You don’t want to be a sheep under the care of a bad shepherd. A bad shepherd lazes while his sheep starve. A bad shepherd runs away when the hungry wolf attacks the sheep. A bad shepherd sleeps while his sheep wander off and become lost or caught in a thicket. You don’t want to be a sheep under the care of a bad shepherd.
Spiritually speaking, a bad shepherd might be a pastor (which means shepherd) who doesn’t care for the congregation. For example, a shepherd who doesn’t preach or teach the Bible in it’s truth and purity, thereby starving the congregation of spiritual food. A bad shepherd will do nothing to prevent the attacks of false doctrine. And a bad spiritual shepherd is one who tells you that your sin is OK; that it doesn’t matter; that it’s not sin.
The truth is that you and I and the world have a desperate condition. Sin is real. Sin is disobeying God in our actions, words and even our thoughts. Sin earns us death. The reality is that we are steeped in sin.
That is why we need the care of the Good Shepherd – Jesus. Only the Good Shepherd forgives your sins. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
On Good Friday Jesus willingly surrendered his life. He was crucified with your sins and my sins. His dead, limp body was placed in the tomb. But on Easter Sunday God raised him from the grave, showing you that your sins have been fully forgiven and that God accepted that payment.
The pastors of our congregations can be faithful shepherds when they reflect the Good Shepherd – Jesus Christ – teaching the Bible, guarding against false teachings, warning about sin and pronouncing forgiveness of those sins through Jesus.
Jesus is your Good Shepherd! He wants you to listen to his voice (found in the Bible). He knows YOU, he calls YOU, he forgives YOU, and he wants YOU to follow him.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11