Good Shepherd

The days of Jesus, shepherds in the fields taught their animals to listen to his own voice. He lovingly took care of his herd. He would lead them to water and better pasture by the sound of his voice. In the spring, a shepherd would lead the sheep near his house to the fresh grass. Also this would be the time to shear sheep and help the lambs to be born. This is a good time and many celebrated when their herd increased with new life. lamb.jpgMany people who had herds were smaller and often combined their sheep together with neighboring herds. Shepherds were hired to care for many flocks that were shared together. These hired shepherds were known not to take as good of care of another’s flock as their own. Sheep herding was an occupation that was read about throughout the bible stories. In those days in the summer when a good shepherd would lead his herd out in pasture it was known that he would stay overnight with the herd. He would build out of branches and stone, a pen to keep the sheep safe from predators. This way the entrance or gate would be the shepherd himself and watch what would come into the pen. He was known to lay his life down to protect his herd.

We read for example John 10:1-10

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. 
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” 
Jesus used these stories to teach the people because the people were sheep owners themselves. He also knew their ancestors were also shepherds and worked with agriculture too. Also there is a long history in the scriptures and teaching of prophets stories of shepherds leading their herds.
Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Last thought
Jesus is the way, the life and the truth, through Him only we are saved.


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