The only pet I have ever trained has been our dog Rolo. After 2 years of being in our home, he knows our voice and comes when we call Him. I have slowly come to understand the bond between an animal and its owner. The bible tells us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd has sheep that follow Him.
This week, I am so happy to share a post written by Marilyn. She writes about Jesus being the Good Shepherd.
Marilyn Nutter is from Greer, South Carolina, and is the author of three devotional books and contributor to online sites, print, and compilations. To learn more about her, follow her on her Blog or read her bio at the end of this post.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd
How do you introduce yourself? I was known as “Mrs. Nutter” to my students. To my children’s friends, I was “Kate’s mom.” When meeting new friends at church or in the community, I’m simply “Marilyn,” and at conferences, my name might be followed by “contributing writer to publications.” Each introduction is unique and related to who I met.
Jesus introduces Himself
Reading through the New Testament, Jesus introduces Himself with seven “I am” statements. Each unique name has a life-giving name for believers.
These names reflect His character and offer assurances of His provision and presence for daily living and eternal life. Each would make a valuable personal study.
- As the bread of life, Jesus nourishes and sustains us with spiritual food. (John 6)
- As the light of the world, He guides us and illumines our paths for living and to eternal life. (John 8)
- As the door of the sheep, He protects us from attacks and predators. (John 10)
- As the resurrection and the life, He assures us the grave is not final when we place our trust in Him. (John 11)
- As the good shepherd, Jesus cares and watches over us. (John 10)
- As the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus said He marked out the only way to eternal life. (John 14)
- As He is the true vine, we can grow and bear fruit for the kingdom as we attach ourselves to Him. (John 15)
How can we practically relate to His introductions?
All of Jesus’ names are significant, but one—shepherd—is difficult to relate to in the 21st century.
Even though Jesus’ audience was well acquainted with shepherds, we are not.
Yet the Word of God is timeless, and His reference to shepherds is intentional, personal, and applicable.
To fully appreciate what Jesus communicates, we need to understand the relationship of shepherds to sheep. And as we do, we find it is one of the most endearing names and roles He offers.
Shepherds and sheep have a sweet relationship. Several YouTube videos illustrate how well sheep know their shepherd’s call and ignore others.
Sheep respond to their shepherd’s voice alone and follow his lead; they tune out other voices. Why? They know their shepherd provides and cares for them.
- Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 NIV)
In her book, Psalm 23–The Shepherd with Me,** Jennifer Rothschild explains sheep need guidance and are vulnerable to predators and threats. Valuable and loved, their shepherd protects and steers them in the right direction.
** This link is an affiliate link, see disclosure policy.
Jesus considers us His sheep, and like sheep, we have the same needs. Where does that leave us, as sheep wandering through life? Our part is to learn to hear, follow, and enjoy His protection.
Related Blog Pots
- Jesus is the Light of the world
- Jesus is The Prince of Peace
- 12 powerful Names of God
- The Christian Growth Hub
3 things we can do to know God’s voice
As we spend more time in Bible study, we recognize and understand God’s voice apart from others.
We become so familiar with His voice and truth that we judge opinions and ideas up against His Word.
We evaluate and move closer to our Shepherd. His voice becomes the one to follow as we make decisions, face challenges, and develop relationships. Like real sheep, we ignore other voices.
- 2 Timothy 3:16 NASB All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
Our shepherd is trustworthy to give us wisdom and discernment, not only through His Word but in prayer.
- James 1:5 NIV “If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God…”
Like a shepherd leads his flock, Jesus our shepherd will lead us on the right path and at the right time.
Unless we pray and ask for guidance and discernment, we won’t know His direction but will wander aimlessly or go on the wrong path.
- Jeremiah 33:3 ESV Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
A ding telling us a text has arrived, social media at our fingertips, and our busyness compete with time and opportunities for stillness before God.
It takes discipline to carve out intentional quiet moments to hear—like sheep—our shepherd’s voice.
Our ears need to be ready to listen. I not only speak as I praise, confess, ask, and give thanks in prayer, I need to be quiet and listen.
God will speak to me when I pray.
It’s difficult to hear clearly when other noises cover the one voice that is truth and can lead us on the right path. Contentment comes from quiet.
If I am quiet enough, I can hear the Holy Spirit speak. It may come as a scripture brought to remembrance or give me a check when I am headed in the wrong direction.
Perhaps I will be reminded of God’s love and faithfulness. Distractions and noise keep us from finding those treasures.
- But look at Psalm 46:10 NIV Be still and know that I am God.
The whole verse is important, not only is it important to be still, there is something else the verse tells us. There is a transition word: “and” . What follows: knowing God reigns.
Once we are in a quiet position to listen, we can learn, trust, and follow.
Our good Shepherd loves us
One look at shepherds’ relationships with their sheep shows us how shepherds’ delight in caring for their sheep.
They know their sheep well and call them to receive food and protection.
Jesus knows us too—by name—and calls us.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…” (John 10:14-15) Jesus knows all about us and loves us completely. (Psalm 103:14, Psalm 139)
The introduction as the good Shepherd is full of benefits and personal care, but there is more
The good shepherd meets our needs for eternity. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:11, 15 NIV)
Beaten and crucified, our good shepherd willingly gave His life for us. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.” (John 10:18 ESV)
At first glance, Jesus as the good shepherd is an unusual and unfamiliar introduction to relate to contemporary living, but its application offers timeless value as we live out our Christian walks.
Our Shepherd– the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 ESV)—moves beyond His provision of temporal care in green pastures to eternal life.
In the comments, let me know what are your responses as a sheep to Jesus, your Good Shepherd? How do you see His provision for you? And how do you relate to your part in the relationship?