

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul (Ps.23:1-3)

Editor: isn’t that a lovely picture of a shepherd. Aren’t the sheep content. Aren’t they so safe. Let us all our lives stay very close to the Good Shepherd.

It is a painting by a Spanish artist called K Ferrandie and this is my favourite picture of the Good Shepherd.

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