- Jesus’ favorite description of his followers
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “ ’I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
- Jesus’ church is cared for and led by shepherds.
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
Three terms in the New Testament refer to the same church leader.
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;
1 Peter 5:1-2
From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
- How Jesus cares for His flock, the Church.
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
He leads it, He feeds it, He protects it.
The church is people who care about people
The church is a place where people are cared for
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.