Like Shepherd, Like Sheep

Tim Brister —  September 19, 2007 — 2 Comments

While meditating this week on the phrase “patiently enduring evil” (2 Tim. 2:24), I was led the Sherpherd/sheep imagery of Jesus and His followers. In John 10, Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). But how or in what way does His sheep follow Him. Where do they go?

Well, in at least two places we find in Scripture that His sheep follow Him in suffering and in persecution. Consider the following passages:

Of Jesus (“Shepherd”)

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
1 Peter 2:21-23

Of Christians (“Sheep”)

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
1 Peter 4:19

Again,

Of Jesus (“Shepherd”)

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.

Isaiah 53:7

Of Christians (“Sheep”)

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Romans 8:36

In the first couplet, both the Shepherd and the sheep experience suffering and in response “entrust themselves/souls” to the Father (“Him who judges justly”/faithful Creator). In the second couplet, both the Shepherd and the sheep are described as sheep “to be slaughtered.” Did not Jesus say, “Remember the word I have spoken to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20)? Health and wealth prosperity preachers would have us believe this is not the case. They want Christians to grab for the benefits of this world when Jesus said to expect persecution from the world. Health and wealth prosperity preachers will tell you that God wants to make you rich and wealthy while the Son of Man had no place to lay his head because of his commitment to preach the gospel of the Kingdom (Luke 9:57-62). Indeed, Christ has left us an example to follow in His steps, and the cadence of cross-bearing Christ-followers is one of inexpressible joy mingled with great suffering that will one day be swallowed up with the glories to come. Let us be like our shepherd, patiently enduring evil and entrusting our souls to the Father whose providence is over all. Let us hear His voice and follow Him wherever he leads, for nothing shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus!

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2 responses to Like Shepherd, Like Sheep

  1. just a correction – it’s Romans 8:36 not Romans 8:35

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